Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

Mizzou chat with Dave Matter

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




    Hello, my chatting friends. Game week is finally here, which means there's plenty to discuss. I'll be here for the next two hours or so to take all your Mizzou questions.
    What will you be looking at during this week's game to give you an idea of how good or how weak this team will be this year?
    Easy answer. Everything ... and nothing. It's a rookie mistake to see anything positive during a game against an FCS team and extrapolate any meaning out of it. An SEC team playing at home should dominate an FCS team that has fewer scholarship athletes and less-caliber players at most if not every position. If Drew Lock throws for 521 yards and 7 touchdowns, congrats. He should be able to do just that. It doesn't mean he'll do the same against Purdue, Georgia or, frankly, Wyoming. Those were his numbers against Missouri State last year ... then he failed to complete 45 percent of his passes and threw 4 interceptions the next two weeks against South Carolina and Purdue. By the same token, if Mizzou shuts out UT-Martin and holds the Skyhawks to six first downs, atta boy, fellas. Now do it against a team with 85 scholarships and Power 5 recruits. 
    That said, if either side of the ball struggles, that's an obvious red flag, as were the defensive issues last year against Missouri State. 
    When I watch games I don't pick and choose what I'm interested in watching. It's all interesting to me. Once the real season begins next week, I'm especially curious to see the pass rush, the rotation at receiver, the offensive line play, the secondary play, the tackling, the defensive sub packages. 
    Will basketball also being getting updated away and third jerseys to go with the fresh new white ones?
    Any idea what size crowd is anticipated for Saturday's game?
    The stadium capacity for this year is right around 60,000. I'd expect an announced attendance in the high 40s, low 50s. When you're Missouri - and I think a lot of people lose sight of this - but you need big visitor crowds to push that capacity figure. And I can't imagine there will be a horde of Skyhawk fans in town for the game. Last year's announced crowd for the Missouri State game was 50,131. That's about what I'd expect. It's Labor Day. Students don't show up like they used to. Season ticket sales were tracking behind last year's pace at last check.
    Thought you did a great job on the Paul Finebaum show.What quality are mo wide recievers and def ends? Thank you.
  • Thanks for watching. I always enjoy time with Paul.
    Missouri's wideouts are a bit of an unknown, which sounds strange for a group that starts two seniors and a junior, but Emanuel Hall is going to have an expanded role. Is he more than the one-trick pony he insists he doesn't want to be? Johnathon Johnson can be a dangerous slot receiver. He needs to hang onto the ball better to be one of the  best in the SEC. Nate Brown hasn't gotten starter's reps since 2015. Alex Ofodile has been a little-used backup at Oregon. The rest of the rotation is freshmen. All untested at this level. There's lots of potential there.
    At defensive end, Tre Williams has the tools to be a star. He's got to put it all together, play the run and stay healthy. The staff loves Chris Turner for all the reasons that they seem hesitant to praise Williams: Turner is all motor, never stops, tremendous worker, all business. Between the two of them, Missouri needs one of them to become a threat on the edge. Nate Anderson will get snaps on the edge and inside in the Cheetah package - three D-ends, one D-tackle across the front four - and the two freshmen, Hansford and Jeffcoat, will get some snaps Saturday to see if they're ready for this level. 
  • Next sesason's non-con for basketball schedule, I believe, stands at: Illinois, Utah, @Xavier, and 2/3 of OU, Butler, and Stanford in the CBE. Hopefully they can get back into the Big 12/SEC challenge, but outside of that do you think they'll schedule anymore real schools or just fill the rest with cupcakes?
  • That would be the toughest noncon Missouri will have played in years, so I don't imagine they'll add any more high-profile opponents. That's at least four games against high-major teams away from home. Jon Rothstein tweeted the CBE Field earlier this week, citing an anonymous source. That hasn't been confirmed by anyone on the record to my knowledge. (Personal pet peeve: Anonymous sources are necessary in this industry when we're reporting sensitive information, but do nonconference basketball games really cross that threshold?)
  • Are the coaches backing off on Jordan Ulmer? I noticed that his name isn't being mention as much before. Is the coaching staff looking to move him to a different position?
  • No, he's just been passed over by other players. I think you'll see him in some sub packages. They might decide to redshirt him. His 2017 season was really strange. The coaches RAVED about him during preseason camp last year. He consistently graded out higher than every safety during the August scrimmages. They named him the starter for Week 1 and he looked completely lost in the secondary - and barely played again.
  • I heard that some news pundit picked Gators to make the playoffs.. He was probably a homer, that I dont know. Also I believe you picked Gators over MIZ. I understand that they have some talent as always, its November road game. But why all the love???? I was at the game in Florida in 2012 it was a fun vibe not intimidating. It was an ugly 14-7 loss but I think MIZ made it to the red zone for the tie before Franklin got picked off or something.
  • I picked Florida to beat Missouri in Gainesville this year but I picked Missouri ahead of Florida in the SEC East standings. Mullen will have a functional offense. Florida has some defensive talent, as always. They'll be a tough matchup at home. Drew Lock is 2-9 in SEC road games - and the wins came against bad Vandy and Arkansas teams. Florida has more talent than both.
  • Forget the Skyhawks. The best visitor this weekend in Columbia is Shooter. Who's going tomorrow?
     
     
  • With the new season kicking off Saturday what can MU fans expect? TN Martin, I assume is a D2 school like MoSt. While the offense scored 73 points in last year’s opener it was disconcerting to see the Bears score 43 points. I assume the offense will not be as fast and furious as it was under Heupel which means MU will improve on its time of possession stats. Last year they were 128th out of 129 D1 teams.
    In TOP. I guess I’m not supposed to complain since Lock threw 43TD passes, but I’m guessing the defense will improve this year with more rest than last year? Finally, please tell me that TN Martin is not going to spoil the season opener like MTSU spoiled homecoming 2 years ago. Looking forward to the season and hoping to beat one of the three games vs GA, SC and AL. I hope the team remembers last year’s Purdue debacle and is competitive even though the game is at Purdue.
  • Quick note: Missouri and SEC teams and teams in all the major conferences don't play Division 2 teams. UT-Martin (and Missouri State) plays at the FCS level. Football Championship Subdivision. D-2 is a step below. 
    Missouri will fluctuate its pace on offense this year. Don't expect a huddle and a plodding offense walking to the line of scrimmage with a couple seconds left on the play clock. They will go up-tempo at times, perhaps often. But they'll also slow it down at times and be more deliberate. The real offensive changes are the kind of things seen internally within a playbook and not something fans in the stands will necessarily notice on every play. Different reads for the QB. Different routes for the receivers. Different protections for the linemen. Different terminology for everything. This is still a shotgun offense with three and four receivers split wide on most plays. 
  • any sense that since the Lambs move to LA that STL folk will embrace MIZ more and travel to COMO more on saturdays???
  • Missouri has made a push to extend its reach in the St. Louis area since the Rams left in terms of corporate sponsors and tap into the season ticket market ... but I'm not sure it was ever realistic to expect NFL fans who weren't Missouri or college football fans to suddenly adopt MU as their new team and redirect their income toward a team and a sport they didn't support initially. I know Rams season ticket holders who might go to a Mizzou game here or there - if the product is good - but was it ever reasonable to think Rams season ticket holders would convert to Mizzou season ticket holders?
  • Do you see Nate Brown having a big year?
  • He'll have a chance. Backups will get opportunities, too. The staff really likes Nate's approach. He's a true veteran. Others might have more upside in terms of speed and athleticism. But he makes contested catches. The staff will value that. Drew Lock, too.
  • Hi Dave. Which coach of the new additions to HCBO staff has impressed you the most?
  • Vernon Hargreaves. He's earned credibility and respect from his position group (ILB), and that's a group that's seen a lot of staff turnover the last few years. He brings passion and energy to the staff - and seems to coach in a positive way. Who knows how it's going to translate, but I believe Ryan Walters when he says the current staff creates a healthy environment on the team. He made some telling comments when I asked him about staff chemistry the other day. 
     

    After subtle progress in 2017, Odom's defense back in the spotlight

    stltoday.com: Ryan Walters is tasked with coordinating a unit that showed glimpses of progress last year.
  • Who do you think will start for the basketball team, if you had to predict today?
  • Geist, Watson, Santos, Porter, Tilmon. Maybe Puryear can start at the 3 in place of Santos, but he's more of a natural 4, though he looks like he's some shed some weight.
  • Any word on Pickett's health this summer on the hoops team? Didn't he have a shoulder injury that kept him out all of last year? Any potential redshirts on the horizon for the hoops team this year?
  • He's been going through workouts/practices as far as I know. He's one of the guys Martin has gone out of his way to mention as working extra hours in the gym. 
    As for redshirts, they already have two scholarship players sitting out this year after transferring (Mark Smith, Dru Smith) and VanLeer is coming back from knee surgery, so I'm not sure they have the depth to afford a redshirt among the scholarship players. 
  • Daniel Parker seems flexible in where he gets on the field, which makes sense being a freshman. Why do you think the shift from DE to TE? Moreso a team need at depth at TE, the team has an abundance of depth at DE (which is doubtful), or he is simply showing much better at TE and DE?
    thanks
  • I'd say it's a combination, but there is more depth at defensive end than tight end. There are currently 7 D-ends in the rotation: Turner, Williams, Anderson, Byers, Agbasimere, Hansford and Jeffcoat. And don't forget, in certain down and distances against certain opponents, they'll be able to flex a D-tackle outside to play on the edge. They don't have established stars at D-end, but they have bodies there - far more than they have at tight end.
    At tight end, the 1-2 tandem might be the best in the country in Okwuegbunam and Blanton. But you need more than two in this offense. And they're really going to need multiple tight ends in 2019 if AO should enter the NFL draft. Are they sold on Logan Christopherson as a long-term answer there? I'm not convinced. Brendan Scales is getting repeatedly passed on the depth by younger players. That's not a good sign. With Messiah Swinson out of the year, they really need to develop someone else at the position. It makes sense to give Parker a look. Maybe an extended look.
     
  • what year was that opening scene from the new uniform video? Who was shooting and who was under the basket? Coward and Buntin??
  • It was too grainy for me to tell for sure but my guess is late 1980s. In the video the announcer says the score was 83-71. That was the score of Mizzou's win over Xavier at Hearnes Center on Nov. 19, 1988. 
    Never say I don't research during the chat. 
  • when does the hoops team end the intense weight training and begin basketball training? I would be interested in Jontay's before and after measures.
  • Full-scale practices will begin in a few weeks.
  • Do you think Cale Garret will hear his named called on Sunday at some point? Also other than Drew, Terry, and the TEs who do you think from the veterans on this roster has a chance to play on Sundays?
  • I think Cale is a very good college linebacker and could have a monster season. And he's only a junior. He's smart, tough, physical. Everything you want at that position. Is he athletic enough to play in the NFL? I'm not sure about that. Speed isn't his game. But he's got two more years to put together film. He's a guy who didn't have Power 5 offers until shortly before signing day - and he's started for parts of two seasons already. Don't count him out.
    Emanuel Hall will get a chance in the NFL because of his speed. Terez Hall will get a look. Johnathon Johnson could make it as a return specialist/slot receiver but he has to clean up the drops. I'm interested to see how productive the D-tackles are this year. Palmore, Elliott. They have NFL bodies. Paul Adams has an NFL frame. Big year for him. 
  • Do you think Urban Meyer should have been fired?
  • It seems very clear that he misled his bosses. That would get most coaches fired. He inexplicably put his faith in a troubled person who has brought nothing but shame on the program. That's poor judgment. The more we hear from Zach Smith, the worse it looks for Meyer. I don't understand why you suspend a head coach in this situation. Either you back your coach and say you don't think he did enough to earn punishment or you part ways. Clearly it was a financial move to save the university millions.
  • Barry Odom has a reputation as a great defensive mind. However, last year they started and heavily praised Jordan Ulmer and now he is down in the pecking order. Last year, Odom said that Agbassimere would be a very, very good DE and now he is almost an afterthought. It sounds like this year they are being cautious starting two elder statesmen at safety. I don't recall Gary Pinkel missing on his assessments on players to the degree that Odom has. What are your thoughts on this?
  • That's not accurate about Agbasimere. Through the first week of fall practice Odom said he was having a great camp. Then his play fell off - and then he got hurt. That's why he didn't play last year. The staff clearly saw something in Ulmer that didn't translate on game day. But to their credit, they didn't stick with him the rest of the year. They adjusted and tried others at safety, eventually moving Kaleb Prewett from outside linebacker. I'm not sure what you mean by cautious with the two elder statesman at safety. They're going with Oliver, who just joined the team in July, and Hilton, who's played a lot the last two years. They like the two sophomores and they'll play plenty of snaps, too. 
    Over 15 years, Pinkel's staff never batted 1.000. It took almost a month for Henry Josey to start earning real carries in games in his breakout year. In 2015, the staff stuck with older, less talented offensive linemen in favor of some younger players who have proven to be quality players. 
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