Starters are set: who’s taking the field in Mizzou’s season opener

Mizzou football’s long-awaited return is finally here. The depth chart is official, the injury report is out, and Mizzou fans can build a good idea of what to expect on the field.

Javon Foster and Hyrin White entered the first-string mix after a strong training, relegating 2020 starter Zeke Powell into the second-string depth chart. There will likely be some rotation of both tackle positions to ease the work for each guy, but it’s good to see White in the starting lineup after recovering from his shoulder surgery in 2020. He and Foster, who’s protecting Connor Bazelak’s blind side, will have big responsibilities early, but they may have a short leash with Powell behind them.

Other notes on the offensive side include Chance Luper earning the starting slot receiver spot. It’s still one of the deepest positions on the roster, but it’s good to see Luper stand out early as a second-year guy. Defensively, it’s Ish Burdine and Ennis Rakestraw at the starting cornerback spots, and the 4-2-5 base set is confirmed by Kris Abrams-Draine being listed at the nickel cornerback spot. Both Martez Manuel and Jalani Williams praised Abrams-Draine’s explosiveness and ability to transition into the role after being recruited as a wide receiver. He’s found his niche not only there, but also as a starting punt and kick returner.

First-year freshman earning depth chart spots include Connor Tollison and Mekhi Wingo. The injury report features Mookie Cooper listed as questionable for Saturday’s game, and Jay Maclin and Travion Ford are listed as out. Zxaequan Reeves, Jonathan Jones and Kyran Montgomery will miss the entire season.

Otherwise, the releases only confirm what we’ve expected throughout the season in terms of who’s starting and who’s going to be on the field. Now, the only thing left to do is watch tomorrow when the Tigers host the Chippewas at Faurot Field at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on SEC Network. 

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