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Mizzou Football Season Review: Special Teams

Marcus Murphy had a big year.

Like most of the Missouri football team, special teams had its moments, but ultimately struggled. The three main specialists performed to their abilities, but their efforts weren't always enough. In a roller coaster season for Mizzou, special teams as a whole was no different.

Marcus Murphy: The primary return man for Mizzou, Marcus Murphy did all he could to give an edge for the TIgers. A sophomore speedster with big play ability, no one realized how much of an impact Murphy would have returning the ball before the season began. Against Alabama, Murphy was one of the lone bright spots, returning a kick return for a touchdown.

In the punt return game Murphy was simply amazing, returning three punts for touchdowns, something never done in Missouri history. Murphy was electrifying this season and had the potential to score every time he touched the ball.

Trey Barrow: Last season, Trey Barrow stepped up big time for the football program, taking over field goal duties for the struggling Grant Ressel in addition to his punting duties. This year, Barrow went back to just punting in his senior season. Barrow struggled early in the season, and almost lost his job when a competition was announced with Christian Brinser.

Barrow won the competition and never looked back, punting well the rest of the season. Even with the early season struggle, Barrow averaged 43 yards a punt and was a key contributor in the field position battle for the Tigers.

Andrew Baggett: A redshirt freshman, Andrew Baggett emerged as the starting kicker for Mizzou. Fans were excited to see Baggett in action after the struggles from Grant Ressel last season. Unfortunately, Baggett wasn't much better. The kicker made just 14 of his 20 attempted field goals this season, which is just 70 percent.

Baggett even missed 4 PATs on the season, a big no-no for a kicker. Baggett did show some promise, however. His most notable game was against Tennessee, when he made all of his kicks, including a game winning field goal in quadruple overtime.

Final Grade: B- While Murphy and Barrow did a lot for the TIgers on special teams this season, there were too many mistakes in other facets of the game to warrant an exemplary grade. Baggett struggled making kicks on a consistent basis and often left points on the table for the Tigers. In addition, missed tackles were a huge issue that caused some major problems, especially against South Carolina. There were some bright spots on special teams this season, but they were simply too inconsistent.

Next Season Outlook: Murphy and Baggett return next season and look to remain in their roles. Murphy will once again dazzle in the return game and look to add to his already impressive career. Fans will expect a lot of improvement from Baggett, hoping the sophomore will be more consistent with experience. Trey Barrow was a senior, so the punter will need to be replaced. Christian Brinser, who was in competition with Barrow for the job this season, looks to be the favorite to take over.