Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




  • Hey folks, let's get this week's chat started. Much to discuss, I'm sure.
  • One quick note: The Mizzou men's basketball team is opening its practice for 30 minutes today starting at 1 p.m., so I'll have to cut out of here shortly before then.
  • Best place to watch an sec men’s b-ball game this season ?
  • You mean besides Mizzou Arena? An away game?
  • What about Jeremy Pruitt as a coach ? Think he would get this place excited if BO isn’t retained
  • Fire a guy because he wasn't cut out to be a head coach for a guy who's never been a head coach? I don't see Jim Sterk making that kind of move. Yes, it worked for Georgia with Kirby Smart, but Smart is a Georgia alum, and the fans there looked past his lack of HC experience because of his connection to the program.
  • If you haven't listened yet, here's the latest "Eye on the Tigers" podcast. We had a great conversation with Georgia beat writer Seth Emerson from the ACJ/DawgNation.com. 
     

    Eye on the Tigers podcast: Here's how Mizzou competes against Georgia

    stltoday.com: In this week's edition of our 'Eye on the Tigers' podcast, Ben Frederickson and Dave Matter call upon Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal Constitution to brainstorm a blueprint that
  • Who has a better season Barnett or Puryear.

    Also do you see our bigs from last season stepping it up this season?
  • I'm going to lean toward Puryear. The staff likes his toughness and leadership. I think his role is more clearly defined than Barnett's role. Is Barnett a shooting guard? Is he a stretch four in a smaller lineup? Can he guard the perimeter effectively? Can he capitalize on Porter attention on the wing? I'm just not sure how Barnett fits in. He's a streaky shooter, and if he's not hitting shots from outside, where does he contribute most effectively?
  • Dave - Did Pinkel leave the team with a talent deficit or is Odom mismanaging? Is it the Xs and Os or Jimmys/Joes? Or both?
  • It's never just one factor when the results are poor, especially when you see varying results from week to week. The offense looked pretty impressive last week, especially compared to the three previous games. Did the coaches get smarter over the bye? Did the players get more talented? Did the offense that played well down the stretch last season struggle against South Carolina, Purdue and Auburn because they lost their skills over the offseason? On defense, I think there's a severe lack of established talent on this team. That's not a surprise. I said the same thing going into the season. Maybe some of the younger players will develop, but right now, the veteran talent on this defense isn't good enough to compete for the SEC East. Other than Terez Hall and Terry Beckner Jr., I'm not sure another defensive starter would start for another SEC team based on this year's results. Roster attrition is a big factor. Some under-the-radar recruits didn't pan out. Some high-profile recruits haven't developed or gotten better. So, as always, it's a combination of recruiting, player development and coaching.
  • Since Coach Odom invoked the Smith era and Pinkel's early years, let me ask you this: Larry Smith's trajectory changed at Mizzou when he landed Corby Jones and played him (setting aside the fact that burning his redshirt so late in the season ultimately cost the program on the back end), while Brad Smith was the big reason why Pinkel lasted long enough to land Chase Daniel and the next era of players. Does Barry Odom have a player he can hang his hat on right now on this roster, active or redshirting, or pledged for next season? I'm not necessarily saying generational talent, even if I've set up that comparison.
  • Good question, but I'm not sure there's an answer. You saw some elite throws from Drew Lock at Kentucky. His two deep balls to Hall and the 50-yard laser to Moore were NFL throws, no doubt. Now, of course, Lock needs to clean up his throws in the short to intermediate game. He's got to cut down on the turnovers. He didn't throw any INTs or come close to throwing any INTs at Kentucky. That was the Drew Lock people have been wanting to see. Can he take it one step higher and lead Mizzou to some wins? If he can finish strong - but not strong enough to where he's thinking about leaving for the NFL, which seems like a huge reach at this point - then perhaps Odom can point to Lock and say, "Mizzou will win in 2018 because this guy's making progress as a franchise quarterback." You throw in Crockett, Johnson and Hall and you've got a 2018 nucleus for what should be a potent, balanced attach each week - not to mention an offensive line that now starts two juniors, two sophomores and a redshirt freshman.
  • I saw in the powermizzou mailbag that Gabe thought Geist could even possibly start the opener. I had heard the coaching staff is high on him but I see him more as a spark plug playing 10-12 mins off the bench and providing a energy boost. What roles do you think Geist and the holdovers who will see minutes will have?
  • I'm not sure he starts, but he'll be in the running with Harris and Phillips. The staff really likes what Geist brings to this team and the way he's attacked the offseason. They're also very high on Harris and his upside at the position. Puryear will be a factor at power forward. They'll lean on his experience playing against college bodies. Phillips will play, but I'm not sure he's on the floor for 30 minutes a game. Harris and Geist will get minutes there. Hard to say how much time reserve bigs Nikko and Smith will play. Martin hasn't been known to play a really deep rotation at his previous stops.
  • Hi Dave. No Barry bashing today. It is what it is. My comment/question is that this past weekend there was a huge contingent of Mizzou fans that traveled to Lexington, and with that kind of support, is that a selling point that Sterk can use to lure a new HC to the Zou? I personally think that there is no reason to sell ourselves short as a desirable job in a great community. What are your thoughts?
  • A huge contingent? I didn't see nearly as many Mizzou fans in Lexington or at the game than what usually has traveled to SEC road games. Huge contingent at LSU last year. Huge contingent in years past at Vandy. I saw lots of Mizzou parents of players last week in Lexington but not as big a pocket of black and gold in the stadium as I've seen at a number of games the last few years. I thought Auburn had a much bigger turnout in Columbia a couple weeks back. Most SEC fan bases travel well to road games. I'm not sure it's a real sales pitch for a potential candidate. It can be a good job for plenty of other reasons.
  • Rupp Arena is an experience because it's so big and a historic place, but as far as a facility it's a dump. Arkansas is a great place to watch a game if the crowd is into it, which they usually are. I haven't been to Ole Miss' new arena yet but looking forward to the trip. A&M is an underrated atmosphere. When the Aggies are good - and they should be this year - that place is loud.
  • Was last Saturday a moral victory for this team and did BO buy himself a little more runway with Sterk with a competitive game? Obviously a lot depends on final 6 games but Tenn/Ark look beatable and 4-8 or 5-7 seems potentially good enough?
  • I'll let offensive lineman Kevin Pendleton answer that one: "There’s no such thing as a moral victory. We lost. That’s it. We’re 1-4. At the end of the day that’s who we are.”
    Now, that said, I do think you can draw some positives from that game, especially with the offense. Will it buy Odom a longer leash with Sterk? Only if MU builds on that game and wins some more. Also, though, if MU wins five games and comes short of a bowl, if I'm Odom I remind Sterk how the officials butchered the end of that game, plus a couple other lousy calls that went against Mizzou. Officiating is never perfect, but MU had all the momentum in the final minute there and got robbed of having two more snaps against a defense that couldn't stop anything. 
  • Quick note on something I wanted to clear up: During the SEC Network broadcast of the MU-Kentucky game, the sideline reporter said Odom had Gary Pinkel talk to the team during the bye week. Good story ... but it's not true. I checked with a few folks who would definitely know if Pinkel spoke to the team - not hard to figure this one out, folks - and he did not talk to the team.
  • It seemed like a Kentucky player got injured on almost every other play last Saturday. I've heard people say that some coaches tell players to 'fake' an injury to slow the other team down. I know that isn't true when the injury occurs when they have the ball, but do you think there is some truth to this when the opposing team has the ball? I don't see Mizzou players appear injured unless they really are hurt. I also wonder why any coach or team would think they would have to slow us down to win a game. We do enough damage to ourselves to prevent victory. (But I am hopeful that is changing and a few more wins are in our future).
  • Kentucky did have some defensive players leave the game and not return because of injuries, but it sure seemed like there were some conveniently timed cramps in that game. It's funny that you rarely see offensive players cramp up like that. It happens all the time against up-tempo no-huddle teams. Here's the thing I didn't hear many people mention since the Kentucky game: Mizzou severely slowed down the tempo. Lock was letting the clock tick down to 10 seconds on plays. They would sometimes rush to the line and run a play after a first down but Heupel has clearly pumped the brakes on tempo the last two games.
  • In the first half of last week's football game, a Mizzou defense man was charged with targeting. He did lower his helmet and targeted the runners chest. I don't know if that is what the rule considers targeting, but I have no problem with that type of hit being a penalty. What I do question is the action of the runner. He lowered his head and shoulder. This caused a helmet to helmet hit. Yet the runner wasn't co-charged with targeting. He clearly appears to be the one that targeted the helmet to helmet hit. Why are offensive players held to the same charge? It seems that both players could reasonable be tossed from the game. I don't know exactly what the rule states, but I think ti should apply to players from both sides of the ball.
  • Yes, the UK receiver lowered his head at the last split second, but DeMarkus Acy didn't lower his and still aimed high. That was clear targeting. Now, if Acy had lowered his head and aimed for the receiver's chest, maybe he gets away with it. But he was going in high. The rule is in place to prevent the tackler as much as it is to prevent the ball-carrier and until the rule changes defensive players must adjust.
  • I stated previously & you disagreed. Odom has put his players over Pinkel's to detriment of team. E. Hall a backup to Mason? Prewitt over Brandon? Sparks/Ulman over ?.Wasting Roundtree instead of Red-shirting and playing Strong. Poor roster management. your thoughts?
  • I'm really confused here. Strong isn't redshirting. He left the team before the first game because he was upset he was fourth string. Lee is starting over Prewett now. Hall and Mason were playing even snaps until Hall got hurt in back to back games. Seven starters on offense were Pinkel recruits. Eight starters on defense were Pinkel recruits.
  • will we be able to watch the mizzou bball game vs Utah on Nov 16th since most of us do not have access to the PAC 12 network?
  • If you don't have the Pac-12 Network, then no, you won't be able to watch. I have it on my DISH Network plan. Not sure what cable/satellite provider you use but I would think there's a package that carries the network.
  • Pressuring QB allowed Mizzou's avg DBs to perform above talent level(Kul genuis). Odom's style is to drop more in coverage. In college never works(see Big12). What works at memphis doesn't work in SEC. Your thoughts.
  • Odom will sometimes drop a lineman into coverage but almost always when a linebacker is blitzing. It's still a four-man rush, at minimum, on most plays. Missouri did the same thing when Kuligowski was the D-line coach. Also, Kuligowski didn't call plays. Steckel called zone blitzes. So did Odom in 2015 when the defense was good.
  • That targeting call was bogus. There has to be an exception to the rule that when the offensive player lowers his head at the last second, it will not be a foul. The player was not targeting. He was aiming at a legal place, and the ball carrier created the situation. He should not be allowed to benefit from causing the situation.
  • Agree to disagree. Acy went in high and didn't attempt to hit the receiver below the head/neck area. That's going to be called every time. No matter if you disagree with the rule, the players are taught the rule and have to follow it or they risk the penalty.
  • I was in Lexington. Am I wrong to be upset with Lock and Hall not connecting on that trick play when shall was open by 30 yards? (My wife says yes). Did the refs lose the game for us or did have more to do with the QB jumping over Wilson, Garrett missing open field tackles, and lack of DL push?
  • Hall was wide open. Great play call by Heupel. He flipped Moore and Hall's positions on the field - Moore always lines up left, Hall on the right - and Hall ran a post pattern from the left while Johnson and Moore both ran in the backfield like MU was running a reverse or double reverse. To Lock's credit, he threw the ball about 50 yards while getting hit by a defender. Just threw it a couple yards too far. He can be incredibly accurate on deep balls, but even if you only hit 40 to 50 percent of those, that's a good rate considering the degree of difficulty. I wouldn't say the officials lost the game. Mizzou made some crucial stops in the red zone but Kentucky capitalized with a bunch of field goals. I wouldn't say MU's lack of depth on the D-line is the problem - because outside of one guy the starters aren't very productive. That's just overall talent, not depth. The line gets zero pressure off the edge from the two starting D-ends.
  • I made a comment last week that it took 200 yds on the ground for MU to win. MU showed a pulse but it comes back to the qb doesn't have the "it" I've mentioned a few times. whether "it" is situational awareness, timely play making, or toughness is up for debate. 3 things stood out to me on that field that keep Drew from breaking through to the win column in my opinion and I'd like to know your thoughts. 1. first possession blitz causes fumble. A more in tuned qb feels that pressure or knows it coming, not Drew. 2. about 3-4 minutes left in qtr 3 OC calls a nice miss direction play that leaves Hall wide open and the throw is too far off target, should have been 6 and the lead. 3. Final drive, it was obvious the middle of the field was open for chunk plays yet it was exposed for at least 3 snaps wasting time. 4. final throw, Drew had thrown passes over 60 yards during the game but couldn't hit the endzone form 35? you have to at least get it to the endzone don't you? these qb mishaps are why IMO the team led by Drew remain in the L column.
  • I'll answer each point:
    1. Lock and right tackle Paul Adams admitted this week that Lock made the wrong protection call at the line of scrimmage. He shifted the blocking to the left instead of the right. Adams figured Allen had a free pass at Lock - and that's just what happened. Mistake on the QB's part. 
    2. I touched on the throw to Hall earlier. Wide open but he did have a defender in his face as he launched the pass. That makes completing that pass much harder. 
    3. Kentucky had three safeties playing extremely deep on the final drive. That's why Lock was smart to hit Witter over the middle on the checkdowns on back to back plays. Both went for first downs. I thought he did a nice job leading that two-minute drive - with zero timeouts, don't forget. The 1-yard pass to Moore didn't accomplish much, but Lock told a few reporters this week exactly what I suspected: Because the chain gang didn't move the flag on the right sideline and because the officials didn't stop the clock on the previous first-down pass, Lock thought it was third-and-short and needed only a 1-yard pass to Moore to stop the clock. Perhaps he should have been more aware BUT the sticks hadn't moved, indicating it was third and short. Another huge mistake by the officials. 
  • Why haven't we seen more of Tre Williams this year? Will we see more of him? Looked great on two series last Saturday and should play more IMO
  • The staff had made it clear in camp and the first few weeks of the season that he needed to be more mature in practice to earn playing time. Tre is a good kid from the encounters I've had with him but a bit of a goofball. He admits that himself. If you don't take practice seriously, you're not going to play. Maybe he's come along the last couple weeks. He had a couple nice moves to get into the pocket at Kentucky. I'd want to see more of him, especially considering what little rush they're getting off the edge from the veterans.
  • I counted six throws where they were not anywhere near the receiver. Is that the QB or receiver's fault? How much does Lock's lack of mobility hurt the offense?
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