Posted: 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013
By Bill C.
2010: 5 targets, 3 catches (60%), 23 yards (4.6/target), 0 TD
2011: 39 targets, 23 catches (59%), 414 yards (10.6/target), 5 TD
2012: 84 targets, 47 catches (56%), 534 yards (6.4/target), 3 TD
Bill C.: Marcus Lucas picked the wrong time to struggle. At a time when Mizzou was desperate for someone to step up in the passing game -- with shaky options at quarterback, with a porous offensive line still trying to figure things out (and find a lineup that doesn't have to change every week) -- Lucas started dropping passes. It was particularly notable against Vanderbilt. James Franklin sprained his MCL, Dorial Green-Beckham was suspended, and Corbin Berkstresser needed a go-to guy; and Lucas caught four of 12 passes for 54 yards.
Because his failures were so visible and ill-timed, a couple of games defined the season for Lucas. But he looked pretty good late in the year. We give DGB the credit for the Tennessee win, but Lucas' tiptoeing, third-down touchdown in the second overtime was every bit as vital as what DGB did. And four of his five catches in that game came in the second half or overtime.
Marcus Lucas isn't as physically blessed as DGB, but no one is. He is a big target with solid ball skills and good enough speed. He was a four-star receiver in high school, and we saw why, especially in 2011. If DGB does more DGB things this year, then Lucas could be one hell of a No. 2 target. He wasn't ready to be a No. 1 in 2012, but he might not have to be this fall.
MizzouRugby: Hopefully for Lucas, the case of alligator arms that plagued him last year will subside, and he will once again show his talent as a big, physical WR. If not, well, he may be a starter in name only.
The Beef: Lucas has a great chance to make people forget the slow ascension which did not befit his recruiting ranking if he comes through with a great year for the Tigers. But at this point, I just dont know what weapon number he will be (assuming DGB will be weapon #1 per much of the off-season talk).
countrycal: Marcus seemed to me to be made to order for Berkstresser’s fastballs, but they just didn’t seem to gel and he let too many catchable balls get past him last year. He is going to have to prove he can catch the ball consistently or he may find himself odd man out this year with all the talent around him. Here’s hoping he and Franklin make a connection and he has a great season and puts to rest past problems.
D-Sing: Lucas will have to keep his eyes on the ball if he wants to make an impact this season. Otherwise he won’t see the field. I think it’s that simple. There’s enough other talent that he could easily slip down the depth chart. I like to think that the spot as the starting "X" receiver is his to lose with a very slim margin for error. I think we will find out very quickly this season if Lucas will make the impact that we’ve been expecting for some time now.