Andrew Wilson will reflect on his career at Mizzou at some point — just not anytime soon

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Andrew Wilson isn’t looking

back. Not yet.

The Missouri football team’s redshirt

senior middle linebacker doesn’t have time for that just yet. There

will be time for that eventually. Ain’t nobody got time for that

now.

“Career’s not done, man,” Wilson says. “So not

yet. People keep telling me to take the time and reflect and stuff, but I

haven’t done that yet.”

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound

middle ‘backer has been a key part of Mizzou’s 11-1 Southeastern

Conference East Division champion squad and his focus right now is on

Auburn and what he needs to do to help his team win the SEC championship

game on Saturday in Atlanta.

Wilson said he watched

90 minutes of Auburn film on Sunday night and two more hours on Monday

before meeting with reporters at the team’s weekly media session,

something he does so rarely that even the media relations department

folks were giving him some grief.

Then, naturally, he

was asked a question about his lack of talking.

“I’m not an overly talkative leader but I feel like I

say what needs to be said when it needs to be said,” he says, “and I

don’t yell a lot but I do what needs to be

done.”

Figuring out a way to slow down the running

attack of No. 3 Auburn (11-1, 7-1 SEC) is what needs to be done. War

Eagle has scored at least 30 points in eight consecutive games and is

averaging 318.3 yards on the ground per contest, which ranks first in

the 14-team SEC and fifth overall among FBS schools.

“It’s giving us headaches right now,” Mizzou

defensive coordinator Dave Steckel said of Auburn’s rushing attack.

“It’s a great offense. The scheme’s great. It’s very imaginative and

confusing. … We have a lot of work cut out for us.”

Wilson will be put on the spot Saturday in

Atlanta, similar to how he was last week against Texas

A&M and quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The

three-year starter recorded eight tackles, including two for losses, and

had one pass break-up against the Aggies. His two tackles for losses

came in the two series immediately after A&M had tied the score

at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter.

Those plays

helped set the tone as the defense stepped up

late.

“Andrew Wilson is a really good physical player

who has done a really good job,” Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel says. “He’s

had a great year. He’s a captain and a leader

also.”

Steckel says: “I think Andrew’s the ultimate

student of the game and because he studies football so much he’s

progressed and gotten really good fundamentally and knows his schemes

really well.”

Wilson has certainly made his mark at

Mizzou.

He led the team in tackles as a sophomore and

a junior and leads the Tigers again this fall with 87 — 14

ahead of the next closest player, safety Braylon Webb. Wilson also has

six tackles for losses, three pass break-ups, two quarterback hurries

and one fumble recovery.

And countless big hits.

Wilson was honored with the Tigers’ Team Hammer

Award for the most big hits in 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013.

“We might get a play where Andrew flies down and

knocks a guy out,” linebacker Donovan Bonner says. “It fuels us. It

fuels the sideline. Everyone. Coaches. Everyone involved. He’s been

doing that for years. It seems like 10 years. He’s been doing that for

four or five years now. He’s a great

player.”

Wilson’s father, Jay, was also a great

player at Mizzou from 1980-83. He was an All-Big Eight linebacker in

1983 and left the school as Mizzou’s career tackle record holder with

323, which now ranks 12th.

The younger Wilson was

informed on Monday that he’s closing in on his dad’s mark. Andrew, with

306 tackles in his Mizzou career, needs 17 more to move past his father

and has two games to do it.

“I’m not really thinking

about that,” Wilson says.

While the middle

linebacker isn’t ready to reflect on his career just yet, he knows he’s

fortunate that he’s been a part of this incredible run this season.

He bleeds black and gold and has been one of the

driving forces this fall in the Tigers’ SEC East title and berth in the

SEC championship game.

“It’s huge, man,” Wilson

says. “I’ve been a Mizzou fan my whole life so it’s awesome to get to do

this while I’m here.”

You can

follow Nate Latsch on Twitter (@natelatsch) or email him at

natelatsch@gmail.com.