COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - After four years with Brad Smith at quarterback and three with Chase Daniel, Missouri fans have grown accustomed to a lot of offense.
So sophomore Blaine Gabbert knows all eyes will be on him Saturday when the Tigers open the season against Illinois in St. Louis.
Daniel won 30 games over three seasons and put up extravagant individual numbers, including school records with 12,515 career passing yards and 101 touchdown passes.
Smith was impressive for his legs and his arm, becoming the first player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to pass for 8,000 yards and rush for 4,000.
Coach Gary Pinkel says he has confidence in Gabbert, who was among the nation's most heavily recruited quarterbacks when he came out of Parkway West High School in suburban St. Louis.