Photo via Bill Carter.
Mizzou Football Links
I've got a post about this coming up later in the day, but ... yeah, the offensive line is going to decide the season at this point. There are so many potentially close games on the horizon, which is nothing new -- that was basically the case last year, too; but last year, Mizzou had one of the best lines in the Big 12. Now they have potentially the least experienced line in the SEC. "Least experienced" is not the same as "worst," though, at least not automatically. If the line gels, things will be fine. If.
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host Sun Devils, Looking For Playback
The Mizzou offense has turned in 7 scoring drives through 2 games in 2012. The first one, which was the season-opening possession in the first game against SE Louisiana, went 11 plays, 75 yards and took 3:52 of clock time (culminating in a James Franklin-to-T.J. Moe TD pass). The last scoring drive by MU was a 13-play, 63-yard drive against Georgia which took 4:41 of possession time, and ended in an Andrew Baggett field goal with 2:39 left in the 3rd quarter which gave MU a 20-17 lead at the time. The average time of those 7 scoring drives has been 1:40.
But between those two longer drives, however, the Tiger offense has been quick-strike. The other five scoring drives have consumed a grand total of 189 seconds, or an average of :37 seconds per possession. Here's a look:
* vs. SELA - 1 play, 76 yds, 0:14 TOP (Lawrence 76-yd TD run)
* vs. SELA - 3 plays, 25 yds, 0:39 TOP (Lawrence 1-yd TD run)
* vs. Georgia - 4 plays, 5 yds, 0:59 TOP (Baggett 38 FG)
* vs. Georgia - 3 plays, 63 yds, 0:31 TOP (Lucas 41-yd TD reception)
* vs. Georgia - 3 plays, 70 yds, 0:46 TOP (Washington 69-yd TD reception)
Senior LT Elvis Fisher
On how the offensive line did after his injury...
"Yea, I mean we did pretty good. We had a little communication errors, a little bit of just technique errors, things like that, but we knew we were going to play against a good team, a tough defense going into the game. So we knew it was going to be a battle, but I thought we played hard, I don't think the score represented how hard we fought, I think it kind of got out of hand there at the end, but you win some you lose some, we watched film, we learned from and you move on to this week's game."
On how it felt to get hurt again after working so hard to come back from injury...
"I was just kind of like, no not again. But I knew it wasn't as bad as my other one because that one was a little more painful than this, but it was still pretty painful going over to the sideline. I was hoping it wasn't nothing too serious, went in there, it is serious, but it's not as serious as I thought it was, so I'm thankful for that. Just kind of like oh man I'm hoping I'm not out for the season. So I'm doing rehab three times a day just like I used to be doing, I got to get back out there as soon as I can."
On helping the new guys get adjusted...
"The only thing I can do is just keep doing what I have been doing. Just kind of talking to them and helping them out with anything they need. I mean they can come to me if they need any, any kind of help or anything like that. I'll be out there helping out with the line, kind of working on technique and all that stuff and kind of helping out whenever I can, when I'm not doing rehab."
Quarterback James Franklin is sporting a nasty purplish bruise over his left eye, the result of getting his helmet ripped off in the pile during Saturday's game. Franklin's helmet came off twice against Georgia, both times triggering the new NCAA rule that requires a player whose helmet comes off on a non-penalty play to leave the game for one play. Corbin Berkstresser replaced Franklin on both plays. On the first, Franklin said his shoulder pads got popped up over his head and knocked his helmet off. The second time, he felt a player grab his chinstrap and rip it off and yank the helmet off, too. "I'm sure our players didn't take it off," Gary Pinkel said. "And I'm sure he didn't take it off. It just happened. … Every single time his chinstrap was snapped off. It didn't just slide off. So, I don’t know what to say."
Pinkel said he was OK with Franklin having 20 carries against Georgia. "I don’t want him knocking people over," he said. As for some of Franklin's struggles, Pinkel focused on the early snapping problems and the lack of continuity along the offensive line as major factors for Saturday's problems.
• Weakside linebacker Zaviar Gooden (hamstring) is listed as out for Saturday’s game against Arizona State. Donovan Bonner is the starter at his position, with Kentrell Brothers moving from the outside to the inside to back up Will Ebner. Juco transfer Markus Golden is now the backup at strong side linebacker behind Andrew Wilson. [...]
• Olathe North grad Lucas Vincent has leapfrogged Marvin Foster as Sheldon Richardson’s top backup. Vincent suffered a pectoral injury in camp but appears to be recovering.
Most notably, Todd Graham appears to have instilled some discipline.
A year ago, Arizona State was one of the nation's more penalized teams, racking up 104 flags for 1037 yards. That comes out to 8.7 penalties per game for 79.8 yards. Against Missouri alone, the Sun Devils were penalized 12 times for 110 yards last season. But through two games, Arizona State has just five penalties for 35 yards total. The Sun Devils have not yet been flagged for a defensive infraction through two games.
"I was shocked," Junior Onyeali told ASUDevils.com after the opening win over Northern Arizona. "In the game I was like, 'I don't think we've got a penalty.' I thought we might have had one but then after [coach Todd Graham] was like, 'We had zero penalties (on defense).' I was like, 'That is crazy.' Obviously since I've been here that hasn't happened and just to think we had no penalties, that's wild to think about.
The Missourian: MU student section runs out of seats at Georgia game
Post-Dispatch: Helmet rule upsets Mizzou players
PowerMizzou: Dispatches from Dixie
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1 with Brad Madison
Mizzou Network: 1 on 1 with John Anderson
The Trib (Dave Matter): Missouri-South Carolina gets CBS afternoon slot
Evidently They Did This To Mizzou Fans, Too, Which ... Isn't Any Better
Dawg Sports: Shame and Disgrace in the SEC: The Tiger Hotel in Columbia, MO
Mizzou Diamond Sports Links
SimmonsField.com: SxSE: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Other Mizzou Links
We Are Mizzou: Spirit Spotlight
MUtigers.com: Tigers Host #17 Vols in SEC Opener on ESPNU
MUtigers.com: Little Named SEC Defensive Player of the Week
Mizzou Women's Golf
MUtigers.com: Mizzou Opens Season with Lead in Lincoln, Neb.
The Missourian: Missouri soccer players host future Tigers stars
The Verge: A brief history of sports games
Vox Media: SB Nation United: The Big Rebrand