Jimmie Hunt

Missouri will be without its second-leading receiver for Citrus Bowl

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The Missouri Tigers will be without their second-leading receiver, Jimmie Hunt, for the Citrus Bowl against the Minnesota Gophers. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter reported Hunt underwent shoulder surgery Wednesday.

Hunt was second on the team in receptions (40), yardage (698) and receiving touchdowns (7) this season. The senior is also coming off the best game of his career against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game. Hunt amassed an impressive 169 yards after beating the Alabama secondary deep multiple times.

Without Hunt in the lineup, the Tigers’ spread offense will feature a new slot receiver.

The two receivers Missouri’s head coach mentioned have caught a total of five passes this season. Otte, a senior, is the experienced option, but Brown presents a matchup problem at 6-3 and 205 pounds. Both may be required to step up in Hunt’s absence.

Minnesota is yet another big and physical team in Missouri’s way. The Tigers’ spread offense needs to be firing on all cylinders to score quickly once the Gophers try to control the clock with their running game and sound defense.

UCF not intimidated but trails Mizzou at half

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Perhaps this is not a great line-up of college football today, but the UCF-Missouri match-up is one that has proven to be entertaining in the first half. Missouri holds a lead on the gritty Knights, 14-10 at the half.

Missouri’s first possession of the game started off in great field position. After a UCF punt went out of bounds at the UCF 40-yard line, Missouri was called for an illegal block to move the ball to midfield for the start of the drive. Five plays later the Tigers entered the red zone, which is when Maty Mauk rushed nine yards and followed that up with an 11-yard pass to Jimmie Hunt for the touchdown. UCF answered with a lengthy scoring drive led by William Stanbeck running the football for short gains, but the drive was limited to a short field goal after UCF got as close as the Missouri two-yard line.

UCF would take the lead early in the second quarter with a short touchdown pass from Justin Holman to Stanbeck, giving the Knights a 10-7 edge, but Missouri answered with a 14-play touchdown drive spanning 75 yards. It was again a Mauk to Hunt connection for the score and the lead.

Missouri started this game off converting all six of its third-down conversion opportunities, but UCF has been dominating the time of possession battle, nearly doubling Missouri’s time on the field.