MO State HS Sports

Mizzou Morning Matters

092223_Mizzou Morning Matters

COLUMBIA, Mo. — If you’re reading this on Friday, only 56 days have passed since Mizzou’s Cotton Bowl victory over Ohio State. But there’s an unofficial saying around the Southeastern Conference: It’s never too early for football.

With the Black and Gold Game set for March 16, Mizzou spring practices kick off next week — the first practice is Tuesday — and there’s plenty of intriguing storylines as Eli Drinkwitz‘s fifth team begins to take shape. Let’s take a look at a few ….

Photo by: Anna Griffin

Backfield in Motion

Consensus All-American Cody Schrader, the program’s first player to lead the country in rushing yards per game, put up a school-record 1,627 yards last fall, leaving a sizable opportunity for someone to emerge as the Tigers’ top rushing threat. Promising freshman Jamal Roberts returns, along with redshirt freshman Tavorus Jones, but transfer portal additions Marcus Carroll (Georgia State) and Nate Noel (Appalachian State) figure to get close looks. Carroll and Noel combined for 5,210 rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns at their prior stops, plus another 752 receiving yards. And it didn’t all come against Group of Five opponents. In seven combined games against Power Five foes (games against North Carolina, Miami, LSU, South Carolina and Auburn), Carroll and Noel ran for 456 yards and averaged 5.4 per carry.

Batoon Ball  

Speaking of newcomers, Mizzou’s defense is under new leadership this year with the addition of coordinator Corey Batoon, who spent the last three seasons as the DC at South Alabama. Over the last three seasons, Batoon’s USA defenses totaled 182 tackles for loss, 74 sacks and 37 takeaways, averaging 10.2 of those havoc plays per game. That’s in the same vicinity as Mizzou’s defense the last three seasons (10.8 per game). What changes will Batoon and new edge rusher coach Brian Early have in store for a defense that returns seven starters from the Cotton Bowl? Stay tuned.

Who’s Next?

When you send six players to the Senior Bowl and eight total to the NFL Scouting Combine opportunities emerge. The Tigers replace All-SEC players at all three levels of the defense — D-lineman Darius Robinson, linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper, cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine — along with seasoned veterans like Jayden Jernigan, Chad Bailey, Jaylon Carlies and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. The Cotton Bowl provided glimpses of the 2024 contenders for expanded roles, starting with linebacker Triston Newson (10 tackles, 2 ½ tackles for loss.)

The Tigers will have 24 newcomers on the roster this spring, including transfers and newly arrived freshmen.


In this week’s “Mizzou Storytellers” episode on the Inside Mizzou Athletics Podcast, Nikki Barry and I visit with the ultimate insider of Mizzou Athletics, Associate Athletics Director for Administration Morgan Domenick to discuss her journey from the Florida tennis courts to Mizzou’s senior leadership team. A world traveler on the youth tennis circuit and former student-athlete at Boise State, Domenick shares how she discovered her passion for college athletics and parlayed her law degree into an integral role on Mizzou’s staff. The episode will be available Friday.

Make sure to check out last week’s episode with Director of Athletic Equipment Operations Mike Kurowski. It’s available on Apple, Spotify and Amazon.

You can find the Inside Mizzou Athletics Podcast here or wherever you listen to podcasts. 


If you missed the news on Thursday, the EA SPORTS College Football video game returns in 2024. And, yes, your Missouri Tigers will be featured in the game. Starting this week through the end of April, current football student-athletes have the opportunity to opt in so that their name, image and likeness can be featured in the game. All student-athletes featured in the game will be compensated financially and given a downloadable copy of the game on the console of their choice. A maximum of 85 student-athletes will be featured on each roster.


Major MMM kudos to graduate student Mitch Weber, who was named SEC Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year for track and field, joining Kobe Brown (men’s hoops) and Brady Cook (football) as Tigers to earn the prestigious SEC honor in the past year. Weber, currently pursuing a graduate certificate in global supply chain management, holds a 4.0 GPA in his graduate work after last year earning his undergraduate degree in industrial engineering. He’s a three-time SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll selection and in 2022 brought home the SEC outdoor discus title. He’s won 10 event titles over his prolific Mizzou career.


Mizzou baseball powered up with four home runs in Thursday’s 7-5 win over CSU Bakersfield. Six Tigers have homered through the season’s first four games. … Softball’s undefeated start to the season came to a close Thursday night at the Mary Nutter Classic with a 3-2 loss to San Diego State, but the Tigers bounced back with a 3-2 win over Wisconsin to push their record to 11-1. Shortstop Jenna Laird is hitting like an All-American, putting up the team’s best slash line: .438/.568/.594. Mizzou began the week No. 8 on analyst Michella Chester’s national power rankings. … Mizzou heavyweight Zach Elam came in at No. 5 on the NCAA’s updated Most Dominant Wrestler rankings. … After wrestling at Northern Iowa on Friday, the No. 7 Tigers head to Ames for one of the weekend’s biggest showdowns at No. 5 Iowa State, headlined by the latest showdown between ISU’s David Carr, the 2021 NCAA champion, vs. Mizzou’s Keegan O’Toole, the two-time defending NCAA champion. Carr won the regular-season dual last year and the Big 12 Championship title match, but O’Toole beat Carr on the biggest stage at the NCAA Championships. … The heavyweight showdown is a battle of unbeaten stars: Elam, ranked No. 5, and Iowa State’s No. 3 Yonger Bastida. … Mizzou men’s basketball announced this week that freshman Trent Pierce will miss the next week of action after undergoing successful ear procedure on Tuesday. He’s expected to return to practice early next week after a short-term recovery process.


It was 45 years ago this weekend in Oklahoma City when Missouri captured the Big Eight Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship – its first conference title since 1965. Read more here from Mizzou historian Bob Brendel: “Missouri totaled 91 points while Kansas scored 83 ½ and Nebraska 79. Scott Clark, the defending champion in the 880-yard run, decided to divide his strength between three races: the 600-yard run, the mile relay and the 880. He placed second in both the 880 and the 600 (with a school-record time) and lifted the relay team to third. Ajayi Agbebaku had been plagued with an ankle injury all season, but won both the long and triple jumps with season-bests of 25 feet, 8-1/2 inches and 53 feet, 3-1/4 inches, respectively. Dan Lavitt, defending champion in both the 60-yard high and low hurdles, was beaten by one-hundredth of a second in both races. But his teammates saved the lost points. Godwin Obasogie held on to third place in the highs and Nat Page followed with a surprising fourth place. As expected, though, Page won the high jump, clearing 7-feet, 2 inches.”


Q: At last week’s meet in St. Charles, Mizzou gymnast and bars specialist Mara Titarsolej earned the fourth perfect 10.0 in program history. Who recorded the other three 10s?


Friday, February 23

Swimming & Diving at SEC Championships, 9:30 a.m. (Auburn, Alabama)

Wrestling at Northern Iowa, 7 p.m., FloWrestling (Cedar Falls, Iowa)

Track & Field at SEC Indoor Championships, All Day (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Gymnastics at Auburn, 6 p.m., SEC Network (Auburn, Alabama)

Softball vs. Central Florida, 7:30 p.m., FloSoftball (Cathedral City, California)

Baseball at San Diego State, 8 p.m., (San Diego, California)

Softball vs. California State Fullerton, 10 p.m., FloSoftball (Cathedral City, California)

Saturday, February 24

Swimming & Diving at SEC Championships, 9:30 a.m. (Auburn, Alabama)

Track & Field at SEC Indoor Championships, All Day (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Women’s Golf at Westbrook Invitational (Peoria, Illinois)

Men’s Basketball at Arkansas, 11 a.m., ESPN2 (Fayetteville, Arkansas)

Baseball at UC-San Diego, 4 p.m. (La Jolla, California)

Softball vs. Baylor, 10 p.m., FloSoftball (Cathedral City, California)

Sunday, February 25

Women’s Golf at Westbrook Invitational (Peoria, Illinois)

Men’s Golf at Southern Highlands Collegiate (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Wrestling at Iowa State, 2 p.m., ESPN+ (Ames, Iowa)

Monday, February 26

Women’s Golf at Westbrook Invitational (Peoria, Illinois)

Men’s Golf at Southern Highlands Collegiate (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Women’s Basketball vs. Ole Miss, 6 p.m., SEC Network

Tuesday, February 27

Men’s Golf at Southern Highlands Collegiate (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Baseball vs. SEMO, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, February 28

Men’s Basketball at Florida, 5:30 p.m., SEC Network (Gainesville, Florida)

Thursday, February 29

Women’s Basketball vs. Vanderbilt, 7 p.m., SEC Network+

Friday, March 1

Tennis vs Georgia, 11 a.m.

Tennis vs. Lindenwood, 4 p.m.

Baseball vs. Northern Kentucky, 6 p.m.


A: Lauren “Bunny” Schwartzman had two 10s on the balance beam in 2004. Current Mizzou standout Jocelyn Moore scored a 10 on the vault in 2023.


Those interested in learning how to support Mizzou Athletics can contact the Tiger Scholarship Fund Office at 573-882-0704 and visit

For all the latest information on Mizzou Athletics, please visit For up-to-the-minute updates, follow the Tigers on XInstagram and Facebook

This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics