Syracuse 31, Mizzou 27: Orange find matchup advantage, surge to win with it

Dak Dillon-US PRESSWIRE

Looking to rant and throw things? Go here, please. Otherwise, chat below.

In any given football play, 22 players line up. But so often, a game is decided by 1-on-1 matchups. Syracuse beat Missouri this evening, 31-27, because they found a matchup they liked, and Mizzou couldn't do anything to stop it. Lining Alec Lemon up in the slot opposite Randy Ponder, the Orange scored 21 points in the fourth quarter. For the game, Lemon caught 12 passes for 244 yards, an outstanding performance, and with solid quarterback play, Syracuse was ready for whatever adjustment Missouri made. Soft zone? Ryan Nassib just switched to quick, short passes to the outside. Switch up your coverage on Lemon's side? Run easy, two-man routes to the other side and probably find Marcus Sales open in the process (eight catches, 85 yards). It would have been beautiful to watch had Mizzou not been involved. And with no Sheldon Richardson (hope it was worth it, Shel), Mizzou's defensive line could not get anywhere near enough push to pressure Nassib into bad throws.

Of course, it wasn't all Lemon-versus-Ponder. Mizzou's offensive output dried up after the first 25 minutes. With the smallest, quickest defense Mizzou had seen since UCF, Syracuse was constantly able to pierce Mizzou's offensive line and force losses on first down. Kip Edwards dropped a sure interception in the end zone midway through the fourth quarter (Syracuse scored on the next play). James Franklin suffered a head injury. Et cetera. But kudos to Syracuse for finding a matchup Mizzou could not counter and riding it to victory.

So that's that then. Mizzou has one last chance to salvage bowl eligibility next week in College Station, but the best, clearest route to six wins has been impeded, and the odds are very good that Mizzou will spending the holidays at home for the first time since 2004. It happens to everybody occasionally, and it has happened to Mizzou this year. Get healthy, get mad, and make adjustments for next year. And if you can, find a couple of extra cornerbacks to throw out on the field to counter bad matchups.

And again, if you want to just rant and scream about firing everybody, go to the rant thread.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Rock M Nation

You must be a member of Rock M Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock M Nation. You should read them.

Join Rock M Nation

You must be a member of Rock M Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock M Nation. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker