The team has not disclosed which players or which position groups have been impacted by COVID. It's safe to say the offensive line has been challenged, both by the virus and injuries. Drinkwitz has made that pretty clear. That not only impacts the offense but multiple special teams units. The starting O-line is generally your starting field goal/extra point line also. As of Wednesday, Drinkwitz said he's not yet worried about not having enough players to meet the threshold requirement for the opener. But again, the 12 missing players was based on Sunday's round of tests.The team was also tested Wednesday and will be tested against Friday, Sunday and next Wednesday and Friday. That's five more tests that could add to the 12. That number can't get smaller for the Bama game - but it could certainly get bigger.
As of last night, Drinkwitz said he doesn't have a starter in mind yet. Maybe he's being honest. Maybe not. I'd lean toward Robinson just based on my intel from the scrimmages. Drinkwitz's system doesn't need a dual-threat running quarterback, but I think behind this O-line and with an uncertain cast of receivers, it would be to the team's benefit to have a QB who can make plays with his feet. That's Robinson.
A quick note here. Just wanted to let our readers know that I plan to cover as many Mizzou road games as possible this fall. Not many reporters will be on the road this season, but like Derrick Goold on the Cardinals beat and Jim Thomas at the NHL bubble, the Post-Dispatch recognizes the value in having boots on the ground - even in the age of Zoom postgame press conferences. I might be the only Mizzou reporter in the house, but I'll be at Tennessee and LSU for sure in the coming weeks. I can't say how grateful I am for the Post-Dispatch's commitment to Mizzou coverage. This has been a taxing six months on our industry, no doubt, but I'm thrilled college football has kicked off - and kicked off safely by most accounts - and will be even more excited to be writing about actual games.
No. Alabama has not shared its testing results like Missouri has in recent weeks. Asked yesterday by local reporters, Nick Saban said he's not aware of anyone who will miss the Missouri game but that could change. My hunch is he's not being 100 percent transparent, which is not uncommon across college football. I appreciate Drinkwitz sharing his data, even though some might consider that putting his team at a competitive disadvantage. (It doesn't.)
I'm not aware of season ticket holders having to pay extra to keep their seats and haven't heard any complaints. Last I heard about a quarter of MU's season ticket holders took the 2020 credit and will use it for their 2021 tickets.
There are more than 100 players on the team, so I don't think one blanket answer can explain the behavior of that many players. There are still plenty of in-person classes at MU. Some players have in-person classes, some online, just like every other student. I don't patrol the bar scene at night, so I can't tell you what the players are up to after hours.
Mizzou needs to first know which games will stick on the schedule. Ideally, yes, this would be the best time to have more regional scheduling to cut down on travel. On the other hand, I'd like to see that game played in front of a capacity crowd. You'd hate to finally get a game fans want to see and only a reduced socially-distanced group of people can attend.
Good question. I've read and absorbed and already forgotten so many league protocols over the last few months that I can't recall what the schools are required to tell the conference office. The Friday test is managed by a third-party supplier to ensure fairness and consistency across the SEC. I'm assuming the league is privy to those test results.
Good question. It's not just Robinson. Does Mizzou have a line to protect him? Does it have receivers who can stretch the field and move the chains? I've covered Mizzou since the late 1990s and this is the least I've known about the team going into the first game just because I haven't seen any practices. Missouri is fortunate to have two SEC-proven running backs in Rountree and Badie. Otherwise, a lot of unknowns.
OK. Is that a realistic expectation this year? Bama is favored by 25.5 points.
He's the kind of player who can play a role immediately. He'll rebound and play defense as a freshman. His high school coach, Kent Williams, knows Cuonzo as well as any high school coach in America, having coached under him for six years at Missouri State and Tennessee. He said Keita can absolutely make the transition and find a role on the floor as a rookie. Now, he's not a polished offensive player yet, but he's got the athleticism and work ethic to develop that part of his game.
I wouldn't say the pandemic will save all coaches, but Martin's $6 million buyout in the middle of a pandemic will keep him around beyond this coming season. Mizzou is shredding costs because of revenue shortages. It wouldn't make any sense financially to make a coaching change.
We'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'd prefer Vegas. Not sure Mrs. Matter would agree.
I'm not sure if anything would be significantly different. I will say I have more faith in Missouri's ability to score some points in this game than had the prior staff stuck around. I've watched a handful of Drinkwitz's games when he coached at NC State. He's not an offensive revolutionary by any means, but he's going to bring some innovative elements to the game - once he's got pieces in place.
Thank you, Freddie. It's my pleasure.