A couple factors: He didn't feel good about punting into the wind. Didn't think it would help field position. He really liked the package of fourth-down calls the offensive staff came up with during the week. They present those plays to the entire staff late in the week so Odom knows what he has available come decision time. And he felt like the team needed a spark. He trusted Lock to make a play, and lucky for him, Johnson made a great adjustment on the route and snagged the pass.
Touched on this one earlier. I'd be surprised if he plays another game in college. It's not so much that he doesn't need the extra year, but there might be too much risk in putting off his pro career another year.
Defense. That 2014 team had Shane Ray and Markus Golden destroying offensive lines. Missouri wasn't great offensively, but Marcus Murphy was dynamic in the return game. Special teams were a huge plus that year. Mizzou was plus-9 in turnovers. That team forced 21 fumbles, second-most in the entire country. They didn't move the ball much, but they did almost everything else really well.
Walking out of the stadium last Saturday, I guessed Kentucky would be a 2-point favorite, so I'm also surprised by the line. Then again, Kentucky's offensive strength doesn't match up well with Missouri's rush defense, which is very solid. It's a home game for the Tigers. Kentucky just barely squeaked out a win against Vandy. Kentucky has the much stronger body of work, no doubt. They're a more of a complete team because of its defense. But maybe Vegas is counting on bettors seeing that 65-point total from the Tigers last week and thinking they'll crank up the offense again this week - and hold off a one-dimensional Kentucky offense.
How so? Because the punt return team doesn't get many returns? Well, it did last year when Floyd was healthy, but otherwise it hasn't been a very productive unit. There have been a few mistakes here and there that have been costly, but do we blame everything on coaching and not the players? Does Hill get the blame when McCann misses a field goal but no credit when he makes a 57-yarder?
I touched on this earlier, but Memphis' rushing production was well below its averages for the last two years. That's a dynamic, prolific offense, and when the outcome was in doubt, Mizzou made enough stops to hold off the Memphis run and pass. Again, Missouri had to be concerned with the passing attack, too, and did a great job forcing two turnovers and applying some pressure on the nation;s sixth-rated quarterback. The defense won't have those same concerns this week against Kentucky.
I wrote a lot about the two senior analysts during the bye week, Ted Monachino and Garrick McGee. Mizzou has a supersized staff of GAs and analysts like most modern staffs. There are far more people contributing to coaching, scouting, recruiting and all the other daily tasks than ever before for Mizzou's program. That's the trend in today's game. The two senior analysts are overqualified for the jobs they're doing this season, so MU is lucky to have them on staff.
Missouri has a QB committed next year, so it's not like the staff is spending more time on that position and ignoring other positions. And they already have a handful of receivers committed, so those recruits don't seem hesitant on playing for Missouri based on the QB situation.
I don't know how the NCAA and the schools can turn a blind eye to what unfolded in court and not either investigate these allegations or just come out and suspend/fire some of the involved coaches. If nothing is done, then what's the point of following the rules? I'm not smart enough to come up with a solution. I don't know how you enforce the rules if the cheating coaches are seen as victims of fraud. It's bizarro world.
Meh, not really. It's probably my least favorite place to visit in this conference. It's not exactly bursting with culture like other college towns in the SEC. And media generally stay in Ocala because Gainesville is short on affordable hotels during football season. I've rarely stepped foot in Gainesville other than at the stadium.
Because the guy can recruit. And they can promise opportunity because they're not tied to the current players.
He could, but I think he'll be more consumed with being a playmaker and facilitator than a pure scorer. But he's spent countless hours the last two offseasons working on his shot. I'd be really surprised if he's not a much better shooter this year.
He had some teams tell him he'd be a late first-round pick. The Spurs were interested in taking him at 18, Porter Sr. has said on record.
It was implied that more than a TD also meant by a TD.
I don't really agree. They looked pretty poised down the stretch at Purdue, especially on offense. Last year's team was arguably better on the road. Far more competitive at Georgia than at home against Purdue or Auburn. They played well at Vandy at Arkansas.
I'm not sure about that. If this team wins eight games or more, I would expect Odom to get another extension and possibly a raise.
Fair enough. But on the onside kick, the kicker was the only player on the kickoff unit who misread the signal. How is that the coach's fault?
He's got a big decision to make. When he's at his best, he looks like a prototypical NFL tight end prospect. He was shaky the first month of the season. Drops, fumbles, penalties. When he plays like he did against Memphis, he looks like a guy who should be a first- or second-round pick in 2019. That speed is elite for a 270-pound tight end. I think he'd benefit from another year in a pro-style offense that requires him to actually run the kind of routes he'll have to run in the NFL, but if he gets first-round feedback, he should go get paid.
There's a lot of truth to that. A 7-minute segment in the rain at South Carolina has essentially dictate how people feel about this team. If all hell doesn't break loose that day and the Tigers win by 10 or by 1 and everything else stays the same, this team is 5-2 with expectations to finish 10-2 and Odom is an SEC coach of the year candidate. Instead, some fans can't get out from under their black cloud and expect each week to deliver more bad news. I had a handful of fans tell me they expected Memphis to roll last week. I've heard from enough this week who expect Kentucky to do the same. I don't think the doom and gloomers are so gloomy had the ball bounced differently a few times at South Carolina. So I think there's room to still be optimistic, but a guarded optimism.
They don't run a wishbone because he can't throw. It's just the system that coaching staff has always gone with. College coaches don't rely solely on high school film to evaluate quarterbacks these days. Most of these kids take part in camps and other showcases where coaches can learn more about their raw talents. If he's got the skills to function in Missouri's offense, they don't really care about the system he runs in high school.
Here's what I've learned covering college athletes the last 20 years: They are far more resilient than fans. Far more. They bounce back and flush the results, because they have to. They don't have time to commiserate over past mistakes - because they have a new game plan to learn, a new opponent to study. For the fans, the game ends on Saturday and they're left with another full week to stew over what went wrong in the game. Also, the players haven't endured years or decades of defeat like some fans have. The players don't wallow in some of that history like some fans do. They go back to practice, back to class, back to their girlfriends, back to their video games and move on with life. We try to psychoanalyze these players every week, but for the most part, they march along to the next week.
Probably. But that's without knowing what kind of financial impact adding an East Coast team has done for the Big Ten's numbers. In terms of just football matters, yes, I'm sure the Big Ten would prefer Missouri or just about any program, but those weren't just football decisions.
OK, folks. That's enough for today. We went three hours instead of two. BenFred and I will have a new Mizzou podcast available Friday. We'll do this again next week. Thanks for playing along.