Team preview: Missouri

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 27, 2004
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Head coach Gary Pinkel believes that he could have a Michael Vick-like situation on his hands.

Ever since Vick's electrifying performance in the Hokies' 46-29 loss to Florida State in 2000 Sugar Bowl (a game in which he ran for 97 yards and threw for 225 more against one of the nation's fastest defenses) put the Virginia Tech football program on the map, college coaches have been looking for Vick-like quarterbacks-signal-callers who aren't only armed and dangerous, but also possess near-sprinter speed.

Missouri, a team on the rise in the power-packed Big 12, has such a man in junior Brad Smith (6-2, 220). A true run-pass threat, Smith served noticed two years ago as a red-shirt freshman that he'd be a handful for most defensive coordinators when he piled up 3,362 total yards. That broke the Missouri single-season record by more than 800 yards. Smith also became just the second quarterback in NCAA Division I-A history to pass for more than 2,000 yards (2,333) and rush for more than 1,000 yards (1,029) in the same season.