Head coach Eli Drinkwitz captured his first win at Missouri with an upset over No. 17 LSU. The Missouri Tigers shocked the defending champs in a 45-41 shootout
If you were just following Saturday’s Missouri-LSU game from an app, checking scores occasionally, it would appear that neither team felt like playing defense yesterday. Yet, it was Missouri’s defense that made one of the biggest and most memorable stops in school history.
After Connor Bazelak led an impressive drive to put Mizzou up 45-41, LSU marched right down the field, and Myles Brennen fired a shot to Terrance Marshall, who caught the ball at the 1-yard line.
With under a minute left, LSU needed one yard to take the lead. Many Missouri fans on twitter pleaded to let LSU score and give our offense a chance to win the game. Eli Drinkwitz had other plans.
Everyone that was at Faurot Field and everyone watching from home saw Missouri’s defense stop LSU’s offense four consecutive times, sealing the upset.
Missouri’s offense is legit
Bazelak finished 29/34 for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Larry Rountree thrashed LSU for 118 yards, and Tyler Badie scored two total touchdowns on over 100 yards from scrimmage. Tauskie Dove started for the first time as the Tigers were missing three receivers, and he grabbed four passes for 66 yards, including a flea flicker touchdown catch.
The offensive playbook is very deep. The Tigers used a ton of motion and misdirection and receivers often found themselves wide open without a defender in sight. The offensive line looked a lot better as well.
With coach Drink in charge, Missouri is going to be an incredible offensive team.
Bend, but don’t break
When the special teams or offense didn’t give LSU a very short field to work with, the Mizzou defense did a solid job of stalling out longer LSU drives. The biggest factor of whether or not LSU punted or scored were the early down plays. When LSU found big plays on first and second down, they couldn’t be stopped. However, they were 0/10 on third down.
When LSU was forced to drive the length of the field, Missouri did a very good job defensively.
Ennis Rakestraw looks like a star in the making, as Brennen rarely tested him. One of the few times the ball was thrown to Rakestraw’s side, he laid the boom on the receiver and forced an incompletion.
The Tigers didn’t peak
Some may think it would take Missouri playing at their absolute best to pull this off, but the truth is they didn’t even scratch the surface of their potential. Missouri was without three of their receivers, two of them being starters Damon Hazelton and Keke Chism. They were also missing three of their four defensive tackles including pre-season All-SEC member Kobie Whiteside.
They also fumbled five times. True freshman Khris Abrams-Draine muffed two punts, Dove had a ball punched out, and Bazelak and Rountree eached fumbled deep in their own territory. They also had five penalties for 65 yards.
Missouri’s pass coverage also could have been a lot better. Marshall had 235 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches.
The most exciting thing for Missouri is that they pulled off the upset, and have so much room to improve. Even if they don’t win a ton of games this year, they won’t make it easy on any opponent.
Eli Drinkwitz may really be brewing something special in Columbia, Missouri.