Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith, left, trips up Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez (3) in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. (AP Photo/Dave Weaver) By Dave Weaver
By Belo Story2
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- It's not a rebuilding year for the Missouri defensive line, even after losing a player picked seventh overall in the NFL draft.
Aldon Smith missed three games last year with a fractured right leg but served as an anchor for a squad that ranked first in the Big 12 and sixth nationally in scoring defense. Though he's now with the San Francisco 49ers, the line figures to be a strength for the 21st-ranked Tigers heading into Saturday's opener against Miami of Ohio.
Defensive end Brad Madison was a standout last year even though he made only two starts. Madison had a three-sack game while Smith was out and led the team with 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss.