There are things to be learned from every game. Unfortunately, none of them were good, as Missouri was flattened by Purdue, 35-3, on Saturday. Here is what we learned:
Drew Lock puts too much air on his passes
Multiple times in the first half, throws to the sideline were placed where receivers had to come back and were unable to make the catch, because they were too high. So much for any back shoulder fades.
Of course, not all of it was his fault. The receivers have been dropping an unusual amount of passes, but that’s at least in part because Lock doesn’t put much velocity on his passes.
It seems like Lock has no confidence going against anyone, except pushover schools like Eastern Michigan or Missouri State. If that doesn’t change, this team isn’t going anywhere and honestly should consider letting Jack Lowary start.
The offensive line cannot move the line of scrimmage
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Despite being touted as the biggest offensive line in Missouri (bigger than the NFL team in the state), Mizzou could not generate any push up the middle.
They were frequently using the perimeter in the running game, and the three running backs finished with 66 yards on 23 carries. That’s less than three yards per carry, which is simply inexcusable.
Even against South Carolina, without long runs of 20 yards for Ish Witter and 25 yards from Damarea Crockett, it reduces to 133 yards on 35 carries. That’s 3.8 yards per carry, which is not good enough.
Johnathon Johnson is clearly underused
After having a lot of success in week one against Missouri State, Johnson has barely shown-up, since then.
Johnson is the fastest player on the team, and the fact he has not been featured more, is inexcusable.
He didn’t catch a single pass last week against South Carolina, and against Purdue, caught three balls for just 32 yards. In order to get the offense going again, Missouri needs to utilize Johnson’s big play ability.
The defense looks like they’ve checked out
The defensive line is still where the talent is. Terry Beckner has all the talent in the world, but he seems to take just about every-other play off. Perhaps it’s because he knows he’s going to get double-teamed, because nobody else can rush the passer consistently. The only other guy on the defensive line that has made any sort of impact, is Rashad Brandon.
While this group has absorbed a lot of criticism, and almost all of it is deserved, they are being asked to do a lot. They have to be out there for over 35 minutes a game, which inevitably wears the defense out.
Barry Odom is on razor thin ice
During the South Carolina game, I still think people had hope, although it was quickly fading. Now, the cries for Odom to get fired will get louder and louder, if the team cannot turn it around.
It looks like the “Peter Principle” has come into effect, and Odom has reached his level of incompetence as a head coach. With DeMontie Cross out the blame of the defense falls squarely on him.
However, I doubt he will get fired during the season. If Missouri chooses to get rid of him before the end of the season, who is left to run the defense? However, if Odom gets fired, I would imagine Andy Hill would take over on an interim basis. He coaches the receivers and is the associate head coach.