COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — In a season filled with as many negatives as positives, Missouri knows it has an equalizer in Marcus Murphy.
For good reason.
Murphy's four kick returns for touchdowns are a school record, one he needed only seven games to set.
He leads the nation with three punt returns and ranks 10th with an average of 15.4 yards per return. His kickoff return average of 31.4 yards would rank sixth in the country, though he hasn't returned enough kickoffs to officially qualify.
With Missouri (4-4, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) gaining its fewest yards per game since 1995, Murphy's breakout performance couldn't come at a better time for the Tigers. Establishing field position has been critical, and Murphy likely will be counted on again as the team travels to face No. 8 Florida (7-1, 6-1) and its sixth-ranked defense.