He's not a runner. He's athletic enough to carry out a zone-read keeper and pick up a few yards, but he's just not fast enough or physical enough in the open field to be an impact runner.
You can reload when you have an established program in place with discipline and standards and methods and players who are invested in the whole operation. You plug in new parts and let the process churn. That's what Mizzou had in the peak Pinkel years. But it took about four years to establish. Pinkel's program didn't begin in August or September. It started in January and every day was meticulously organized. From doing his book the last year I have a much greater understanding and appreciation for how organized and detailed that process was. I have stacks of pages of the Pinkel Bible that explain how the program is run on a daily basis. When you install a real program and then have success on the field, the program regenerates itself year after year with new players. What we don't know yet is if Odom can build something like that. Is this the ground floor of something that will turn into a program? (Remember, the early Pinkel years weren't too fun either.) In some ways it's unfair to compare the established Pinkel process/program with what Odom's running now, but they did have the same job title, so it is fair. A lot of what we've seen lately wouldn't happen midseason under Pinkel. He wouldn't have fired a coordinator two games into the season. He wouldn't have moved his OC to the press box at hafltime of the third game. There was a trusted plan for everything.
It was released last week. Barnes & Noble stores in the state should have it. If you can't find in a bookstore, you can buy online at TriumphBooks.com or Amazon or B&N. Thanks.
I'll put that on my to-do list.
Those first two Pinkel teams weren't very talented outside of Brad Smith and they had their share of blowout losses to Nebraska, K-State, Michigan State. But in year two, 2002, Mizzou had wins over Illinois, Kansas and Texas A&M and competitive losses to Oklahoma, Iowa State and Colorado.
I think the concept of a special teams coach is really overrated. Almost every team that has a designated special teams coach also has that guy coach the tight ends or running backs. It's a title. Truth is, all the coaches coach special teams. You can't practice a punt and have only one guy coaching the play. Someone has to coach the punt team and someone else has to coach the return team. Same thing with kickoffs. When you have 11 on 11 offense vs. defense, the same coach doesn't coach the offensive line and the defensive line. It's not that hard for a linebackers coach to learn how to coach the punt team and have that be his speciality or an O-line coach learn how to coach the PAT team.
Listen, last week's performance was horrible. If that's rock bottom and Mizzou plays marginally better the rest of the season, they'll win some games. They'll beat Idaho and UConn. They'll have a shot against Florida and Tennessee at home. Those teams aren't very good. Neither is Arkansas. But ... if last week's showing is the new normal, then yeah, this team is going to struggle to win every week.
It's hard to say a team quit - becuase there are 11 players on the field for every play and around 50 who see the field in some capacity. Did they all quit? Did just a dozen or so quit? I don't know how you measure that. But here's the alternative: If Mizzou didn't give up last week and they played their hardest, then that means Purdue, for years one of the worst teams in the Power 5, came in and curbstomped an SEC team that was playing hard. I'm not sure what's worse? The latter scenario means this team was simply outplayed and outcoached by 32 points.
I'm not sure I'd say there's nothing on either side. There are coaches in the SEC who would like to have some of Mizzou's receivers and tight ends. There's no reason to give up on this O-line. It didn't have a bad game against South Carolina - just wasn't very physical against Purdue. Beckner, Brandon, Cheadle, Sherrils and Wilson have made some plays on defense - just not enough to make up for mistakes by others. I don't think it's a severe void of talent from top to bottom, just a shortage of the kind of impact players you need to be better than average.
They've been off my radar of late and I haven't heard much on her status other than she's played less than half the team's sets because of her injury.
Good question. Defense is his speciality, and he proved that in 2015 when he took a unit that lost Ray and Golden and still produced a strong defense. Obviously he's got a lot more on his plate now, but he hasn't forgotten how to coach defense. It's a matter of having the right pieces and developing them. That's been harder to pull off the last two years.
No. Auburn's offense hasn't been up to its standards, but its defense is damn good. I'll be surprised if Mizzou gets close to the red zone more than a couple times. Auburn doesn't need a great offense the way it's playing on defense. Auburn and Georgia are both balanced top 15 teams. I'm not convinced Kentucky is very good - good enough to play in a bowl game and beat Mizzou and South Carolina and maybe Tennessee or Florida but not good enough to win the division.
It's not a good matchup by any means. Auburn's defense is physical and deep. I don't think MU will get many big plays - and they haven't proven they can lead long methodical drives against P5 defenses. Auburn's offense hasn't been special, but if Mizzou can't tackle, Kamryn Petway will run for 200 yards.
Possibly. It goes back to the realization that practice isn't the same as games. In camp Jordan Ulmer was the best safety on the team. He graded out higher than the rest. Thomas Wilson graded out low enough that he was no higher than fifth among the top six options. Then they play the games and Wilson is the best safety and Ulmer plays like a freshman and struggles against the speed of the game. To some degree you really don't know what you have in terms of personnel or scheme until you try it against someone else when the live bullets are flying.
Same spot on the field but the coverage was different on both INTs. Against South Carolina, the DB was playing off Johnson in the slot and simply jumped the route when Johnson turned toward the sideline. Against Purdue, an outside linebacker was drifting back in zone coverage. Lock was attacking the new corner who just came into the game after the starter was injured on the previous play. The new corner was covering Moore on the outside - but Lock clearly didn't see that linebacker who stepped in front of the ball and made the pick.
That wasn't the case against South Carolina or Missouri State where Lock often targeted the tight ends down the seam and the slot receivers inside the numbers. Lock threw to his inside targets more than he threw to his right or left outside receivers in the USC game. Now, against Purdue, the bulk of the action went outside. Heupel explained Monday that the TEs were left on the line to pass-block most of the game because Purdue is a heavy blitz team and Heupel thought the line needed an extra body in protection. Also, the lack of a running game took away the play-action threat to the tight ends. Sometimes coverage dictates where Lock's reads take his eyes, but, sure, it does seem like in games like that they can afford to find ways to get those tight ends more involved.
I'm not sure there's such a thing as momentum from late November to the following September. Coaches have an entire offseason to study and develop their teams. Had they played Purdue and South Carolina last December, maybe Mizzou keeps the momentum going - but not nine months later.
Jim Sterk might be asking that question in two months. A lot depends obviously how the next nine weeks go.
I don't sense there are conflicts between Heupel and the players or Heupel and Odom like there were with Cross. Very different situations. That said, his unit has been really disappointing. No excuse for one TD over 25 possessions, not with the kind of talent this team has on that side of the ball.
Coaches beat themselves up when things go wrong. They all do. I wouldn't measure him on his demeanor. If he had a deeper track record as a head coach, we could cite examples of how the was able to fix problems like this, but he simply doesn't have the body of work. I give him credit for getting last year's team up for a mostly meaningless game against Arkansas. Mizzou clearly wanted that second half more and had the gumption and toughness to focus and outplay the Hogs for 30 minutes. Odom deserves credit for that game. Otherwise ...
If those guys struggle again Saturday, you've got to look at someone else. But they need help from the other 10 guys on the return unit too. The group as a whole is discombobulated.