Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • has ofadile caught a pass this year? Is this his last year?
  • He's a junior, so he'll have another year of eligibility. He does not have a reception.
  • Did TB hurt his draft stock by coming back this year?
  • I wouldn't think so. Beckner is having a decent season. Through six games last year he had 15 tackles, two for losses. Through six games this year, he has 15 tackles, six for losses. He's been more consistently disruptive. Mizzou's rush defense is much better through six games - and that's after playing Georgia and Alabama. Beckner's a big reason for that. He also doesn't have to play as many snaps because of the improved depth inside with Palmore, Elliott and Whiteside all getting regular work inside.
  • I saw Terez Hall's explanation for the targeting call and it made a lot of sense. Do you agree with his assessment that he was protecting himself from getting hit in the chest by the opposing player who lowered his head first? If it's true, I think it puts players in a tough position. Sometimes it feels like there are too many rules and potential penalty situations that ruin the game for everyone - players and fans.
  • I understand the purpose of the rule, but it works against defenders when ball-carriers lower their head and absorb contact. Tacklers have to adapt. There's just no option. You earn the benefit of the doubt when you get your head out of the way of the collision, especially the crown of the helmet, but that's the reality of today's game.
  • Will the Tigers get to 6 wins and a bowl game. A win at SC would have helped a lot, but suddenly the climb to 6 wins looks a lot tougher than a month ago. Memphis will be no homecoming pushover like Idaho last year. They score lots of points and MUs defense hasn’t stopped anybody after the first 2 games. Even though KY is a home game, they are playing much better. It was fun beating FLA last year, this year’s road game now looks unwinnable. Vandy and Arkansas are must win home games. The road game at TN might be tougher than everybody thought a month ago. If Mu wins all their home games 6 wins will be no problem but with the unsteady defense this season, MU might not get to 6 wins and a bowl game.
  • I think Mizzou gets to seven wins and I won't rule out eight. This team has played far better than it did during last year's 1-5 start - and the competition has been better, too. I understand the bleary outlook a lot of fans share right now. That's natural on a three-game losing streak and expected for this tortured fanbase. But this doesn't feel like last year, when all things looked pretty hopeless at 1-5.
  • Good morning Dave. Am hoping to make it to the event tonight you'll be at in STL and get a copy of your book--looking forward to it if I make it! Regarding Drew Lock and how he said his recent struggles might have to do with more time being spent in the pocket and what not:
    I would be willing to bet that his struggles are more simple than that; I believe it has more to do with his top 2 veteran WR's being out these last few weeks more than anything. He's just kind of lost without them, and granted the two frosh WR's Knox and Scott have shown a lot of upside, but not so much yet that they're nearly ready enough to be able to handle being starting WR's in their first year of SEC football and fill in for solid reliable WR's like Hall and Brown at that. Love the effort they're giving and think the future can be very bright for them in the years to come, but let's face it: neither one of them were recruited with expectations of being the 2nd-coming of Jeremey Maclin.
    All that being said, as far as the others go that should be stepping up, all I can say is Jonathan Johnson I officially consider something of an enigma at this point, and it sure would be nice if the Ofodile(sp?) kid picked, oh, right about ASAP to finally show at least a semblance of the 4-star talent he was listed as having when he originally recruited to Oregon. He apparently is struggling to show much of anything reliable so far to the point that the coaches/Lock aren't ready to throw to him? Thanks as always Dave for your great work!
  • Thank you - and thanks for plugging tonight's event!
    As a I wrote this week, the Tigers go as Hall goes. He's the true barometer of this offense and this team. Lock is a different quarterback when his top guy is healthy and functional. 
  • I heard most of this summer and last spring, the Mizzou offense would expand from last years version by having Lock take some snaps under center. So far I see 98* shotgun sets with a lone running back taking handoffs 7 yds. deep in the backfield. Also I can't remember seeing any jet sweeps to our supposedly speedy receivers. We look identical to last years offense.
  • I don't know where you read about under-center snaps because it was never true. I heard some TV and radio people talking about it, but I don't recall seeing Lock under center during the spring other than maybe a play or two. Dooley told me this summer - and I later reported - that he heard these reports that they were going under center and he said it was never true and that he didn't know where it came from.
    It's far from identical to last year. Lock's progressions are completely different. They're doing more pistol formations. 
  • Other than the final decision, is there really anything else moving forward that we would hear publicly about the Smiths' waivers?
  • No. Missouri has no clue what to expect. When they get word from the NCAA, the public will know soon after.
  • Is the lack of sacks hurting us with the big secondary issues we have ? Seemed like we have a great D Line on paper in preseason
  • Great D-line on paper? I had been saying and writing for months leading up to the season that Missouri had major question marks at defensive end. There's not an impact edge rusher on the roster. That was always the concern with this defense and it continues to be a major weakness - and puts huge stress on the secondary.
  • Thoughts on how the young,backup offensive linemen have looked this season? And which likely to have best shot at replacing Adams and Pendleton after they graduate? Looks like Cook is getting some series each game and White got in when Durant was injured. Any others to watch for?
  • The media doesn't get to see any live practice drills, so hard to say. Cook has really struggled with penalties when he's been in the game. White had a nice second half at Purdue but struggled when he got in for a series against Georgia. Missouri should only have to work in two new starters next year, so it shouldn't be a major concern.
  • MU gives up 30.5 points per game. Throw out Tenn Martin and Wyoming and it is much higher. The defense gives up 420 yards per game. Their defense has the fewest sacks and fewest interceptions. For a team with a former defensive coach as its head coach now, it makes me wonder how the defense can be so bad year after year.
  • It's a fair criticism. And it's why I was measure in my expectations for this year, why I straddled that seven-eight win fence while some fans were talking about challenging for the East and winning 10 games. Secondary talent and shortage of impact edge rushers are the biggest issues. Missouri has talent and depth at D-tackle and two SEC-caliber inside linebackers. The rest is a concern.
  • Speaking of junior college and grad transfers - looks like Mizzou could use QB, wide receiver, safety and defensive end transfers. About Lock's adjustment, "Against better defenses" - will Lock and Dooley need to revisit 7 man fronts to insure some wins? Will Dooley need to use more creative plays , like passing to Bailey, and more short quick release passing to get Lock back into scoring mode for MU wins?
  • I don't think more trick passes to offensive linemen are the answer. But, yes, can he afford to be more creative? Sure. But the best offenses don't need to beat you with tricks. They execute by pitching and catching the ball consistently. 
    Not sure I follow with the seven-man front question? You mean more protection for Lock? More seven-man protection schemes? Maybe that's a solution, but what makes this offense effective - when things are clicking - is Lock has four or five targets every play. Two outside receivers, a slot receiver, a tight end and a checkdown tailback. Last year, unless they were in the red zone, Lock usually just had three receivers. Sometimes two receivers and a tight end. He had more time to throw, but he's got a quick release. He shouldn't need all the time in the world back there, especially on the shorter, intermediate routes. 
  • I know it is just breaking but do you think the G League's new rule for 2019 will have much of an impact on Mizzou?
  • Hard to say. I don't think it will have any impact next offseason.
  • Couple DLine Zou questions - Thoughts on Jordan Elliot's play this season? He was talked up quite a bit during the offseason and is still listed as -OR- starter - does he seem to be living up to the hype? Also, where does Akial Byers fit long term? Seems to be getting a few more opportunities at DE and can play there, but is he more of a DT long term?
  • The Palmore-Elliott rotation has been pretty effective. Both have made some impact stops. They got off blocks and help swallow up running plays. D-tackles are rarely going to put up huge numbers, but when you total up the production of the top four DTs - and factor in they're getting next to nothing from the ends - this has been a strong start for that group. 
    Byers is big enough to play some snaps at D-tackle but gives the line rare size at D-end. He was more active at Alabama than he's been all year. 
  • Who has the better rushing and passing numbers versus Memphis. Both teams seem neck to neck
  • Missouri has the better defense. Memphis will put up some yards, but Missouri should be able to move the ball consistently.
  • Thoughts on the SLB position next year? With Lee gone, is Perkins big enough or progressing enough to play that more full time? Or names to watch that can step in and play more stout against the run if Perkins stays more a nickel defender?
  • They might be able to move some other players into that role. Gerald Nathan is redshirting this year and could get some looks there. Bledsoe could gain some weight and slide back into the position. Don't forget about Chad Bailey, who's sitting out this year after hurting his thumb in camp. They'll have some options. And Perkins will get a shot, too.
  • I read an observation from a fan that Lock seems to be able to hit receivers as they run downfield, but he is throwing behind or too far ahead in any side running patterns. Does that sound plausible? Also it looks to me that MU's problems on either side of the ball are in direct correlation to the amount of pressure - possibly meaning MU players need to be practiced at more competitive levels?
  • I don't know how anyone outside of the team can evaluate how the team practices, since practices are closed to the public. Missouri looked pretty poised down the stretch at Purdue when Lock ran the 2-minute drill. 
    I haven't analyzed every throw Lock has made this year, but he looked pretty good throwing to Knox on a crossing pattern at Alabama. He throws a great deep ball. Can he afford to be more accurate on slants? Sure. But I'm not sure I'd call it a weakness. 
  • Hey Dave, you mentioned a crowd of 50-55K this weekend. Are there people in the program and at Mizzou in general that think the protests are STILL hurting Mizzou attendance? I know the program isn’t great right now like it was from 07-14 (for the most part).
  • Some fans dropped their support after 2015, but it's impossible to measure how many. Those fans are probably never coming back. It's time to move on.
  • Hey Dave. I heard Mizzou will be playing Iowa and Southern Illinois in some closed scrimmages. What would it mean if Mizzou handles them both easily?
  • I don't put much stock into these closed scrimmages. When I can't see them with my own eyes, I'm skeptical of anything anyone says about the game. Generally, teams don't release statistics from these games - unless they're good statistics. Otherwise, they act like they didn't happen.
  • Dave, can you give a rough estimate involving how much you think of MU fanbase is still staying away from Faurot Field on gamedays because of bitterness over the campus protests of '15 and the football players involvement in it? (I personally am not one of the ones staying away, just to clarify). I estimate it to be a core group of about 10,000 fans who are still boycotting attending football games whom otherwise would be there; my friend tells me that he thinks that's a ridiculously high estimate. What say you?
  • Ten thousand feels like a lot. I don't know how anyone can measure the total without personally polling thousands of people who are no longer going to games. Let's not pretend like Mizzou was selling out every game before 2015. Sellouts were rare for this team. Attendance is down at home games, just like it's down at most programs. 2015 certainly impacted the crowds and MU's fan support - but the school and the athletics department has also raised record numbers the last couple years, so the support is still there by other measures.
  • Dave, a fun question. How many college football stadiums have you been to since I assume you travel with the team? I asked Dave Thomas how many hockey arenas and pro football stadiums hr has been to. I've been to 41 MLB stadiums.
  • Good question. I'll run through the list.
    SEC: Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Vandy, Kentucky, South Carolina
    Big Ten: Michigan State, Purdue, Indiana, Nebraska
    Big 12: Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, West Virginia, Baylor
    ACC: Clemson, 
    AAC: UConn, Memphis, UCF
    Pac-12: Colorado, Arizona State
    Others: Ball State, Toledo, Bowling Green, Nevada, Arkansas State
    I think that's it. I've been to a couple games at Notre Dame, but not as a reporter. 
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