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.

    Ok, chatters. Your time to vent is finally here. I've deleted and banned all the scum. (Man, if Drinkwitz thought his critics were losers, he should see some of the questions here that don't get published ...)
    Lots to discuss, I'm sure. I'll be here for the next couple of hours. I need to record Part 2 of this week's podcast with our special guest. Let's not waste any more time. 
    I don’t think Cook is the answer at QB. Unless Horn is way overrated I think his time is NOW. I’d rather let him take his lumps this season and be ready next year which I think is make or break for Drinkwitz. Any good SEC team has to have stud at QB. Cook doesn’t qualify. If he ends the season as the #1 QB there’s a tendency for him to be the starter next year. That won’t cut it.
    It’s obvious that Drinkwitz was DESPERATE to bring in a top flight transfer QB. That desperation speaks volumes about his lack of confidence in Cook to get the job done in spite of his protestations to the contrary.
    Drinkwitz was advertised as an offensive guru but in year 3 the results don’t support that reputation. Tennessee and Arkansas are way ahead of us with their new coaches which, in my mind, highlights Drinkwitz’s deficiencies.
    Drinkwitz is getting paid to make progress (which we haven’t seen) and make tough decisions when called for. Sticking with an underperforming Cook is not indicative of a leader who inspires confidence.
    I’ve been a season ticket holder since the Devine days. I’ve seen the worst, ergo, Woody’s Wagon and the Stull era. Drinkwitz is close to joining them. Muddling to a 6-6 record in year 3 without a clearly defined superior QB for year 4 doesn’t cut it. DFR’s success or failure is likely to depend on how she navigates the unfolding mess that is Mizzou football.
    I hope my harsh judgments are wrong, that K-State was a one off, that Cook blossoms and Mizzou rights the ship. In that eventuality I’ll rush beck to this forum and happily admit my misjudgment.
    That's a lot to digest. 
    If we don't see Sam Horn or Saturday, my guess is we don't see him in 2022, unless there's an injury or two. If Drinkwitz thought the freshman gives Mizzou the best chance to win, I believe he'd be on the field right now. That's clearly not the case. I understand the pro-Horn crowd - while understanding it's all based on his recruiting ranking, not actual observations of how he's done in practice. The backup QB who's never thrown an incomplete pass is always the most popular player on the team. That's been the case since Rutgers and Princeton played the first college game in 1869.
    I also understand concerns about sticking a true freshman behind a struggling offensive line. If the upside to playing Horn is to prepare him for 2023, then you're already waving the white flag on 2022 - and I believe it's far too early to do that. I've seen some pretty good Missouri teams recover from ugly early-season losses. That's not saying this team will rebound and win eight games. But for now, I think you have to go with the guy you trust the most to win games. If Cook remains the QB and Mizzou goes on an offensive drought in ugly losses to Auburn, Georgia and Florida, then sure, take the cover off the flashy freshman and take him out for a spin.
    Are we all losers for participating in this forum?
    Well, technically he said losers assemble in groups and complain. So, if that's all we're doing today, then, yes, I guess we qualify as losers. 
    Seriously, though, I understand where Drinkwitz is coming from on the criticism part. He's looking out for his players. Go plug Brady Cook's handle into a Twitter search and you'll find some nasty messages Mizzou fans sent him during and after the game. I'll never understand the impulse to insult a college player on social media and tag his/her name in the message so that they see it. But I don't understand most behavior on the internet. To some degree, it's the price of being a high-profile person in the spotlight. That doesn't make it right.
    If I were Drinkwitz's PR person, I'd advise against referring to critics as losers. It's fine if he believes everything he said, but maybe hold off on the loser talk. A lot of fans spent time and money to travel to Manhattan and sit through the rain and weather delays to watch that carnage. They're not losers - unless of course they're cursing out the QB on Twitter and tagging him to make sure he sees the message. 
    Calling out the crazy people on the Internet is like dropping yourself into an angry mob and shouting at them to say they're an angry mob of crazy people. Well, yes, that's understood. Reminding them is not going to solve anything. 
    Mark Stoops has done a great job with Kentucky football because they stuck with him through the early not so good years. Was there something that the athletic director and others saw in him that caused them to stick with him? Do you see something similar in Drinkwitz?
    Here's why Stoops has thrived a UK: He develops talent. His teams have an identity. For years they there known as a physical, run-first, defense-heavy teams that overcame a lack of elite skill with great player development and toughness. They're starting to recruit more NFL talent now - and that's why you're seeing them win 10 games and be more competitive with the better teams in the SEC? Sound familiar? It should. It's what Gary Pinkel did across two different conferences. 
    Drinkwitz is recruiting better than Stoops has ever recruited - if we're basing that solely on recruiting rankings. So, yes. There is hope - if you put stock in recruiting rankings. Through two games, though, most of the high school recruits in MU's two top 20 classes aren't seeing the field. The 2022 Tigers who have played  the most on offense and defense are essentially Barry Odom's players plus Drinkwitz's transfers. 
    Here's a breakdown: 
    * 15 offensive players have played 50 or more snaps: 6 are high school recruits/walk-ons who committed to Odom ... 3 are high school recruits who committed to Drinkwitz (Burden, Lovett, Tollison) ... 6 are college transfers who joined the team under Drinkwitz. 
    * 15 defensive players have played 40 or more snaps: 5 are high school recruits/walk-ons who committed to Odom ... 4 are high school recruits who committed to Drinkwitz ... 6 are college transfers who joined the team under Drinkwitz. 
    So of the 30 players who have played the most from scrimmage: 37% were Odom recruits ... 23% are Drinkwitz high school recruits ... and 40% are Drinkwitz transfers.
    The bulk of the recruits who determine the lofty recruiting rankings - only the high school prospects - aren't seeing the field yet. Either they're not ready to contribute yet or the staff just hasn't developed them to where they're ready - or some combination of both.
    So the fact that he's a great recruiter of high school talent isn't up for debate - but most of those players aren't contributing. 
    Political talk would be far more interesting than the slop Drinkwitz put on the field last week. Hello Softball season!
    I'm going to disagree, so we'll focus on football. Thanks, though!
    Dave - I'm not sure coaches have the right things to say after blow out losses like the Tigers had last week. I believe ED, like other coaches, put the attention on themselves by saying they need to do a better job in preparing their teams for game day. What else could he say - especially when it's the second game of the year? Jimbo Fisher said the same think when Texas A&M lost to Appalachian State. However, I think these next two weeks could start to define this season. I expect them to clean up their mistakes against Abilene Christian and start preparing for the following week's game against Auburn. Auburn did not look good against San Jose State and they have issues on both sides of the ball (I watched most of that game). Also, Auburn plays Penn State this week. Although the Lions are only favored by three points - Auburn has a lot to prove. What will EDs excuse be if they don't play well again?
  • I don't think blaming himself was an excuse. It was a great place to start! The team didn't look prepared. That's on the coach.
    Dave - Is Brady Cook trying to do too much at quarterback? It great that he has the mobility and speed to run the ball, but he was hit really hard on a few plays you can tell he was shaken up. Those poundings look like they hurt his passing accuracy too. Thank You
    His running is an asset - within reason. He's Mizzou's leading rusher through two games. I don't think that's a long-term formula for success. He's not built like Tim Tebow or Cam Newton. They need to pick his spots with his running. About half his attempts are scrambles on pass plays. It's easy to say he should be more patient in the pocket, but he doesn't exactly have the 1970s Steelers O-line. They're going to have to block better. He's going to have to clean up his footwork and mechanics. K-State didn't have to blitz; and if other teams follow that plan, he's going to be throwing into 7- and 8-man coverages. That's tough.
    Dave - I did not get a chance to read your writing about special teams play, but why are we not making fair catches at 15 yard line and letting the ball bounce back to the 2 year line. We did that twice. We could not move the ball and gave K-State great field advantage both times. Thank You.
    Drinkwitz said they're not making good decisions on the returns - and by they he means Kris Abrams-Draine. He mentioned on his radio show they've put a lot on KAD's plate: He plays the entire game at corner - and is playing very well - and also handles kickoffs. It sure sounds like they'll try someone else at punt returner. Maybe Burden. By MU's count, they lost 55 yards by not fielding punts against K-State. That's huge for field position in a game like that - or any game.
    Dave - Why does Elijah Young not get more time at running back? He has great speed and has looked good the first two games. Thank You.
    It's been a mystery the last two years. He's looked good in small sample sizes, but isn't getting many snaps. Maybe it's a pass protection issue.
    Horn has to get some drives this weekend, right??
    Maybe. If not, then I don't expect to see him against better competition. And everyone after Saturday is better competition.
    This OL is just bad. It doesn’t seem like something that can be improved much in season. Why bother even paying attention anymore?
    Well, I'm paid to pay attention, so I've got you covered.
    The O-line should be a major concern. The tackles are OK. The interior really struggled.
    To Connor Tollison's credit, he was refreshingly candid yesterday talking to reporters. I'll have more tomorrow. He had the toughest matchup of anyone on the field Saturday - and he's convinced it'll make him better in the long run. He's a sharp guy. 
    He reminds me a bit of another young center who was pressed into a starting job early in his carer and really struggled initially. Mitch Morse figured it out, later moved to tackle, moved back to center in the NFL and has made $45 million in career earnings. So, it is possible to improve as an O-lineman. Will this line get it figured out this year? I've seen lines struggle badly early in the year and make steady progress during the season. We'll see if this group follows that track.
    Thoughts on the start to SLU’s soccer season?
    What is soccer?
    Kidding. No thoughts here. Been focused on the other football.
    Drink reminds me of all the empty suit corporate leaders I’ve experienced who have lots of catch phrases/corporate speak and zero substance.
    I'll give credit to Ben Frederickson, who once covered Tennessee, and said on the day Drinkwitz was hired he hopes he's not the second coming of Butch Jones, who was a lot of jargon and buzz words and not much substance.
    Do you feel like Drink underestimated how important the KState game meant to the fan base? From everything I’ve read, it seems like KState emphasized the rivalry and had this game circled for months. I know as a fan it was one of the more interesting and important games on the schedule this year. It seems like Drink was nonchalant about it.
    Drinkwitz certainly dismissed the importance of the game from a historic aspect, but I'm not sure that message would have resonated in his locker room like it worked at K-State. Mizzou players shouldn't have any hard feelings about K-State one way or another. MU left the Big 12, not the other way around. K-State was left behind; not Mizzou. The emotional edge was always going to favor K-State in this one. What kind of axe could Mizzou possibly grind with K-State? And, frankly, it's Drinkwitz's job to motivate his team, not the fans. 
    He could have played it up more in interviews, but I'm not sure it would have seemed genuine. I never considered Mizzou and K-State a true rivalry. Over the last 40 years of the Big Eight/Big 12, they were never really good at the same time. One team or the other dominated the series for long stretches. First it was all Mizzou, then all K-State, then all Mizzou at the end. It's certainly not a rivalry for anyone on MU's current roster.
    K-State could play the "Mizzou didn't recruit me" angle, which was very true for a lot of their players and several of their best players. Here's what running back Deuce Vaughn said after the game: “Most of the kids on this team are from Missouri, we’re overlooked, unrecruited by Missouri, watched them growing up and were fans. To get this one for them and to do it in the fashion that we did, it was big time.”
    Mizzou players couldn't play that same angle for motivation.
    I’m moving on to other hobbies this fall. Thanks for freeing up my fall calendar, Drink!!
    Well, I hope you still read the coverage. Lots of season left.
    Hello Dave
    In your Mizzou game preview you mentioned that Drink said that he needs to create more plays to get Burden the ball. Huh??? Hasn't he had all year to do that? And he says this after a blowout loss. Coach Drink said a lot of questionable things after that loss to K-State. I was fully on board with him as the coach, but I'm not so sure now. Even if Cook throws 7 TD's and 600yards, and Burden catches 4 TD's, it really means NOTHING. These scrub games accomplish nothing at all. Mizzou may win by 5 TD's and everyone will say 'all is well and fixed'.........Uh......no it's won't be.
    They can only play the game in front of them. They can't beat Auburn on Saturday. I'm not sure what else they're supposed to say other than they need to play better this Saturday. 
    I want to cover Saturday's game to the best of my ability and give everyone a great story to read. I want to do the same the following week at Auburn, but I can't write the Auburn game story this week.
    Why wouldn't he want to find more ways to get Burden the ball? I would think fans would want to hear him say that. They threw him the ball five times on Saturday and gave him one rushing attempt. They want to find more ways to get him more touches. That should be celebrated, not criticized. Right?
    You can also draw up plays and they never see the light of day because of a protection breakdown or a misread by the quarterback or a bad route by the receiver. Example: The third play of Saturday's game was a designed deep shot to Lovett out of the slot. Instead, Cook got hurried by the rush and had to force a throw to the flat for the running back that fell incomplete. That goes down as a target to the back for zero yards when it was drawn up as a vertical pass to a receiver designed to pick up a big chunk of yards. So, was that bad play-calling or bad play design or bad execution from the O-line/protection? 
    If Horn doesn't get playing time this year.....I see him as transferring. Do you?
    No idea. I don't think he expected to play this year barring injuries.
    Good day to you Dave and hope all is well your way. Is it possible Drink is trying to do too much too soon with Luther Burden? Fresh on my mind still a very informative article you wrote recently about how, with the exception of a few, 5-star recruit receivers tend to for the most part have only so-so stats their freshman season no matter how amazingly talented they are. You provided many examples of that in your article. Funny thing is, If memory serves me well, Coach Pinkel seemed to be getting ripped on by a lot of fans and media at the time for NOT trying to get the ball enough to a particular 5-star WR freshman we had during the 2012 season. I'm not a coach--so I have no idea if Pinkel and OC Dave Yost were working him in at the right pace or whatever you want to call it or not. Regardless, DGB showed flashes of brilliance that season but did not set the world on fire as many MU fans were expecting him to do right away; that showed in his decent-but-not-spectacular total receiving stats on the season. His sophomore year? He improved drastically(which you also pointed out in the article how most of those former 5-star WR recruits had much better stats their sophomore season). Point is, it seems like Drink is calling an awful lot of plays for Burden. And maybe, as amazingly talented as he is, Burden might not just be ready to handle all of that yet as he adjusts to playing at the collegiate level?
    I do suppose however we have to also take into consideration in this day & age that Drink might feel the extra pressure to make him a superstar ASAP due to fear of the transfer portal that everyone and their mother are so certain Luther will enter at end of the season. Sigh.
    They want Burden to be a big part of the offense. They also realize he's a freshman and he's going to make mistakes. I asked Burden yesterday if getting open on routes was harder Saturday against a Power 5 defense than he expected, and he admitted, he's still learning that part of the game against this level of opponent. He's also had two bad drops and didn't make an effort on the deep slant in the second quarter at K-State. He's far far from a finished product. 
    I thought Drinkwitz had some interesting comments on his radio show last night following up on a question I had asked him Tuesday. Drinkwitz said Burden needs more touches but fewer plays.

    "You start getting into the law of diminishing returns. If you do too much the result is not as good as you need it to be. He played 62 (of 66) plays on offense and I don't care how good you are, that’s too many plays at the wide receiver position with what we ask him to do. We're struggling a little bit. We've had a few injuries at that position, specifically with Chance (Luper) and Peanut (Houston). We're having to balance making sure that we get those (best receivers) on the field, specifically when you're down and fighting, you want to make sure your guys are in the game.

    "So we’ve got to balance that out, but you also want to put people in a position to be successful. I think one of the worst things that you could do to a young player is put them out there with undue expectations and expect that they're just going to fulfill those things. It’s hard to play college football at a high level. He's a tremendous player, but we need to make sure that we're putting him in a position to be successful, so that he can grow into what he's going to be and have the confidence that what he's going to be.
    "It’s hard to play this game at a high level and I know the expectations of everybody is, well just put Luther in. But it’s a little bit more difficult than that. If you're watching the NFL  you're seeing some of these guys that were drafted in the first round and that's not exactly how it always plays out. So we're gonna continue to bring him along.
    And he is doing a great job. But we all got to play better around him and we got to give him some more opportunities, no doubt. But we’ve got to put everybody in a position to be successful. That starts with me. That starts with me as the head football coach."
    Is Drink scared to throw it down the field or is his QB situation that bad? It seems like Cook seems like a scared and the moment is too big for him.
    He's not scared. You need time from your O-line to throw deep. They took several vertical shots in the second half Saturday. They just didn't connect.
    You've deleted and banned all the pre-chat scum/cowards/keyboard warrior "tough guys"? Good on you for doing so Dave. But don't you still get a lot of those types during the actual chat that you have to deal with?
    We get a lot but we filter them out before they see the light of day.
    Any truth to rumors that Sam Horn has struggled in practice to date?
    Define struggle. If he practiced well enough to earn the job he'd have the job. But he's a freshman who wasn't here for spring camp vs. a guy who's been in the system for three years.
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