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.

    There's no way Dennis Gates was going to play his mentor, Leonard Hamilton, at Florida State - especially not this early in his time at Mizzou. They are extremely close and lots of times young coaches don't like coaching against their mentors. So that was never on the table. Mizzou needed a nonconferece event at a neutral site and that's just the way it worked out. I'm not sure why they couldn't find one of the multi-team events. 
    Mizzou and Liberty had one more game as part of the three-game series for Dec. 7, 2022. But that's just three days ahead of the Kansas game, and I imagine Gates wanted more time to prep for the Jayhawks. These games can reshuffled around and pushed back all the time.
    Good morning Dave,
    With all due respect to the current QB, it is apparent, to me, he's not SEC material.
    Pretty much leads to Coach's decision to move on from the current situation UNLESS Horn is not ready for live action.
    Simply put, why invest any more PT in Quinn?
    What do you hear? Is Horn still learning the basics? What gives?
    Who is Quinn? I touched on Horn earlier. Not sure what else there is to say at this point.
    Ben Frederickson wrote a good, thoughtful column on the topic last week.
    Has the running back rotation developed as was expected and how may it change in the second half of the season?
    Elijah Young is back healthy this week, but I think they've got a good thing going with the Schrader-Peat tandem. It would be ideal if they could give some carries to Tavorus Jones, the freshman who has started traveling to road games.
    Based on your comments about Horn, it doesn't appear he is lighting things up or really even challenging for playing time?
    I realize he's just a freshman and a late arriving one at that, but Drink better hope he's the real deal or his future in COMO is likely murky at best!
  • Yes, if Horn isn't the future starter at some point, then I'm not sure how this regime works. Unless they land a multi-year transfer, similar to what Kentucky did with Will Levis.
    Dave, I'm curious how you'd grade the new AD thus far? I'd give her an A. Seems very innovative and has good ideas for all Athletics programs that I've seen thus far. Do you think she sees Columbia MO as a destination location to settle....or do you think she'll be on the move?

    Also, any update on the NIL Collective that Bowers is involved with? I haven't heard much. Maybe that's a good thing, but I would hope it'd be a little more active in the public eye (and I'm not saying it's not)?
    The collective mostly works behind the scenes. That's kind of the point. They want your money to give to the athletes. 
    As for Desiree, I agree that she's tried a lot of outside-the-box moves, which is exactly what Mun Choi and the curators were looking for when they said Mizzou needed more dynamic, innovative leadership. I've documented the many changes she's brought about in the last year-plus. 
    Announcers said on TV anyway during FLA game that Burden is playing with a high-ankle sprain. This is not good if true! That's a tough nagging lingering injury that can take weeks or even a whole season to heal--is that not correct Dave? If so, how good can a Luther Burden be playing at only about 50-60 % the rest of the year?
    Drinkwitz tells the TV announcers more than he tells the media who cover the team every day. It's clearly his left ankle that's bothering him. He was noticeably limping yesterday when I saw him, but the coach says he's "ready to roll."
    Does the MU Special Teams seem good for at least one huge costly return by the opposing team each game? Or is that just my imagination?
    Mizzou is last in the SEC in terms of allowing punt return yardage per return. However, they've only allowed six returns. It's very boom or bust. Either the punt and/or coverage is excellent or they give up a long return. Like at Kansas State, like at Florida.
    Kickoff coverage has been borderline elite. Opponents have only returned four kickoffs all year and averaged less than 14 yards per return. 
    I could be imagining things, but OL overall seemed better at pass protection vs. UF, giving Cook little to no excuse as far as that goes. But WR unit was very banged up as you well know--does Cook get any leeway as far as that goes?
  • He was sacked four times at Florida and hit several more times. I'm not sure I'd say the protection was great by any means. The Gators pinned their ears back in the fourth quarter and came at Cook with a heavy rush - and got to him several times.
    The WR group was depleted, but I also thought they got pushed around by Florida's linebackers and secondary. The wideouts did not respond well to the physicality. Credit Florida for seeing how the game was being officiated and being physical with the routes.
    Cook is not the only piece of the passing game. He needs protection. He needs his receivers to win their 1-on-1 battles. It's never all on the QB, good or bad.
    Why didn’t Mizzou hire Heupel as head coach?
    He was never seen as a serious candidate. When Missouri fired Odom, Heupel had just gone 12-1 and 10-3 with mostly Scott Frost's players. Good record but I don't recall his name surfacing for Power Five jobs. And as great of a job as he's done at Tennessee, does he even get that job if UT hadn't just hired Heupel's AD at Central Florida? That's the connection that landed him in Knoxville.
    John Tortorella has the Flyers off to a 3-1 start. Jeff Gordon is quaking in fear.
    We sure could've used Daniel Parker Jr.
    It seems for 1 last season as staring TE. I think he no doubt would've been our best one out there statically even in Drink's apparennt not-so-TE friendly offense, btw. Of course, DPJ as you've said appears to have been more of a distraction as a "team player" for MU than most fans were aware of. I really hope he's enjoying his uh, *stellar* final year at OU, where he currently is a backup TE if I'm not mistaken and has a whopping 4 catches for 28 yards
    and no TD's.
    I don't think Missouri was sad to see him go.
    How active do expect Drink to be in the QB portal search?
    I would assume it would depend on what he thinks of Cook and especially Horn?
    Someone is not going to be happy, hard to see a scenario where everyone stays, appears the QB room will need bodies, whether to start or back-up?
    It all depends on what happens after the season. Does Cook stay? He graduates in December. Does he really believe he's the starter in 2023? If not does he want to go through another offseason competition? I would guess no. It would be naive to expect macon back for another year at this point. There's really no indication he's got a shot to be the full-time starter. So if you're down to just two scholarship quarterbacks in January - Horn and freshman Gabarri Johnson - don't you have to explore the portal? But if you should land a proven Power 5 starter who just wants a change of scenery, where does that leave you with Horn? It will be a very interesting offseason for sure.
    Snarky question of the week...or for the moment anyway: if Mizzou wins this Saturday, will your game story be on Page 1 of the Post-Dispatch? Or will the Illini having played nobody during a bye week be a bigger story? Sorry Dave, couldn't resist. Am overreacting of course--as STL-area MIZZOU fans tend to do--over a recent edition of the Post-Dispatch Sports Section doing a story on the Fightin' Illini, and your story about MU that day pushed to page 2.
    Many comments the last two weeks and before about needing 2-3 years to wait on O-linemen. And HCED has reportedly pointed to next year to supporters in private conversations, but given the realities of the portal and NIL, can he and we do that? See: Wingo, Mekhi. Players, both stars and those who think they should be, are going to jump ship sooner and sooner. Seems like HCED and his colleagues, even new hires, won’t have that cushion any more.
    You don't need two or three years to develop offensive linemen. The No. 7 team in the country has redshirt freshman starters at left tackle and right tackle. That would be Ole Miss. And both were three-star prospects. One year in a college weight room and strong coaching can put a redshirt freshman on the field - even for a good team that expects to compete for championships.
    Armand Membou is getting excellent experience as a true freshman right now. Same for Connor Tollison as a redshirt freshman.
    Quin Snyder; didn't know until recently that he essentially retired(for now anway) from coaching the Utah Jazz! Any inklings as to what his next step might be--if he desires to have one at all--in the coaching profession?
    He will be the Spurs coach once Gregg Popovich retires. He knows the franchise well and they know him well. Book it.
    the Forgotten Man so far this season seems to be Tyler Macon. Wasn’t he a highly-recruited, highly-hyped 4 star recruit? Along with everyone else, I saw what he did and didn’t have to offer in limited snaps last season and the spring scrimmage.

    He must really be struggling in practice. Otherwise, if Horn isn’t ready, why not give him his shot?
    From everything I've seen in practice and conversations I've had, Macon just hasn't developed enough as a passer to run this offense. They wanted him to develop some more consistent mechanics in the offseason and it just doesn't seem like that happened. Good athlete. Seems like a team-first, popular teammate. But it appears he just hasn't developed enough of the skills to be the No. 1 choice here. 
    Hi Dave, Is this next game more pivotal than we care to admit? Meaning, I know this is the game Vandy has been waiting for, especially in conference play. I'm sure the players will ball out and I imagine the staff will throw in ever gadget, fake punt, onside kick, etc as they think this is the game they can win finally. Not to sound doom and gloom, but what if they come to CoMo and pull it off? That would change the trajectory of the season for sure, as going to a bowl goes from extremely hard to nearly miraculous. Do they stay the course for the upper classmen and the possibility for an at large bowl? Do they play younger guys to instill hope for next year.... or is there even hope for next year without shaking things up again? It just seems from the outside there is more riding on this than meets the eye. Hopefully it doesn't come to that. Thanks!
    This game is massive for Mizzou. You lose this one and you're the only SEC team without a conference win. There are only six Power Five teams without a conference win: Vandy, Mizzou, Virginia, Iowa State, Stanford and Rutgers. Virginia can get off the list with a win tonight over Georgia Tech. Obviously either Mizzou or Vandy is getting off the list Saturday.
    I wasn't aware of this but Mizzou has the third-longest losing streak to Power Five teams among P5 teams at five. Only Vandy and Virginia have longer losing skids. You don't want to be No. 1 on that list by Saturday night. The rebuilding job, the recruiting mission, the sales pitch all become much cloudier if you los to Vandy. It might be the kind of loss that spells the beginning of the end. Just like the last time Vandy beat the Tigers. You lose this game and all bets are off in terms of the program's future - both in the short-term (bowl eligibility) and long-term (coaching staff security, transfer exodus).
    All that said, I'm going to pick Missouri to win and probably cover. Vandy's defense has been atrocious. The offense can't stay on the field and sustain drives. As I wrote today, a large chunk of their passing yardage has come in garbage time. This is still a bad Vandy team. The same Georgia team that Mizzou nearly beat just walloped Vandy 55-0. 
    Regarding KC-area Mizzou alums: while I am so very pleased about stepping up the efforts in STL to host Mizzou sporting events for a number of years to come in different sports and locations throughout the area, I do worry about neglecting our KC brethren to the West.
    Those Kansas City Mizzou Alums...isn't it important for MU Atheltics to keep them in mind just as much as STL as far as hosting MU sporting events are concerned? They are, after all, even less in literal "SEC Country" than we are here in STL. I hope the Mizzou Athletic Department will still keep them in mind for potential future games at Arrowhead or the Sprint Center.
    Nobody has forgotten about KC. It's still a priority. But it's been a lot longer since Mizzou played a football game in St. Louis (2010) than it has KC (2015). MU plans to have a presence in both cities. But you can't announce events in both places at the same time. St. Louis was first on the list. Part of that is a huge credit to the St. Louis Sports Commission. Mizzou has been a major priority for Frank Viverito and his staff. I don't know if the same support for Mizzou exists on the west side of the state from an organizational level.
    Fair enough regarding your points about Greg McElroy in a recent chat, when I asked you about him and his comments weeks ago ripping on Mizzou. But if Bailey, Hopper and Jeffcoat really were sitting out on Spring Ball to protect their NFL interests(?!?) goodness, seems to me to be quite a bad look for Drink to be willing to allow these players to do that. However, understandable to have them sit out to reduce their chances of injuries for their remaining COLLEGE FOOTBALL career playing for Mizzou in the upcoming season! That would make considerably more sense. I say McElroy got some bad info from whomever told him that and he didn't bother to consider how absurd and inaccurate that info must be. But hey, I'm just a fan, so what do I know? Just to be clear, I always liked listening to McElroy on the SEC Network and had a lot of respect for his insights and knowledge before this happened. And I also know that he's a media colleague of yours, and you make it a point to not rip on people like him. I'll respect that stance for you Dave, so if nothing else, thanks for letting me ven
    I've met Greg once and I'm fairly certain he had no idea who it was, so I'm not above being critical if it's warranted. In this case, it should also  be pointed out that Drinkwitz just doesn't put much emphasis on the spring game. Two years ago just about every starter didn't play, including the No. 1 quarterback. The staff puts more stock in the closed scrimmages when they can actually run their own plays without everything  being broadcast on TV.
    --Maybe it's admittedly my bitterness for the UK football program surpassing Mizzou football in their current Mark Stoops era, but a couple of little things that I've noticed regarding their turnaround and their dominance of Mizzou in particular in recent years that no one seems to mention: 1..they REALLY load up on the weaklings in non-con games, not having for instance played a road game in ages against decent Power 5 non-con competition like a lot of SEC teams have done, Mizzou included(examples: BC, KSU). Their typical non-con model for years now: 3 home games against creampuffs, their one non-con Power 5 opponent being their rivalry game against a these-days mediocre Louisville program ans even that still allows for UK to play them on the "road" in their home state. The likes of SC, UGA, and FLA just about always play one other Power 5 non-conference game in addition to their annual rivalry games:
    2. UK fans naturally like to thump their chest about their dominance over MU in the head-to-head series, conveniently overlooking back-to-back games in '17 and '18 that possibly become Mizzou wins('18 especially) if not for two controversial inexplicably horrendous officiating calls against MU in the closing seconds of those two particular games. Okay, you can accuse me of "sour grapes" on the second point if you want, but not on the first one.
    Kentucky schedules pretty smart, in my opinion. Louisville was a much better program for a long stretch when Petrino was there. That's their Power Five game. There's no sense in playing another one if you're Kentucky. 
    South Carolina plays Clemson every year but they rarely play another Power Five opponent in the noncon. 
    Outfit of the week: It appears the university has throughout different decades used multiple "gold" colors and now has gone all in on going back to the 1970's yellowish gold. There a method behind the color madness?
    Ask Nike. 
    Nike sets the color palette and works with its contracted teams to come up with designs and combinations using those predetermined colors.
    Few things trigger fans more than uniforms, but trust me when I say the head coach puts far less work into the uniforms than fans spend complaining about them. The combinations are usually decided in the offseason. There's a whole equipment staff led by the team's director of equipment operations - his name is Mike - who handles all of the uniform business. Drinkwitz is not spending any time on the uniforms that he could be spending on the offense. 
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