The Missouri Tigers face the Abilene Christian Wildcats at home on Saturday, 9/17/2022.
Looking to rebound from a tough loss on the road against Kansas State, the Tigers take on the Wildcats. Luckily, the Abilene Christian Wildcats, not the Kansas State Wildcats. The Tigers were not happy with their performance in Manhattan, Kansas last weekend, and understandably so. The team entered the game with high hopes. Those hopes were quickly dashed in a game riddled with turnovers and sloppy pay.
A forgettable outing for both Mizzou quarterbacks. Starter, Brady Cook finished the game 15 for 27 with two interceptions. Backup quarterback, Jack Abraham was even worse, entering the game late, going 0 for 3, throwing 2 interceptions as well. At one point, the Tigers had four of five drives end in interceptions.
It is understood if you turn the ball over at that rate on the road, you will have a tough to competing, let alone winning. There were other factors that put the Tigers at a disadvantage, but the turnovers proved key. The team that returned to the field after the weather delay was not the same team that was on the field prior to the stoppage.
Lightning in the area led to officials stopping the game for the safety of the players, staff and fans. The Missouri Tigers were mostly ineffective before the weather delay, but they completely fell apart after. It is one thing to not make plays, it is another to make mistakes and do so regularly.
Aside from the obvious turnover issues, the Missouri Tigers struggled with:
· Run defense
· Third-down efficiency
· Getting the playmakers involved
· Special Teams
The Missouri defense allowed 235 yards on the ground. Kansas State running back, Deuce Vaughn is a Heisman Trophy candidate. No one was surprised he ran for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. What is a tad surprising is Vaughn’s effectiveness late in the game when the MU defense knew Kansas State would run the ball.
The Tigers’ offense finished the game 5 for 16 on third down. Mizzou seemed to move frantically from conservative to ‘screw it.’ Understandably, game plans change with the pace of the game. Often, the score will dictate a team’s next possession, however Missouri appeared disheveled and overly committed to either running or passing on certain downs. This is not a hard thing for an opposing defense to notice.
Luther Burden did not come to Columbia to catch one pass for three yards. The Kansas State defense was ready for Burden, often running more than one defender at him, including help from safeties. There are ways, creative ways to get Luther the ball. Missouri Head Coach, Eli Drinkwitz made this a priority in the season opener against Louisiana Tech. Luther Burden had 1 carry for 6 yards against K-State. I don’t know about you, but I’m good with 6 yards per carry.
The Missouri Tigers allowed a 76-yard punt return, breaking the game open for Kansas State, giving the Wildcats a 20-3 lead. Shortly thereafter the game froze due to a weather delay. Despite the Tigers struggles in the second half, this was the backbreaker. It would not be concerning would it not be for the punt return defense against Louisiana Tech in Mizzou’s home opener. The Bulldogs’ returner, Smoke Harris missed a punt return TD by inches.
– Get Luther Burden involved early and often.
– Commit to a running back: Cody Schrader was the horse in game one, and Nathaniel Peat in game two. It is time to establish a lead back as the Tigers gear up for a treacherous conference schedule.
– Continue the success the secondary had against Kansas State. One of the few bright spots was the Missouri defense in coverage. Wildcats’ quarterback Adrian Martinez only attempted 20 passes. Some of this may have been the weather conditions or the need to pass was not there, but when he did, Missouri was prepared.
Date: Saturday, September 17, 2022
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Location: Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium
Odds/Point Spread: Missouri (-32) – FanDuel Sportsbook
Total/Over-Under: 54.5 – FanDuel Sportsbook
How to watch: Missouri Vs Abilene Christian (FUBO) FREE TRIAL
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