Missouri sophomore running back Tyler Badie knows his role for the Tigers this season.

As part of one of the best one-two tandems in the Southeastern Conference along with junior Larry Rountree, Badie wants to move the Tigers forward anytime he has the ball in his hands.

Badie was more than up to the task Saturday in the season opener at Wyoming. While on the field for most of the snaps in the second half, Badie responded with a team-leading 53 yards on 16 attempts and a fourth-quarter touchdown in a 37-31 loss to the Cowboys.

The touchdown was Badie's first since Nov. 17 against Vanderbilt last season.

“I just want to be an every-down back," Badie said. "Coach (Cornell) Ford says every day he doesn’t just want me to run the ball or catch the ball, he wants an every-down back, so that’s my biggest thing — to become an every-down back.”

Ford was high on Badie’s performance against Wyoming last Saturday.

“Solid. I think Tyler has come a long way," the MU running backs coach said. "Our biggest thing for him is that he has to stay healthy throughout a whole season — it’s 12 games. We’ve also preached to him about getting a little bigger and stronger. He’s very, very smart so understanding the system has never been an issue. It’s just been about the physicality of the game and being available week in and week out.

"When you are a smaller guy, you have to take care of yourself, so for the maturity standpoint from him, that’s big, and hopefully now he is doing all the necessary things off the field to keep him on the field."

Badie made a huge impression last year in his first season with the Tigers, when he was named by coaches to the SEC all-freshman team. The standout finished his first season with 809 all-purpose yards in 12 games, including 437 yards rushing and two touchdowns for an average of 4.9 yards per carry. Badie also led all MU running backs with 130 yards receiving on 12 catches.

Badie’s best game of the season last year came in Week Four against Georgia at home. In a 43-29 loss to the Bulldogs, Badie recorded a career-high 142 all-purpose yards and one touchdown while averaging 9.5 yards per carry. He also had 103 all-purpose yards at South Carolina on Oct. 6 and followed that up with 99 all-purpose yards at Purdue on Oct. 15.

Badie stands to benefit from putting on 20 pounds during the offseason. He said he feels more explosive and more like a complete back.

“I just want to show that I can take hits and play every down,” Badie said. “I just need to be more physical, that’s always the best thing. I just want to be the most physical guy on the field and work on my pass blocking to help the team in any way I can.”

Badie made an impact on the ground and through the air for the Tigers in their opener, adding seven catches for 49 yards.

Ford said ideally he would like to get Badie and Rountree equal touches.

“Tyler probably had way too many plays in the ballgame, although some games are going to call for it. If he does, he just has to grind through it, which he did. I thought he did a good job with it, but we would like to go 50-50 with Tyler and Larry and then at the end of the game who’s hot — hopefully they both are — and keep them in there and keep the rotation going.”

Badie said the touches are great but he doesn’t need to carry the load. He said he prepares the same no matter if he’s in the game or if it's Rountree.

“If my name is called I will be ready to go, so I prepare every day like I am the No. 1 back,” Badie said. “It’s a competitive field, but we always want the best for each other, so we always push each other to do their best.”

Badie was at his best last week against Wyoming and hopes to continue that every game from here on out.