Willie Springer (@WillieSTL)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Going into the 2012 home finale looking to become bowl eligible for the eighth consecutive season, the Missouri Tigers will be without their best defensive player in down lineman Sheldon Richardson.

The St. Louis native, who played at Gateway High School, has been a disruptive force against opponents for the Mizzou defense in his second full season. Through 10 games, Richardson’s tied for the team-lead with 70 total tackles while also posting 9.5 tackles for a loss, 4.0 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries including one returned for 60 yards against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 33-10 Homecoming win.

With or without Richardson, the Tigers will have their hands full with the Syracuse Orange as they enter after knocking off the previously undefeated Louisville Cardinals 45-26 a week ago. Ranked 23rd overall in the NCAA for total offense, the Orange have more success scoring when the running the ball well. In their 5 wins, they have averaged over 200 rush yards.

Richardson’s suspension was reportedly not the result of a legal matter, but due to an academic related violation.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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