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 wouldn't expect major changes on the defense. They don't need dramatic schematic changes. They need to stay off blocks, tackle better, take better angles and play tighter coverage without committing penalties. Easier said than done, but Wilks seemed to think the bye was a valuable chance to focus on those fundamental parts of the game that normally you handle during preseason camp.
    I'm no football coach but when I watch Bazelak, he seems to work at about 75% pace. Looking at it, on TV, that speed at which he works appears to allow for a defense to read and react quickly enough to negate what the offense is trying to do. Do you see that?
    His strength has always been that he stays calm and poised in the pocket. I think it's a good thing that he doesn't get rattled or jittery back there when he's making his reads. When he's at his best, when his mechanics are in sync with his mind, then he's a really polished pocket passer. He gets himself in trouble when the pass rush forces him into bad habits and he loses that sense of calm. I asked him about that yesterday - look for a story Friday afternoon/Saturday morning - and he talked about some things he discovered watching film of the last few games during the bye week. The film taught him a lot.
    One disturbing pattern that has occurred in 5 out of the first seven Tiger football games so far is that their opponent has scored on their first offensive drive. Making it worse is Mizzou has lost the coin toss and their opponent goes on offense and gets an early TD and the Tigers almost immediately are playing from behind. They are behind and the other team gets the ball on the second kickoff.
    Yes, bad starts are a common problem with this team. It's something they tried to address during the bye week. We'll see if they figured anything out.
  • My continued subscription
    If the D can keep Vandy under 100 rushing yards, will that be a sign that the bye week has helped the D improve or how inept Vandy is?
    Both? I'd say keeping anyone under 100 yards is progress. Mizzou can't erase the first seven games on Saturday. It can only play against Vandy. If that's the result, they'd be pleased - as long as they don't give up 400 yards passing.
    What do you think of the new college overtime football rule that starting with the third overtime teams settle the game by two point attempts only? I was vaguely aware of the rule change, but did not realize how it would play out until I watched the Overtime of the Illinois-Penn St game that went 9 overtimes.
    I think it's an example of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The coaches were concerned about the injury risks of playing extra overtime periods. But does turning a game into a 2-point conversion contest cheapen the entire experience? I wouldn't mind going to 2-point conversion plays in the fifth or sixth overtime, but three is too early, in my opinion.
    Are the 2 defensive lineman who transferrred to Arkansas after last season the major reason why Mizzou’s defensive line so bad this year?
    It hasn't helped. Tre Williams was off to an All-SEC start for the Hogs. Markell Utsey is a good player, not what I'd consider elite. Both would clearly help this Missouri team. 
    But, remember, Williams didn't leave Mizzou for Arkansas after the season. He left during the 2020 season and headed to Houston ... then left there for Arkansas. It was my understanding his first choice was entering the NFL draft but he didn't get the feedback he wanted. 
    Hi Dave. Why did Coach Drink recruit Tyler Macon if he’s not going to play him? Doesn’t he realize that most of the fans left after halftime of the TN and TA&M games were there only to see a new QB? What has happened to our QB Whisperer? We are a boring offense that can only throw behind the chain passes. Your thoughts? Thanks
    The fans would have stayed if Macon played? Hmm, not sure about that. He's not even the backup. Drinkwitz has never publicly clarified, but I'm fairly certain Brady Cook is the true No. 2 and would be the first QB off the bench if Bazelak would get seriously hurt.
    Macon was not recruited to start as a freshman. Again, he hasn't played in a competitive game since 2019. 
  • Hi, Dave...I love your chats and the work you do. Whenever, I see your byline, it's an automatic click...I'm wondering if you have any insight on the success of the Mizzou Wrestling team and whether or not other coaches have approached Brian Smith for tips, insights or advice on how to build a winning culture within their programs. I noticed Coach Drink mentioned something the other day about "Mizzou Made" (I don't remember the exact phrasing), but it struck me as a riff off "TigerStyle" from the wrestling team. And on that note, do the coaches ever get together to share that kind of information?
    Nope. Gary Pinkel came up with Mizzou Made. That's 100 percent a Pinkel era phrase.
    I don't cover much wrestling for us. That's Joe Lyons' specialty for the Post-Dispatch, but I keep tabs on the program. 
    Dave,
    Both Texas and OU jointly are leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. One of these programs approached the other to start this process
    . Has there been any reporting on which one instigated this move? If not, care to wager a guess? Im excited for the move and hoping for a pods format.
    I'm not sure if I've ever read/heard if one school instigated the move more than the other. It's not a situation like 2011, when Texas A&M clearly made the first moves to leave the Big 12 and Missouri followed months later. 
    what do you think of new missou commit Luther Burden? Seems like he has a ton of upside potential, but what do you make of his "mission" to bring St. Louis-area recruits to the school? think it will stick?
    Ultimately it's going to be on the coaches to make that happen. The 2022 market doesn't really have any uncommitted St. Louis targets for Mizzou to grab, unless they flip some pledges. Seems unlikely at this point. But smart coaches always say that the best recruiters are players who have success on the field. The sooner Burden becomes an impact player for Mizzou, the sooner his presence can help MU recruit the next class of St. Louis targets.
    Good morning Dave, as always thanks for the chat opportunity. With the transfer portal totally changing the dynamics of recruiting. Do you see the surfaces on high school recruiting in the future? Especially with people leaning towards lack of patience with most programs. I envision a star system Or other ranking system for transfer portal athletes.
    Different programs will take different approaches. Clemson football doesn't recruit the portal. Some teams on the hoops side almost exclusively recruit the portal. I think the smartest coaches will focus on both approaches, but staffs with more security will probably rely less on quick fixes via the portal. In football, you can get a quick fix with transfers, but it's risky to rely solely on the portal, because if you're three, four years into a regime and suddenly you don't have established depth that you've been developing through high school recruits, your roster can turn to rot quickly.
  • Two weeks ago I mentioned the need for Drink to have a full-time offensive coordinator to focus full time on the offense, to include watching the position coaches, coach a position and development the weekly game plan for the next opponent. You responded by saying that several others have the same approach and the head coach calls the plays. Calling the plays and someone minding the offense 24/7 are two different things. You named A & M, FL, OU, Ohio State, Texas, Miss. St., and Duke. I checked their websites and they all except MSU (I couldn't figure out what they had and Leach may not know himself) have an Offensive Coordinator or Asst, Head Coach for Offense or Deputy Head Coach for Offense. Their experienced head coaches know they cannot recruit, handle the media, deal with alumni, be aware of the defense, coach a QB and develop a weekly game plan. They may however, call most of the plays during a game, something manageable if the OC has done his job.
    Keep in mind, in almost all of those cases, the coordinator title is just a justification for a higher salary. That's how this works. The head coaches still design the game plan and call the plays. But Drinkwitz doesn't do it all alone. He has an offensive staff. They collaborate on the game plan. He has an assistant head coach/running game coordinator in Marcus Johnson.
    Is there any hope that Mizzou can at least return to the consistency of the Dan Devine/Al Onofrio/Warren Powers years sometime soon? Something Gary Pinkel-like perhaps? It is amazing to me that a program like the University of Cincinnati, a program with really no kind of history, is #2 in the country while a program like Mizzou, with a pretty good history, seems to be spinning its wheels again. I realize the past is the past. I hope Drinkwitz is the The Man but, for now, it seems like Mizzou is still looking for the right coach - like they did after they fired Warren Powers and until they found (Thank goodness!) Gary Pinkel. Thanks for the chat, Dave.
    Mizzou surely should aim higher than the Onofrio/Powers years. Both coaches lost at least four games every season. They both had some big wins but never had what anyone would consider a great season. In their 14 seasons combined, they finished nationally ranked just three times - and peaked at No. 15 in Powers' first year.
    Pinkel achieved far more than both and twice had Mizzou a win away from playing for the national championship. That's the ultimate bar. But to eclipse the Pinkel years, that means you have to achieve more than the program has ever achieved in the game's modern era. That will be very, very hard to do over a sustained period of time. 
    Can Mizzou do that? It's possible. Probably unlikely. But it starts with recruiting - not just players but fans. 
    Do you see a surprise win on the rest of the schedule? Do you think we go to a bowl this year?
    It would take a surprise win to make a bowl game, beating either Florida at home or Arkansas on the road. 
    The Gators will probably be 6-4 when they visit Columbia in three weeks. The most impressive thing Florida has done this year is play Alabama close. They're beatable - but not if Missouri plays like it did against Tennessee and Texas A&M. The offense has to get back on track. The defense can't  be the worst in the country, obviously. 
    Arkansas could very well be 5-6 and playing for bowl eligibility when Mizzou visits Fayetteville on Black Friday. Like last year, the Hogs peaked early. Their body of work is still much better than Missouri's but the October Arkansas isn't nearly as good as September Arkansas. What will November look like? 
    Hello Dave,
    The one player I have enjoyed watching develop and produce over the years has been Javon Pickett. He's my favorite player because he always hustles and does not quit.
    Can we expect more PT for Javon this year? Seems like the newcomers will need a steadying influence on the floor. Talk to me.
    He might get some more shots especially early because you don't have established scorers like Dru Smith and Pinson. I've said since the start of last season that Pickett needs to shoot more from 3. He was making 40% of his 3s for most of last season. He's developed a really reliable 3-point shot. He played about 18 minutes a game last year, down from 27 his sophomore year. I could see him splitting the difference this year. He'll be at the 3 and can share time with guys like Gordon and DeGray, just depending on matchups and rotations.
    Dave,
    Mizzou fans are nuts and unrealistic. I graduated during the Chase Daniel years and remember other students complaining he couldn’t win the big games.
    I thought they were crazy to let Odom go without giving him longer, are crazy to bail on Drinkwitz so quickly and nuts for wanting Bazelak pulled after a couple rough games.
    That being said, it is ironic that Odom and Drinkwitz seem to be In the same position but opposite. Odom knows defense and hired questionable/regrettable offensive coordinators (Derek Dooley) and Drinkwitz is now in the same spot primarily for his defense coordinator hire. Fans need to calm down. Coordinators can be replaced if needed, these record breaking (for Mizzou) recruiting classes will still be helping Mizzou 4-5 years from now. It took Stoops at Kentucky almost a decade to get where they got this years.
    If Mizzou fans had similar patience we could achieve a similar result. Nick Saban is not waiting for Mizzou to have a job opening. Archie Manning is not coming to Mizzou.
  • I mostly agree. The problem is there's an inverse relationship between coaching salaries and patience. If a 37-year-old coach with one year of HC experience is going to command $24 million over six years, then he's going to be expected to deliver sooner than later. There's no 10-year grace period for a coach at that price, especially when he inherits a program that was five years removed from back to back division titles. Stoops won 10 games in year six at Kentucky. He finished tied for second in the SEC East in year four. Yes, UK has been patient - but he had success before this season. 
    I agree, there should be more patience in college football. But not patience just for the sake of patience. You've got to show some glimmers of hope early.
  • Can't you just block "Jon Rainvold"? His comments are beyond tedious.
    His comments don't rate anywhere near ridiculous compared to the posts you don't get to see.
    Who wears the robe on Saturday
    I recall Coach Drink calling a large amount of rollout plays for the offense last year that by and large seemed to be mostly effective. How come he's done so little of that this year--if even at all?
    I don't have any data that says they're not calling as many this year. Sometimes that's a strategy when you know you don't have very good pass protection. You get the QB out in space and neutralize the pass rush. Sometimes those rollouts are play-action passes. This is a wild stat. Per PFF, 26.2 percent of Bazelak's passes have been play-action this year. Last season? Exactly 26.2 percent also.
    Dave will you be attending Winners Bar & Grill or Losers Bar & Grill after the game?
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