October 29, 2008

Smith steps up in starting role

Gary Pinkel always says an injury is nothing but an opportunity. One player goes down and the man behind him gets a chance to prove himself. Opportunity siezed by Jacquies Smith.

When senior starter Tommy Chavis was ruled out for Saturday's game against Colorado due to an ankle injury, the true freshman from Dallas got the first start of his Missouri career.

"I just go out there and continue my same preparation as I did if I wasn't taking the first snap," Smith said. "I was fine."

He certainly played as if he had no nerves. Smith made six tackles on the night and was consistently pressuring Colorado quarterbacks.

"Coach was very pleased with my performance, all the coaches were," Smith said. "They were telling me I did a good job stepping in for Tommy."

Teaming with Brian Coulter (six tackles, three for a loss), Smith offered Tiger fans a glimpse of what the future could look like. Both Chavis and Stryker Sulak are seniors and Missouri will be breaking in two new starters at defensive end.

"Me and (Coulter) are front-runners for next year," Smith said. "We're going to have to lead this team, lead the defense next year. They're getting a good glimpse of what we can do."

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