Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Join Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter for his live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday

Bring your Tigers football, basketball and recruiting questions, and talk to Dave Matter in a live chat at 11 a.m. Thursday.

    I'd guess right around 50,000. It's an SEC game. Tennessee will have plenty of orange in the crowd. I don't think the MU bandwagon has totally emptied out. Heck, there are more people in today's chat than previous weeks, so the interest is still there. 
    Glass half full: should we taking any consolation that our losses have been close scores rather than blowouts like last year?
    Of course. Mizzou is a few plays away from being 4-0. In the five games Mizzou lost last year, all five were over by the start of the fourth quarter - and in some cases all but over early in the third quarter.
    Good afternoon, Dave, and congrats on the well-deserved award.

    One-third of the way through the season. What SEC teams do you see falling back from their current perch in the final two-thirds and which SEC teams do you see moving up from their current status?

    Also, be careful NCAA athletes and ADs. The ruling yesterday essentially placing athletes at private institutions in the employee category with the option to strike if they wish may not be a good thing. One adds this to the NIL changes .... there is a reason fans have turned away from professional sports. Pure amateurism long disappeared. Are there storm clouds on the horizon? Thanks for your time.
    Thanks for the note.
    Clearly A&M is slipping. The QB injury has changed everything about that team it seems. Arkansas still has some mighty tough tests ahead. If they're a top 10 by the time Mizzou visits on Black Friday, the Hogs will have earned it. Auburn didn't exactly respond well to its gritty effort at Penn State and could be facing a four or five-loss season if they lose to LSU on Saturday. 
    In the East, I'm impressed with Florida. They're better than I would have expected. Georgia is Georgia. Just relentless on defense - and getting better on offense. 
    As for NIL and the recent ruling, I don't see it impacting the sport's popularity. That was all fear mongering by the dinosaurs who rule the sport and want to convinced the public that the sport will crumble if the quarterback starts selling T-shirts with his own logo. The TV ratings are enormous this season.
    Okay, now "Part 2" stemming from my previous post:
    Now I of course do not blame MU fans who would like to attend but can't due to economic reasons, they might work on Saturdays, or they might live far out of MO. in another state. Or they understandably might still feel the need to be extra cautious about Covid19.
    But I DO blame the fans who don't show up for the aforementioned factors that I listed in my prior post. Believe me, I hate being harsh on fellow MU fans--even casual/ frontrunner types--but those kinds of fans seem to be clueless about the following ways they hurt the football program by not showing up: 1. We have 2nd worst attendance  in SEC so far this year after Vandy. Embarrassing.
    2. It's a bad look on TV to see all those empty seats and fans of other SEC schools hate us for it. I imagine the powers-that-be in charge of the SEC aren't too crazy about it either.
    3. The type of fans I'm referring to have no sense of how filling Faurot Field to the rafters helps energize the team and truly gives us a stronger home-field advantage.
    4. The type of fans I'm referring to have no idea how all those empty seats they won't fill might have an effect on highly-touted recruits who visit Mizzou on gamedays and ultimately commit to another school that they see as having a more passionate fanbase. I'm very nervous now that someone like Luther Burden will not end up choosing us on Oct 20th when he announces his choice because of this factor.
    Thanks Dave for letting me vent if nothing else!
    If Luther Burden's decision is coming down to crowd size, then Mizzou would never be one of his final choices. He'd be looking at Alabama, Penn State and Michigan. But he's not. Mizzou is in the mix for other reasons. The proximity and relationships with MU's coaches are clearly factors for him. Mizzou's fan base is what it is at this point. The sellouts will come AFTER a great season, not during it. That's the reality. Mizzou has tried new ADs. Tried new ticket sale strategies. Tried new fundraising incentive policies. Tried new suites. It's all been tried. But the truth lies in the history. Mizzou hit 70,000 capacity just once in 2007. Some big crowds, yes. 
    Coaches notice. Current coaches notice. They've learned quickly. 
    Drinkwitz's tone about attendance has shifted dramatically in recent weeks. He's gone from challenging fans to fill the stadium to thanking the ones who show up. He knows what he's up against. There's a loyal base of fans that will show up every week. He's grateful for their support. But Mizzou could hire a the JV coach at Hickman High and that same base would show up to support him every week. Filling in the margins is more difficult. To fill the stadium - even at a reduced capacity - won't happen until after Drinkwitz proves he can win at a national level. And until then, MU won't have anything close to that full home-field advantage like other SEC programs. 
    And I don't mean that as an indictment on Mizzou fans. It's just the reality of having a college football program in a pro sports state in 2021. 
  • Should I be more frustrated with Carlies not making the solo tackle to prevent the TD (just really bad optics, BTW) or with the DL and LBs for letting the runner get to the third level, and then not helping Carlies out?
    He seemed to have the back lined up pretty good and still missed the tackle. Either way, it's not like BC wouldn't have scored a play later from the goal line.
    How much confidence do we have in the strength coach? Clearly our DL needs to be bigger and stronger.
    I don't know if that's the issue. Mizzou's O-line has been pretty stout the last two years. Big dudes on that O-line.
    Speaking of neutral-site games played in JerryWorld, any idea what in the heck a fairly blah match-up between KSU and Stanford was doing being played there a few weeks ago?
    It was the All-State Kickoff Classic. The teams were selected to play there. Pretty good payoff, I imagine.
    This just in: The UM System Board of Curators unanimously approved the naming rights of the new indoor football practice facility: Stephens Indoor Facility, named for donors Brad and Rachel Stephens. Here's a comment from Deiree Reed-Francois: “Brad and Rachel are generous, loyal and passionate supporters of our University and it has been a privilege to get to know them both since I arrived in Columbia,. The Stephens’ set a high bar in their commitment and support of Missouri Athletics and we are so grateful for their generosity. I want to thank all of those who helped make this commitment a reality. This facility will be world-class and will have an immediate impact on the student-athlete experience and on propelling us towards our championship expectations.”
    The $33 million project is slated to be complete by the summer of 2023.
    Regarding Drink's dismissal of Ryan Walters last year as DC: is it possible Drinkwitz jumped the gun on that one? Yes, I know the defense was atrocious the last couple of games last season. But they were also down to the proverbial women & children playing so many key positions on their defense due to a slew of injuries and Covid 19 issues. Am I wrong to think Drinkwitz should've given Walters the benefit of the doubt because of that and brought him back this year? Let's not forget, there were also at least several great games by the defense that come to mind offhand last year that as of now looks like will take a freaking miracle for this current defense to replicate in any game this season. Is this possibly a thing where a new head coach's ego got in the way and he was just determined to get rid of the guy leftover from the previous staff so he could bring in his own chosen guy in Wilks?
    I don't think Walters was ever part of the long-term plans. Drinkwitz wanted some continuity on that side of the ball for his first year. Then after the season he expressed a clear desire to play a different style defensively. He wanted his own guy in place.
    Totally agree with you about playing schools in far-away places and how the players and even the fans enjoy it! That's one of the reasons I found Drink's comments about playing BC last week so surprising and disappointing.
    Coaches look at everything through the recruiting prism. Everything. That's why he made the crack about playing "in the great state of Massachusetts." It should be noted, Drinkwitz's extended family - dad and brother and brother's family - made the trip to Boston a few days early to see all the sights. So, clearly there's value for the fans in playing a game in a unique location.
    Speaking of, I visited Boston for the first time last week. Spent four nights there and really loved everything about the city. Probably my favorite big American city I've ever visited. So much history, so many great food and drink options. It's not cheap and transportation isn't always super convenient, but I'd highly recommend a trip there sometime.
    I went to the Red Sox-Yankees game Friday night. Great seats behind third base. (Thank you, Mrs. Matter, for the birthday present.) What an experience. I had no rooting interest, but every at-bat was like the ninth inning of the World Series. Fans from both sides were tremendous. Loud and intense but civil and friendly. Lots of families in the house. A great vibe all around the stadium. Best part: Surprisingly affordable prices for food and drinks, at least compared to the prices at Busch Stadium. 
    Kudos on the well-deserved award. Your refusal to pull punches, especially in these chats, gives us all tremendous insights.

    HCED said before the season that he wanted to go deep more often. SEMO aside, is he doing that? If not, is it about Bazelak, the play calls, or the defensive schemes?
    Let's look at the numbers. Bazelak appeared in 10 games last year but really only played significant snaps in nine. For the year, he attempted 50 passes that traveled 20 yards or more. Divide that by nine and it's 5.6 per game. 
    This year, through four games, he's attempted 24. So, right at six per game. A slight uptick.
    Not bad considering Kentucky all but shuts down a team's deep passing game by its coverages. Also, Bazelak didn't play the second half against SEMO. 
    I see all the chatter about losing HCED seems to have died down,
    Give it another win or two.
    Dave ---- MIzzou's defense. Sometimes fans just need to take a deep breath and admit the defense in 2021 is just not very good. Facts and statistics are a tough thing to dispute. The "freebie" year of the transfer portal was, I believe, cruel to our defense beyond what many of us thought. And what has the recruitment of defensive players yielded the last say 3-4 years?
  • The standards for what makes good defense in 2021 are very different. As Drinkwitz said, "Offenses are really good." 
    That said, if you're last or close to last in the SEC or among the Power 5s, you're clearly not doing it as  well as your peers. There's huge room for improvement with this group. You can be average on defense and compete for championships in 2021 as long as you have an elite offense. But you can't be terrible on defense and compete for anything. 
  • I saw a few minutes of Tennessee's game w/ Florida (admittedly, first half) but they didn't look as bad as I thought they would. They've had probably more roster turnover than any SEC team in the last year or so. I was expecting a bigger blowout (which didn't happen until the QB change in the second half, from what I understand).
    You needed to watch the second half to get a clearer picture. 
    Florida looked like it had an Alabama hangover in the first half. Then the true Vols showed up. It was a mess. Botched snaps. Dropped passes. Missed tackles. UT had two big plays in the first half: A screen pass that went for a TD  and a deep ball down the sideline that beat Florida's covearge. Otherwise, it was a total mismatch. 
    Tennessee can win Saturday, but they really don't do anything particularly well. The two QBs are very inconsistent. The backs are solid and potent if both are running well. There's some talent at receiver but lots of drops: 10 through four games. Heupel's best offenses always have really strong O-lines. This one isnt't there yet. 
    So I saw earlier in the week where a UT running back took a shot at Mizzou, saying something to the effect of he's going to have fun running on Mizzou's horrible run-defense. Okay, I think I've seen you say in the past that you think such things are silly, that no Division I college player should need such a thing for motivation, etc.
    But Dave, with our Bob Stull-Era run defense, my goodness, why not try to give the players any kind of extra edge & motivation they can get with bulletinboard material? It certainly can't hurt!
    Here's my prediction: Should Mizzou win this game - by a last-second field goal or four touchdowns - Drinkwitz and his players and most definitely the team's social media account will make a reference to the "we're going to have some fun" comment by Tiyon Evans.
    Drinkwitz will open his postgame interview. "He was right. Boy, that was fun." The Mizzou tweet machine will do the same. "Sure was fun, Vols" or something like that. 
    I like it. The more jabs and zingers back and forth give us more to talk about each week. It's what makes college football so ridiculously fun each week.
    I'm running short on time so I'll get to as many questions as possible. Lightning round ...
    Looks like the net effect of the transfer portal will turn out to be negative this year, but what’s a coach to do?
    For Mizzou? I'm not sure about that. THe Tigers could sure use Tre Williams right now. But don't forget, he left MU for Houston ... then resurfaced at Arkansas. 
    Evans is a solid starter at cornerback. It's not Alldredge's fault that Mizzou doesn't have anyone better at linebacker. He's been better than most players on that defense. 
    I'm still steamed about the Bazelak interception in OT. His stats on passes more than 10 yards are not good...or worse. Why put the whole game on the line with a 25 yd throw? He said this week he was not unhappy with the decision to throw that pass, but that seems to be a very low probability choice. When Drinkwitz calls a play, how much flexibility is left to the QB to execute? I doubt coach called for that throw.
    But Drinkwitz called a play that included a fly route to Chism in the end zone. If he didn't want there to be a possiblity Bazelak makes that throw, don't call that play.
    I like the approach. Kill shot. Go after the same corner Chism had beaten all day long. Don't extend the game any longer. Score the quick TD and try the 2-point conversion so the defense doesn't see the field for another week. But the execution was poor.
    who get the robe tomorrow?
  • I have no faith in anyone but Shawn Robinson.
  • Does Josh chunk it all over the field or follow the blueprint of running down our throats?
    Depends what Mizzou gives him. Stack the box and he'll throw. Play coverage, he'll run all day.
    Hi Dave,
    Any insight on the Luther Burden decision? Does it hurt Mizzou's chances that he's making his decision shortly after his Georgia visit?
    I don't know if it hurts or helps. It makes more sense for him to schedule his announcement after his visit to Georgia. He's been to Mizzou plenty of times.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement