Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
The former Missouri defensive star hogged the spotlight and made Monday Night Football history along the way.
Missouri football looked a lot better last night than it did 24 hours before. Even in the midst of a down season, the way a team's players perform at the pro level can speak a lot to a recruit, and Aldon Smith did a lot of talking on Monday Night Football -- to the tune of 5.5 official sacks and a new MNF record for total sacks in a game. The end result was a dominant 32-7 win for the San Francisco 49ers over the Chicago Bears in a match-up of the two best teams in the NFC.
Smith has been a beast at rushing the passer since he entered the NFL in 2011 after being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers at No. 7 overall in that year's draft. He now has 15 sacks on the year and took over the NFL lead over Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
"I was hoping to go out there and make some plays," Smith said after the game. "I didn't sense that I was going to go out there and get a bunch of sacks, but I wanted to go out there and make some plays."
Not only did Smith make moves with his incredible athleticism, but he also was able to push back much bigger offensive linemen like Chicago's Gabe Carimi.
"I really just try to make people respect my power," added Smith. "I don't think I'm one of the bigger linebackers or ends, but I want people to know there's some power here, too."
His teammates are definitely convinced of his abilities, as they get to see him work out on a daily basis.
"Aldon Smith was very key in today's win," said wide receiver Michael Crabtree. "He was amazing."
"One of the best at the position, if not the best," added running back Frank Gore. "He works hard every day and he'll go get them."
Missouri can claim him as one of their own, and it's likely a conversation that happens often for defensive players considering the Tigers. Yet the loudest talking happens under the lights, and Smith just made everyone connected to him look really good for those four quarters on Monday.