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Witter quietly powers Mizzou's rising running game

COLUMBIA, MO. • Two years ago, Ish Witter was Missouri’s leading rusher by default.

Now, he’s doing it by design — at least the past four weeks.

When sophomore starting running back Damarea Crockett needed shoulder surgery after a loss at Georgia Oct. 14, Barry Odom and his offensive staff never flinched at putting the running game into the hands of Witter, their senior, and understudy Larry Rountree III, a promising freshman.

They’ve since combined to supply a rejuvenated ground game that’s become the backbone of Mizzou’s four-game winning streak. Sure, Drew Lock has produced record-chasing numbers the last four weeks — with a nation’s best 35 touchdown passes, he needs five more for the MU single-season record and six for the Southeastern Conference record — but it’s been a progressively potent running game that’s established an identity for coordinator Josh Heupel’s offense.