The Tigers did it behind a committee of running backs with similar qualities. Tailbacks Henry Josey (r-Jr. 5-10 190), Russell Hansbrough (So. 5-9 190), and Marcus Murphy (r-Jr. 5-9 195) were the primary ground weapons against Murray State. All have similar body frames and running ability.
Hansbrough had a break out evening with over 100 rushing yards in the first quarter and flashed speed with quickness to the hole. Josey, who sat out 2012 due to injury, looked in good shape for 2013 and Murphy is also a CFU All-American on special teams with three punts and one kick returned for touchdowns last year.
"I'm really excited for him (Hansbrough) and I hope he keeps pushing me like he has done," Josey said. "I told him we've got a great tandem going together. It's just going to be a great year for us." (AP)
Quarterback James Franklin (Sr. 6-2 230) was able to gain some yards on the ground against the Racers which is something he had difficulty doing while injured last season. The running game also opens up the passing game for Franklin by forcing the defense to load the box. Against Murray State, the Missouri starting QB finished 26-of-38 for 318 passing yards and three passing touchdowns with no interceptions.
There is experience on an offensive line that was part of a 1,000 yard rushing season for graduated tailback Kendial Lawrence last year. Offensive lineman Justin Britt (r-Sr. 6-6 320) had 22 career starts coming into this season.
The opponent this week for Missouri is Toledo, a 9-4 team last year coming off a 24-6 loss to Florida last week. The Rockets usually have a solid offense and special teams, but was held in check by the Gators. Toledo also had one of the worst defenses overall last season finishing 112th in yards per game (473.2) and 81st in rushing yards allowed per game (182.3) while allowing 262 rushing yards against Florida to open this season.
Players Rushing Statistics vs. Murray State
Name, Attempts, Rush Yards, Avg, TD
Henry Josey, 13, 113, 8.7, 1
Rus Hansbrough, 8, 104, 13.0, 2
Marcus Murphy, 7, 56, 8.0, 1
James Franklin, 6, 44, 7.3, 0
Morgan Steward, 8, 25, 3.1, 1
Greg White, 3, 16, 5.3, 0