i_copy_copy For the second straight week Mizzou struggled. Now the Tigers drag their tails back to  Columbia  for the final home game of the season. Whose stock is rising and whose is falling as  Mizzou tries to rebound from a disappointing loss at Texas Tech?

Three Up:

uparrowgMarcus Murphy – Fr. - RB

The freshman Texas-native took his first carry of the game 69 yards to the house. Clearly that  set the tone for the entire game quarter. Everyone loves Henry Josey, but don’t sleep on  Murphy. Dude only has 18 carries this year but he averages 9.4 yards per carry. No, that’s not  a typo. The future is bright for the Mizzou backfield.

uparrowgMarcus Lucas – Fr. - WR

He caught one pass for six yards at Texas Tech. That’s not exactly a stat line that exemplifies  “rising stock.” However, at media day on Monday Gary Pinkel raved about Lucas. Pinkel  told  the media Lucas is rapidly improving and making a case for more and more playing  time. Against Tech, it seemed that every receiver was dropping passes. The fact that Lucas didn’t sets him apart this week.

uparrowgZaviar Gooden – So. - LB

Gooden wracked up another seven tackles but more importantly, his red zone interception looked like it might be a game changer. On Monday Pinkel said he thought Gooden would have returned the INT for a touchdown, but he bobbled the ball which allowed a Tech player to trip him up. Gooden is banged up but continues to make plays for the Tiger defense.

Three Down:

down_arrowBlaine Gabbert – Jr. - QB

Blaine was the most noticeably bad part of last Saturday’s lost. Sure, the receivers gave him absolutely zero help, but when you only throw for 95 yards against the 119th ranked pass defense, a lot of the blame has to go to the quarterback. Where is the Blaine Gabbert that picked apart Texas A&M and OU? Mizzou needs that guy back this Saturday.

down_arrowJerrell Jackson – Jr. – WR

I’m a big fan of Jerrell Jackson’s. He’s got what it takes to be a great receiver, he’s always entertaining in interviews, and seems like an all around good guy. However, Jackson just didn’t have it against Texas Tech. It was painful to watch. According to the mutigers.com play-by-play, Jackson was the target of 11 Blaine Gabbert passes. Jackson’s final line? 1 catch, 11 yards.

down_arrowCommitment to the running game:

In the first half Missouri ran the ball 22 times for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns. In the second half, Mizzou ran the ball nine times for less than 100 yards and no touchdowns. When the passing attack was off (to say the least), where were the running plays? One of my biggest pet peeves is when fans question the play calls. I’ll trust Pinkel and Yost over the average fan with no football experience (i.e. me) any day. But against Texas Tech, you couldn’t help but wonder why Mizzou wasn’t handing the ball off more frequently.

*Photo above of Jerrell Jackson by John A. Bowersmith, Associated Press