Okay, I hate to do this, but this is driving me absolutely crazy:
I hate people who don't know when to use something that actually works.
That stubbornness almost cost Missouri the ball game Saturday. Had it not been for the defense, Colorado would've kept the second half momentum going and the Tigers would've suffered one of the worst meltdowns of the year.
Missouri's ground game set the in the first half. Tailbacks junior Derrick Washington, sophomore De'Vion Moore and freshman Kendial Lawrence scorched the Buffalo defense for runs we Tiger fans have been craving all year. Seriously, we had all but given up on the running game. It was starting to look like the Texas Tech offense: Pass 50 to 60 times a game and run for five, most of which are for two yards or less.
And yet, with all the evidence the coaching staff needed as to how Missouri could put the game away, coach Gary Pinkel and offensive coordinator David Yost refused to recognize the rushing attack and put the game in the hands of the suddenly-shoddy sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert, whose ankle soreness really seemed to flare up in the second half, despite his numerous attempts to dismiss any pain.
Missouri running backs: 37 carries
Blaine Gabbert: 29 passes
Missouri running backs in the fourth quarter (until the final field goal): 9 carries, 23 yards
Blaine Gabbert in the fourth quarter: 5 passes, 16 yards
THIS STUBBORNNESS THING HAS TO STOP. There was one play on Saturday in which Missouri should have run rather than passed--the third-and-2 slant to Jared Perry that was broken up. That's it. And that wasn't a mistake because a run would have worked--it probably wouldn't have; the only difference was, a run would have milked another 30 seconds off the clock And meanwhile, I think the coaches DID recognize the rushing attack: they recognized that it just didn't work after the first 20 minutes. And yet they kept going to it. Now THAT's stubbornness.
Missouri running backs through the first drive of the second quarter: 16 carries, 110 yards
Missouri running backs after the first drive of the second quarter: 21 carries, 65 yards
Whether it's this column or Mike Dearmond last week insisting that the run would work, but Pinkel wouldn't run because he's stubborn...my god, this has to stop. Please. The facts simply do not back up the narrative, and the narrative is becoming embarrassing. Mizzou is not passing too much, and the Mizzou running attack isn't clicking at a consistently high level yet.
Media Day Links!
MUtigers.com: OFFICIAL RELEASE
Perhaps Tiger coaches should just look for defensive linemen with the last name of Smith when they’re out on the recruiting trails. After all, the top two QB sack masters in Mizzou history are Brian Smith (31.5 sacks from 2003-06) and Justin Smith (22.5 sacks from 1998-2000).
Now, it’s turn for the next Smith to take his turn, and redshirt freshman Aldon Smith (no relation to Brian or Justin) is turning some heads in his first season of play. Heading into the Baylor contest, Smith ranks 9th in the NCAA in both QB sacks and tackles for loss. In the Big 12, he ranks 3rd in tackles for loss (1.63 avg.) and is 5th in the Big 12 in QB sacks (1.00 avg.). He’s got season totals of 13.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 QB sacks, and he’s coming off a monster game on Halloween day at Colorado, where he racked up 3.0 QB sacks (27 yards) and 4.0 tackles for loss (35 yards), on his 5-tackle day that included a pass break up.
Smith is the top freshman in the NCAA in QB sacks, with his per-game average of 1.00 (he’s actually tied with USC freshman DL Nick Perry who also has 8 sacks in 8 games so far). There’s not another freshman in the top-60 nationally other than those two.
- MUtigers.com: Tigers Meet with the Media
- The Trib (Dave Matter): Pinkel prepares Tigers for Game 2
The Trib (Dave Matter): Tigers Meet the Press
Some high praise from Pinkel for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, whose ankle continues to progress. "I've always said this: 'Great quarterbacks - and he's not a great quarterback yet - but if you want to be a quarterback of greatness, you've got to be a tenacious competitor and you've got to be mentally and physically tough as nails,' " Pinkel said. "If you lack in any one of those three areas, I don't care who you are, you'll never be a great quarterback. What he's showing me is his toughness. Look at Brett Favre the other night, any of the great ones. That what they do."
- PowerMizzou: PMTV: Tiger Talk from Media Day
- KC Star (Campus Corner): Blaine Gabbert's Toughness Convinces Pinkel; Luke Lambert to Have Surgery
Other Mizzou Football Links!
- Post-Dispatch: Gabbert's recovery is virtually complete
- PowerMizzou: Like Father, Unlike Son: FREE Edition
- Topeka Capital-Journal: No margin for error for MU
- Terrance Curry (former Mizzou CB): What I like, dislike and suggest: MU vs Colorado
Big 12 Links!
- Daily Oklahoman: The fumble that wasn't changed momentum
- Austin American-Statesman: Horns wary of taking final stretch of games lightly
- Tulsa World: Stoops today: OU-Nebraska rivalry has changed
- Dr. Saturday: No, Todd Reesing is not getting the gold-watch treatment (yet)
- Denver Post (Blog): CU's recent blue-chip jinx continues; Nick Kasa done for season
- Houston Chronicle: Lessons from K-State debacle paying off for Aggies
Other Mizzou Links!
- MU Basketball
The Trib (Dave Matter): Coach confirms Kony Ealy's commitment
We Are Mizzou: Community Service Team of the Month: Men's Basketball
- MU Volleyball
Our Very Own Uribe Auction: Coach Kreklow Q&A: Week 10
MUtigers.com: Tigers Begin Crucial Stretch at No. 10 Nebraska
- MU Soccer
We Are Mizzou: Mizzou Moments with Madison Marcolla
- MU Wrestling
The Maneater: Tigers have two heavyweights vying for starting spot
The Maneater: Missouri wrestling opens season with Black and Gold meet
And finally...just for Uribe Auction...this. is. awesome.
This is pretty cool too.