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 Live

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


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    OK, friends - and I mean that except for the guy with the offensive question about my wife, I'm out for today. We'll do this again next week.
    I truly believe Drinkwitz will get fired before he hands over play-calling. And he loves Bush Hamdan as his QBs coach. I don't see that setup changing unless Hamdan gets a Power 5 coordinator job or a head-coaching job.
    I do not want to really consider life beyond Drink, I love the guy and wish him the best. But many of us (of course hindsight and all...) wish Josh Heupel had been the guy. I do not know if this person would work well with Drink because of Offensive philosophies, but Joey Halzle is Heupel's QB coach and a former Sooner himself. He also was he with Josh back in 2016. So rather than speculate as to life post Drink and rather than ask if Halzle would work with Drink at OC, I wonder if you have heard much of Halzle and what you think/know of him as a coach. I think Mizzzou could use a little up-tempo Heupel style offense.
    He's fast. Maybe not the fastest on the team but he's fast enough.
    My overly-diehard Mizzou buddy and I got into a semi-argument last week. He claims that one thing about Burden that is "known" to be a weakness for him is that he lacks blazing speed. First I heard of that!
    There is zero indication he is upset about not playing. I'm fairly certain his family did not expect him to play this year.
    For those who are so sure Horn will transfer after this season if he receives little to no playing time as a TRUE FRESHMAN, should they keep in mind he also intends to play baseball for MU next spring as well?
    Agreed. What's there to dispute there?
    This is in reaction to my earlier question and your response.
    MU has been described "as a sleeping giant", is the only power five program in the state, has two major metros on each side of the state, resides in the 18th most populous state with a large alumni base and very good facilities and continues to produce mediocre results at best.
    Not trying to change your opinion just lying out some facts.
    He has started five games. He's 2-3. Yet in two of the losses, he either walked off the field  for the last time with the lead (Army) or put the team in position to kick the game-winning field goal (Auburn.) He hasn't been accurate enough on crucial third-downs. The interceptions are a concern. The running ability is an asset. He can get the ball downfield, just has to be more accurate. The staff believes he's the best option right now. Maybe that changes if they lose three of the next four and there's more to gain by playing one of the younger guys (Horn).
    Do you think Cook truly has the ability to lead this team? I think the defense has shown solid growth this year but a lack of sustained drives giving rest to the defense is a significant issue. Does Mizzou end the year with Cook at QB?
    Maybe that's true, but there's nothing keeping them from attending the games in Columbia other than personal choices. If there were demand for a 100,000-seat stadium like LSU's then Mizzou would have expanded the stadium rather than decrease capacity a few years ago. Auburn was picked last in the SEC West, the fans want the coach fired yet 85,000 still show up. It's more of a cultural difference between the fan bases. Auburn fans grow up going to the games because that's what you do when you're an Auburn fan. They've lived through eras of SEC championships and national championships, and even when their team isn't very good, going to the game is still a major part of the fan experience - in a state with about a million fewer people than Missouri but five FBS teams compared to one in Missouri.
    I do know what you mainly meant when you just said it earlier, but Mizzou Football "not being as important enough" to fans here as those other places you mentioned? I'd be willing to bet that there's well over enough Mizzou fans who bleed the black&gold passionately to easily sellout LSU stadium and then some. No, they don't all show up for the actual games for reasons that only an enigmatic faction of the Mizzou fanbase could explain, but they're out there...far too many of them, uh, too busy lurking in the shadows or whatever to show up for the actual games, but they are out there. Just felt a rare urge to speak up and stick up for my fellow members of Mizzou Nation, whereas I usually rip on them in most cases! 😄
    They could be overrated. I've made the case lately that some of the in-state recruits could be overrated. But the fact is, most of these guys are freshmen - and you just don't see a lot of four-star freshmen playing a ton of snaps and producing at a high level for Power 5 teams through the first month of their careers.
    Do you think Drink's recruiting classes have been overrated? I feel like a lot of the "higher star" guys he gets are local and we don't exactly live in an area that is fertile for high school football compared to Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, etc. Why do you think there is so much focus on getting local guys and not just developing the best talent you can get no matter where it comes from? I feel like Pinkel developed NFL prospects, he didn't worry about whether they were from Missouri.
    to Tahart27 comment I think there is a gremlin in your chat today. When I first got in and scrolled down it went to last weeks chat.
    Re: BenFred chat blending with this one. It’s happening on my I pad too
    You guys dropped the Ball. Literally and figuratively. How is it possible the Media and Print Media to be completely wrong and not turn over any bushel's. It's a Football Game. Not Nordstream 2 and a bombing taking place. Drink has a hard enough time. I like him personally, but some of his moves have certainly been questionable. So I am not pumping sunshine on Drink. You guys need to have an answer for this going forward on injured players.
    Rhule didn't want the Missouri job. It never got far enough for boosters to weigh in.
    After the 2015 protests, Rhoades wasn't sure he wanted to alienate the football players from the rest of the MU athletes in their own facility across Providence. I suspect there was some concerns about entitlement - and he feared giving them a plush new facility could lead to problems and separate them from the rest of the athletes who don't get all the fancy bells and whistles in their facilities. And I think it was a very valid concern at the time. 
    A question I've been meaning to ask you for weeks now but have somehow forgotten until now: So obviously, the rousing success of Mack Rhoades as AD at Baylor is yet another in a long list of kick-in-the-guts to Mizzou fans. Was surprised at your revelation in a chat some weeks ago that he actually originally really wanted to hire Matt Rhule to replace Pinkel? So I take it he caved to idiot boosters unqualified to make such a decision who wanted him to hire Odom instead?
    Also, any particular reason you're aware of as to why he opposed the South Endzone project? (I think you said that too. Apologies if that's incorrect).
    You hold players accountable. You commit penalties, you don't play. You officiate practices like they're games. Mizzou uses officials at practice, especially during the preseason, so they can call the same penalties that will be called during games. You teach the proper fundamentals and techniques - and you never stop teaching them.
    Apologies for what is no doubt a redundant topic to discuss today, but unfortunately I've had to join into Chat late today and have been unable to read all the questions/comments.
    So anyway, the problem with penalties--and VERY costly ones at that such as the one that was one of the bad-things-happen-in-threes end to the Mizzou game last weekend--with this team: Dave, if I wanted to see such infuriating, costly, numerous penalties with this team, I guess I'd just as soon see Barry Odom still be the head coach. Most fans tend to blame this kind of thing on the Head Coach. I would trust you would probably know more than the average fan. How does a Head Coach, ie Coach Drink, correct this problem? What is he doing wrong during practices as the Head Coach that is contributing to this in actual games? What can he/should he do differently? (Of course, about, in my estimate, about 2-4 or so penalties a game on Mizzou are horrible ones by the refs, but I'll resist going off on that tangent. Still too many legit penalties regardless). Or could this possibly just be a bigger issue with less experienced Head Coaches such as Drink and when Odom was here and veteran ones are better at making sure their teams have less problems with costly, numerous penalties?
    We're trying to keep things upbeat here, Tad.
    Mizzou is Mediocre U. Softball and Wrestling are built for long term success, and gymnastics is riding high (but needs to prove it can be sustained), but every other program is trending down or rebuilding. That of course aligns with history…only two team national championships ever. Depressing times for Truman…like always.
    Mizzou sold nearly 54,000 tickets for the Abilene Christian game, so I'm not surprised that numbers will be up to see the No 1 team in the country. Remember, Mizzou did sell more season tickets this year. Maybe the innovations around the stadium that the new administration launched are bringing more fans to the stadium. Yes, Georgia will have fans in Columbia, but I don't expect red to take over the entire stadium.
    I saw your comment earlier about attendance for the game Saturday. What do you think is the main factor for higher anticipated attendance? The #1 team coming to town? Mizzou finally hosting a night game? A Georgia fan base takeover that seems to happen quite often?
    At some point you've got to get your players on the field. Either you're not developing them well enough or they weren't the recruits you thought you were. They planned to play Jones last week at Auburn but for whatever reason decided against it. Drinkwitz defers to his more experienced players, especially in close games. I don't think that's all too uncommon among coaches.
    I was wondering if you could comment on the level of player development. Is it fair to say that Drink, although he has been here for three years, has only had two of his own recruiting classes? Are guys like Tavorus Jones, Taj Butts, and BJ Harris going to get time to play? How about some of the offensive recruits? I feel like if he has only had two of his own classes, it would be really premature and a bad financial decision to fire him...especially if he has some good players coming in. Although I have to admit I am concerned about the penalties and the lack of depth at certain positions.
    Ben's chat was Tuesday. Not sure why that would blend with my chat.
    No offense to the great Ben Fred, but I wish his chat session would stop blending in with yours today for whatever bizarre reason. Maybe the glitch is to blame solely on my smartphone. I don't know. But it is a tad bit annoying regardless of who or what is responsible for it. Thanks for letting me vent Dave!
    Whether or not Drinkwitz is a success at Mizzou, I don't believe it should be framed as whether Odom was fired too soon. The program wasn't trending in the right direction, especially with recruiting. He made a bad hire as offensive coordinator and there didn't appear to be a long-term plan at QB other than hoping Bazelak was the answer.
    Also, thanks for coming here for your Mizzou coverage. It's much appreciated.
    Dave - You are my go to source for all things Mizzou Athletics. I live in KC but subscribe to the Post Dispatch. I'm disappointed in not getting that 3rd win against Auburn, but I'm also a firm believer in letting the season play out. There is a lot of ball left to be played. Do you think Mizzou gave up too soon on Odom? Recruiting has definitely improved but the product on the field seems the same.
    Sometimes, yes, it has underachieved, more so in basketball. For the most part, I don't believe football has underachieved in the scope of the SEC. MU built a great team facility a few years ago that compares favorably with its peers in the SEC. Mizzou is building a new indoor facility. But compared to the majority of teams in the SEC, MU doesn't have the natural resources, the fan support, the financial support or the recruiting base compared to the rest of the league. Mizzou football isn't as important to enough people here compared to places like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Texas A&M and Tennessee. So, considering all of that, I think Mizzou has achieved about what it should in SEC football. And in a few cases (2013, 2014 and maybe even 2018) has overachieved.
    You've been doing this for a long time now. In what you have observed over the course of years do you believe MU is an underachieving athletic department. More specifically the football and men's basketball programs?
    I did not write about RG3's comments. We had one story by our digital editor who monitors the games on TV and posts stories about topics that are generating discussions on social media. Print media are not allowed to go on the field during the game ... and Mizzou does not give in-game injury updates. After the game Drinkwitz declined to share injury updates on players who left the game in the first half. Unfortunately that leads to speculation based on observations. I wrote that Burden was clearly stretching out his calf/ankle during his long stretches on the sideline. Otherwise, I'm not sure what else is possible to report.
    Dave, have to do my job here, since you won't. Explain to me how the STLPD printed several articles on Robert Griffin 111 stating that Drinkwitz was not using Burden. So much so that it became an issue during the game other than the insane braking in for a Home run from a Yankee. Explain this to me since you or none of your cohorts took the initiative to go down to the sidelines and find out what was going on with Burden. Instead, you went with a narrative from an announcer who is a Moron and even ESPN not having a sideline reporter to find out. ONLY when Drink announced on Tuesday that Burden was hurt and could not play did we find out. Meanwhile Many idiot fans called drink out for not playing Burden more. How do I not find you in contempt and failing to do your job. Which is to find out instead of allowing a false story to make Drinkwitz look bad grow and perpetuate until Tuesday. Explain your self please
    I don't know, but Drinkwitz has never been very high on him in his public comments.
    What is the reason Michael Cox has a hard time seeing the field? When he has played, he moved north and south with some power.
    The results say yes.
    I've made this point a lot on radio/podcasts lately, but on the offsides in OT, obviously you don't want to give Auburn a closer field goal, but the kicker clearly knew he was getting a second chance because Robinson jumped so early. So I'm not sure the kicker actually tried to make the first attempt. It's like a pitcher who still finishes his delivery when a batter calls timeout during his delivery but the pitcher holds off on his velocity and accuracy. Point being, I don't think it's accurate to say the kicker would have made missed the field goal if not for the penalty. 
    Two offsides penalties on field goals ended up allowing Auburn to kick the go-ahead FG in overtime. Numerous holding penalties on offense stunted drives and cost them much-needed positive yards. Does this team have an issue with discipline?
    There should be some pressure. Last year was a disappointment. The roster rebuild has been underwhelming on paper. She has to develop and coach for this team to be competitive this year.
    Switching gears, is there any sort of pressure or "hot seat" situation on Pingeton?
    Cook also hit Lovett for a 40-yarder earlier in the game.
    Completing deep shots depends on protection, the throw and the catch, so it's not all on Cook. But that last pass was definitely progress. I give Lovett the most credit for making an adjustment on the ball. He said he lost it in the sun initially but then adjusted to make the grab.
    Here's Cook's numbers on deep balls (targeted 20 yards or more) for the season: 6 of 21 for 247 yards, one TD, one INT. That's 11.8 yards per attempt and an NFL passer rating of 72.1. Here's where those numbers rank among SEC passers with at least six deep shots:
    Attempts: third
    Completions: seventh
    Yards: fifth
    Yards per attempt: 12th
    Rating: 14th
    Takeaway: Mizzou is attempting more deep shots than just about any team in the league. But the deep passing game is not very efficient or productive compared to the rest of the SEC.
    Regarding Brady Cook: late in the Auburn game, he finally, FINALLY connects on that deep pass to Lovett(and yes, Lovett deserves a lot of the credit for making the catch too). And he does so "in the clutch" at that. But as you know, he missed on seemingly tons of those long throws throughout the Auburn game untll then, and, has frustrated the heck out of Mizzou fans in missing on so many of the deep throws in the 3 games prior. Still, it's hard to not be somewhat encouraged at least that he finally made the Big Throw when he needed to the most(obviously, what happened after in how Mizzou infuriatingly blew that game was not his fault). Could this finally be the Brady Cook we've been hoping to see, or should it be looked at as something akin to a fluke that he did what he did?
    Go big or don't play. MU seemed content to run the ball and try short passes and compress the game last year in Athens. I say let it all hang out and challenge Georgia with your best stuff. What's there to lose?
    Hey Dave, Happy Thursday. What is your opinion regarding game planning for a team like Georgia where you are expected to lose, big. Is it better to throw the kitchen sink at it and give your team a chance to win and lose by 50 or do you play conservative and hope you only lose by 20. To me if your going to lose, might as well lose big.
    I'm not aware of the highly thought of recruits. They've signed three young three stars (Hoerstkamp, Whisner, McKay), added a transfer from the Mid-American Conference and then have a stash of walk-ons. I don't really understand the plan at the position. They explored the transfer market but seemed to pass on some Power 5 options. 
    They'll sign four-star Brett Norfleet in December. Pretty talented guy. They should try to develop him into a 2023 contributor because he might have more upside than anyone on the roster. 
    Dave, I'm curious on your take with our tight ends. Seems to me we've recruited several fairly highly thought of players, added an experienced transfer, yet no one seems to have emerged as a dependable blocker or pass catcher. And how much of the general early season blocking problems can be attributed to this? I assume that's a big reason we're having to use the 6 offensive lineman to compensate.
    He was kicking into a net during the game. Maybe the camera didn't show that, but rarely is the TV camera filming the kicker on the sideline. 
    As for the discipline issues, yes, it's a factor. It goes back to coaching. It has to be an emphasis or you see the careless penalties that haunt teams in all three phases. Offsides, false starts, holding. Those come down to focus and technique. Some coaches don't mind the pass interference or unsportsmanlike conduct flags because those are judgment calls and sometimes reflect more aggressive styles of plays - and that style pays off in other areas of the game. You live with the flags. But the focus plays are usually committed by teams that can't afford to lose the yardage - like this Missouri team. 
    Penalties were a big problem with Odom's teams. All four finished either first or second in the SEC in penalties each season. Pinkel's teams were almost always in the bottom half of the league in penalties. 
    Dave, I think that Saturday’s loss was primarily attributed to lack of discipline. Penalties and mental error at critical times. Several big gains that would have kept drives alive were negated by penalties that killed momentum. If they score on one of those drives - gave over and no need for the three pressure driven errors at the end of the game. To me discipline is instilled by coaching, so blame falls there. I see Drink as an enthusiast, intelligent coach who is a great recruiter but still has some things to learn about being a head coach at the highest level. Not giving up yet, as he seems willing to adapt. Also, I was shocked to hear that our kicker does not take warm up kicks prior to FG attempts! At every level of the sport you always see the sideline shot with the kicker filling the net with leather while waiting for the big kick. Our kicker had not kicked a ball since his 2 extra points in the first half, And he does not kickoff. I would not meddle too much with a kicker with his success rate, but maybe a few warm up kicks and losing a few pounds would not hurt the kid! I’d appreciate your thoughts on discipline and the thicker kicker.
    Huh? You don't pay for conference games. Where did you see this?
    Did you hear that Georigia is paying Mizzou $500.000 to play them in Columbia this week? Is that true?
    There are hundreds of grades to measure, so if there's something specific you'd like me to explore, I'll take a look. 
    PFF gives every team season grades for run blocking and pass blocking. Here's where MU stacks up in the SEC. (Keep in mind, this measures the team's blocking,  not just the O-line. Tight ends, backs, receivers count, too.)
    Pass blocking: 67.1, 7th in SEC, 34th in Power 5 (out of 65) and 56th in FBS (out of 132 teams).
    So, that's right around the middle of the pack.
    Run blocking: 59.8, 11th in SEC, 46th in Power 5 (out of 65) and 74th in FBS (out of 132 teams).
    Not nearly as good blocking for the run.
    PFF grades can be strange on a game-to-game basis, but over the course of four games or more, you get a pretty decent snapshot for how players and teams are measured.
    Hi Dave…I find your PFF grades for the players on Sunday quite interesting. If you compare the Tiger’s grades to the better SEC teams, how much better do their’s look? For example, is it clear that are offensive line stats are much worse than our rivals?
    A few points on SEC Nation canceling plans ...
    1. The SEC Network decision-makers felt there would be less buzz around the Georgia-Missouri game after the Auburn loss compared to the Kentucky-Ole Miss game that features two top 15 teams.
    2. Ticket sales are actually looking very good for this game. I've heard sales figures were nearing 57,000 early in the week and a sellout is not impossible.
    3. Mizzou absolutely did not tell SEC Nation to cancel. MU was disappointed with the decision. 
    4. Paul does not call the shots where the show goes.
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