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.

    Tommy Lock is Drew's cousin, a freshman walk-on. I'd say he's fifth on the depth behind Bazelak, Cook, Macon and Jack Samsel, another walk-on.
    Mizzou's defense is getting shredded by run plays. 450+ yards on the ground is a complete annihilation. Being worried about leaving ourselves "vulnerable to the pass" right now is like wearing a winter coat in the summer just in case it gets cold. Meanwhile we sweat ourselves to death. Of course if the O comes out in a 4 wide set or empty backfield we need to cover WRs, but many of these runs that UT, BC and UK ripped off were not from those formations. Lying there getting beaten to death with a team's running game and not loading more people in the box seems foolish to me. This is 3 games in a row where we've used the same style of D and the results have been worse and worse. Something on the field has to change. We can't get new players so it has to be the scheme. Am I missing something?
  • Missouri did not use the same style of D against Tennessee. It was a completely different alignment and package. I understand you want to stop the run, but you have to match up with the offense's personnel. You can't leave receivers uncovered outside.
  • what is your prediction for their record for the rest of the season for the football team? Any real chance to beat anyone other than North Texas and Vanderbilt?
    Texas A&M is beatable by anyone who can score 17 points. The Aggies can't move the ball whatsoever.
    South Carolina is beatable, too.
    I'm not predicting Mizzou will win both of those games, but they're at home against teams that have been less than impressive. 
    MU should be a decided underdog against everyone else: Georgia, Florida and Arkansas.
    I'll say they find a way to win three more games and finish 5-7. 
    Why fire a coach when you still have to him? Why just give a different assignment or demotion? Make him an analyst or full time recruiter. Something other than a high priced couch jockey. That tells me it was a toxic situation.
    You've got to cut the cord. That's why midseason coaching changes are risky, especially financially.
    Everyone around MU football was feeling great during the off-season as Coach Drink piled up impressive future recruits. Now it’s all gone splat. Reminds me of when Scott Frost became head coach at Nebraska. All the hype about a coach and recruiting doesn’t mean squat if it doesn’t translate to success on the field.
    Well, let's not forget, the Drinkwitz hype was also built on substance: This team was better than anyone expected last year. Despite some obvious flaws, the Tigers still had impressive wins over LSU, Kentucky and Arkansas and a road win at South Carolina. I understand those teams weren't great last year, but MU finished alone in third place in the SEC last year despite rampant roster issues because of COVID cases, injuries and transfers. Drinkwitz was a real contender for SEC coach of the year up until the final two games of the season. It hasn't been all empty hype.
    Is Ennis likely out for the season? Medical redshirt? Not sure of an ACL recovery time in todays modern medicine.
    He's not coming back this year from an ACL tear. This year won't count toward his eligibility because he only appeared in four games.
    Davey, whos on your short list to replace Jethro?
  • Well, it's Al Davis' job for the next seven games. If we see obvious progress, it wouldn't shock me if he keeps the job in 2022.
  • Mizzou had 9 penalties for 97 yards while Tennessee had 2 penalties for 20 yards. Bazelak made the comment after the game that he thought the refs were picking on Mizzou. The 3 holding penalties looked legit in the first half. The horse collar penalty while it looked very much like a horse collar except he had the back of his jersey and never touched the collar is what I saw. Missouri was frustrated and frustration can lead to penalties.
    Agreed. I think anytime you have three holding calls in a six-play span early in a game - and that's what happened on the second series - that could be the result of the opposing team telling the officials to watch for holding. If that's the case, that's smart coaching on Tennessee's part. To his credit, after reviewing the game, Drinkwitz said all three holds called on the O-line were the right call. Mizzou was very undisciplined and looked poorly coached on both sides of the ball.
    Any updates on the health of Mookie Cooper? Seems like is best skill (speed) is neutralized with this injury. Might it be best to get him to 100% before putting him in games?
    Drinkwitz took some questions from the audience during his radio show last night and confirmed that Cooper was back to 100 percent and will play Saturday.
    Here's more from Drinkwitz's radio show. He seemed to elaborate more with Mike Kelly on the radio show than he did with the media on Tuesday. 
    * Drinkwitz opened discussing inured cornerback Ennis Rakestraw Jr. who suffered a torn ACL during individual drills in Tuesday’s practice. Rakestraw first hurt his knee against Kentucky and missed the next game against Southeast Missouri. “He has really been battling his way back. Great energy, great focus,” Drinkwitz said. “We’re going to get him healthy again.”
    * Tuesday was “a spirited practice,” Drinkwitz said. “Good energy, good physicalness. … We were embarrassed with what we put on the field Saturday. The only way to get over that embarrassment is to get back to work.”
    * Kelly asked Drinkwitz to identify the biggest challenge his team faces. “Confidence,” he said. “Confidence for both sides of the ball. A confidence we can run the ball when we want to and establish the line of scrimmage. … Defensively, confidence in what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.”
    * On his decision to fire D-line coach Jethro Franklin, Drinkwitz said, “It wasn’t improving. We need to see marked improvement and growth. I wasn’t seeing it.”
    * Drinkwitz said he wants to see three things develop under the watch of newly promoted D-line coach Al Davis: “I want to see better fundamentals, better pad level, and more aggressive play.”
    * The Tigers have done tackling drills every day in practice this week.
    * Drinkwitz doesn’t release an injury report until Thursday nights, but he made one exception for a fan’s question from the audience. On the status of receiver Mookie Cooper, Drinkwitz said, “He’s full speed. He’s ready to go. We look forward to him playing. He’s not held back at all. He’s ready to play.”
    Cooper sat out the Tennessee game while nursing a foot injury suffered in preseason camp.
    * On Connor Bazelak’s game-ending interception at Boston College, Drinkwitz said, “I don’t fault the decision. I knew what he was trying to do. He just didn’t execute.” Drinkwitz said Bazelak had more issues Saturday against Tennessee. “We can’t throw the ball over the middle of the field when we’re getting pressure. Sometimes you have to take the sack.”
    * Drinkwitz called right guard Case Cook the toughest player on the team after he came back from his injury but was showed some rust against the Vols.
    Do you think the era of giving a coach 4 or 5 years to revamp a program is gone? I realize that, A) Drink is making $4 million and with that comes 4 million reasons to win, quickly and, B) Mizzou wasn't in as bad a situation as Kentucky was when Stoops took over but it seems to me that if fans are both patient - and supportive - by 2023 and 2024, Drink is likely to have something very much worth watching.
    Great question. There's definitely more pressure to win faster because of the money schools are investing in the coaches and their staff. I guess it depends on what a school reasonably expects as the end game to their rebuilding process. If Mizzou doesn't consider the program rebuilt until Drinwkitz wins an SEC championship - and leaps past Alabama, Georgia, etc. - then he better look for a different job now, because that's just not realistic. I think the expectation should be to get the program in the position where winning eight games is the standard. Put some heat on the best teams in the division without sinking to the league's lower class. One off year every decade is excusable - but never two in a row. And then, every few years the pieces are aligned so you can win 10 games and head into late November still alive in the division race. I think that's a fair expectation ... because Mizzou flew in that air space from 2006 to 2014 - in two conferences.
    Does Justin Smith have any interest in coaching full time?
  • Nope. He's got a pretty good life right now. College coaches work 50 weeks a year and spend endless hours recruiting. Justin made more than $70 million in NFL earnings. He's set for life. He doesn't need the coaching lifestyle.
  • Do you have any idea if Craig Kuligowski would ever consider coaching at MU again?
    Well, considering he's at Toledo making far less than SEC market price for position coaches, I imagine he'd be interested in such a job. But I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Mr. Cleo, how many points could Tenn have scored against Mizzou if Josh went all gas no brakes for 4 quarters?
    Now do we get to see the serious side of Drink? I recall back in the honeymoon era when Drink was owning the room you had mentioned something about how his demeanor could change when facing adversity and some tough losses.
    He's in midseason crisis mode mood these days. Brief answers to questions. No zingers, no jokes. 
    That's fine. I wouldn't be in a great mood if I were him either.
    Maybe Ted Lasso returns in the offseason. 
    Will Drinkwitz be a "warmed over" Jeremy Pruitt? Besides the recruiting violations Pruitt's two big issues were 1) struggling with hiring competent assistants and 2) inability to develop players. Also is the the potential downside of hiring young coaches?
  • I'm not sure that's the comparison I'd make. I think the closer comp could be Jeff Brohm at Purdue. He made a big splash early with an innovative offense and an early recruiting surge. That landed him a huge contract bump, which looks like a bad deal for Purdue.  
    But I still think it's way too early to write off Drinkwitz - just like I thought it was foolish to talk about a contract extension and raise for going 5-5 and signing a top 25 recruiting class. Give it time. He's got four more years on a very lucrative contract. 
  • Was it more that the DL flat out quit or was it a schematic disaster?
    What's a schematic disaster about a base four-man front? That's what MU has played all year aside from the first five possessions vs. Tennessee. There's nothing unique about Wilks' 4-2-5 base package. It's the standard scheme you see in the NFL and throughout college football. And I can't say the D-line quit. They just can't get off blocks and don't win 1-on-1 battles.
    Any idea who the men's BB starting 5 will be this year?
    If I had to guess after watching yesterday's scrimmage, I'd go with something like ... 
    Boogie Coleman at point guard, Amari Davis an Javon Pickett at the 2/3 positions, Kobe Brown at the four and ... maybe Jordan Wilmore at center. 
    Anton Brookshire will play some point. DaJuan Gordon will see time on the wing, maybe as a starter. Sean Durugordon can play some guard/wing off the bench. Ronnie DeGray can play the three or four. Trevon Brazile can play the four or five. Yaya Keita will get time at both also. Brown can play the five if you need him to for stretches. 
    What is it going to take for Drinkwitz to get the MU program to a level of the Cincinnati Bearcats? I know Cincinnati is in a much lesser league than the SEC but when they do play power 5 teams they beat them. They beat Indiana and Notre Dame the last 2 weeks on the road. They beat Georgia in a bowl game last year and BC in a bowl game the year before. Meanwhile back in COMO, the Tigers took massive steps backwards vs TN. I would have also liked to win one of the road games at KY or at BC. This team takes 1 step forward and 2 steps backward. I watched part of the ND Cincinnati game and it was much more competitive than the MU-TN game.
    You must have turned off the Peach Bowl before Georgia beat Cincinnati with a last-second field goal. Either way, beating one or two Power 5 teams a year is a lot different than having to it every week in actual Power 5 conference. Cincinnati is a very strong program right now. I'm not sure we'd be saying the same if the Bearcats played SEC or Big Ten foes every week. 
    That said, Mizzou needs to worry about catching up with Kentucky, not Cincinnati. There's two ways to rule the SEC East middle class and threaten the Georgias and Floridas: Recruit top 20 classes every year and beat out established powers for a handful of players ... or recruit top 35-40 classes and hit on some hidden gems and develop three-star prospects into five-star players. Both ways are hard to do in the SEC. But not impossible.
    Were Tennessee’s first stringers on the field when the Tigers scored a touchdown in the 3rd and 4th quarters or did they score against their 2nd team?
    The Vols played 27 players on defense in that game, per Pro Football Focus, but nine of those guys played fewer than 10 snaps. The first-team secondary played almost the entire game. There was more substituion at linebacker and along the D-line. The Vols defense was almost exclusively backups in the fourth quarter.
    Change gears from football...why are volleyball and soccer so bad this year?
  • Volleyball overhauled its roster this offseason. New coach, new staff, new system in soccer. This was always going to be a rebuild here. We'll see if Stefanie Golan can recruit.
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