Mizzou Will Face Banged-Up Illinois Secondary In Season Opener

Mizzou and Illinois are getting together for week one of the college football season on Saturday.

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College Football, Mizzou vs. Illinois: Tigers Will Face Banged-Up Illini Secondary

The Missouri Tigers offense is among the best in the country. QB Blaine Gabbert had an impressive campaign in 2009 and they figure to repeat that in 2010.

Their mission to be an offensive force got a little easier in game on when Illinois lost two starters for the game.

CB Terry Hawthorne will miss the game with a foot injury. S Supo Sanni, another starter, tore his Achilles' and is done for the year.

So how will Illinois replace them?

Gabbert's probably glad to hear that it'll be a Justin Green stepping into fulfill at least part of Hawthorne's absence. Green converted from running back last week. As if that weren't enough, Jack Ramsey is converting from receiver to corner to help out.

You think Mizzou is glad to hear this news?

We may be heading to another shoot out like Mizzou's 52-42 victory in 2008.

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College Football, Mizzou vs. Illinois: Tigers Looking For Fourth Straight

Mizzou and Illinois have opened the season against in each other five times since 2002 including the last three years. All five years it's been Mizzou that's come out on top.

Illinois coach Ron Zook noted the importance of this game to ESPN.com recently.

"They're all important, but this one has an awful lot of importance on it," Zook told ESPN.com. "Obviously, we haven’t had a lot of success against them."

Helping Illinois this year will be new QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who happens to be from the Kansas City area as a Rockhurst High School graduate.

"I'm like everyone else, I want to see him play, too," Zook said of Scheelhaase.. "I'm not going to say he’s going to be perfect, but he’ll learn from his mistakes and he'll do a great job."

Check out Rock M Nation for lots of Mizzou talk before the season opener on Saturday.

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College Football, Mizzou vs. Illinois: Three Tigers Missing From Depth Chart

Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel has released the Tigers depth chart for game one against Illinois and the names of three players who were arrested this month were not listed.

Notable players that are listed include:

  • WR Jerrell Jackson: He was injured early in camp but the Tigers weren't always optimistic he'd make it back for week one. He's listed as the starter.
  • SS Jarrell Harrison: He's currently listed on the second team but the good thing is that he's listed. He went down with an injury in camp as well.

Mizzou and Illinois get things started on Saturday.

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