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The Tigers surprised everyone last season by playing some of the best defense in the country. This resurgence was largely due to the play of the defensive line.
It’s true that Missouri led the conference in total sacks in 2010. So why would it be a surprise if they did it again?
The best defensive end for the past two seasons, Aldon Smith, is no longer with the team, and the unit, as a whole, flew under the radar last year. But most people wouldn’t believe me when I say that the defensive line might be better in 2011 without the first-rounder.
Three of the starters from last season return, led by All-Conference defensive end Jacquies Smith. The aforementioned Brad Madison has been a terror in the offseason, and after a three-year wait, former 5-star prospect defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson is finally slated to join the team.
This will be the best line Missouri has ever had, creating quite a problem for the Big 12’s offensive coordinators.