Missouri 58, Murray State 14: Links and initial reflections

Bill Carter

Sixty minutes is a long time, and Russell Hansbrough is all sorts of impressive.

1. Recaps

MUtigers.com: Franklin, Josey Lead Tigers to 58-14 Opening Rout
MUtigers.com: Mizzou/Murray State Post-Game Notes
MUtigers.com: Mizzou/Murray State Post-Game Quotes
The Trib (Behind the Stripes): Tigers blow out Racers, 58-14, behind strong performance from Franklin
The Trib: After slow start in season opener, Tigers speed past Racers
The Missourian: A slow start, but Missouri cruises to victory over Murray State
KC Star: Murray State game not a painful victory for Tigers
KC Star: MU-Murray State game report
Post-Dispatch: Explosive start for Tigers
PowerMizzou: Out of the gates
PowerMizzou: The Day After

Sixty minutes is a long time. For the people in the stands and on the Internet who were freaking out and writing the season off after about nine minutes, I don't know what to tell other than "Football might not be the sport for you." Mizzou suffered a fumble on offense and was unprepared for Murray State's QB draws with Mikhail Miller, and the Racers -- a good offensive team -- found some early success and a 14-13 lead. But instead of clamming up, the Tigers simply made a couple of adjustments. Well, the defense did, anyway. Mizzou focused on closing up the inside of the MSU line, then began caving in the line altogether, and the Racers folded. After gaining 200 yards in their first 27 plays, they gained just 97 in their final 48. Mizzou kept rolling on offense, and that was that.

Sixty minutes is a long time. It helps to let all 60 go by before drawing a conclusion. Mizzou set an offensive record with 694 yards and held MSU to just 297, and the Tigers are an easy 1-0.

2. Multimedia

The Missourian: #MIZZOUGAMEDAY VIDEO | For Tigers fan, 'camaraderie' at every home game
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Tailgaters enjoy pregame action
The Missourian: PHOTO GALLERY: Missouri crushes Murray State
PowerMizzou: Game Day Gallery
Mizzou Network: Highlights: Mizzou wins big against Murray State
Mizzou Network: Regions Bank Post Game: Gary Pinkel Murray State Post-Game Interview
Mizzou Network: Regions Bank Post Game: Henry Josey after Murray State
Mizzou Network: Regions Bank Post Game: James Franklin after win over Murray St
Mizzou Network: Regions Bank Post Game: EJ Gaines after win over Murray St

3. It was hot

The Trib: Cool story is highlight of hot night
The Missourian: Missouri fans brave heat to tailgate before Murray State game
The Missourian: Memorial Stadium's hydration efforts get mixed reviews
The Maneater: Fans brave the heat to tailgate

I've never been happier to see clouds than I was when the skies grew a bit overcast around 5:00 p.m. It was still stuffy and sticky inside the stadium, but it wasn't "105 heat index and people passing out" hot like we feared.

4. Russell Hansbrough is good

Post-Dispatch: Hansbrough shares stage with Josey in win

As you would expect, we'll be talking about Henry Josey quite a bit in the coming hours and days. But before we do, let's be sure to mention just how incredibly impressive Russell Hansbrough was lsat night. Because of Josey and Hansbrough, Marcus Murphy is one of the best third-string running backs in the country. Hansbrough hits the hole instantly; he has good moves considering how much he's moving north-south, and before Josey's explosive third-quarter run, Hansbrough was the reason Mizzou was keeping up on the scoreboard while the defense was making adjustments. The Tigers' receiving corps also looked impressive yesterday, from Dorial Green-Beckham to Darius White, and while the competition was less than amazing, we found no reason last night to doubt the Mizzou skill position corps. It appears to be the strength we hoped it would be.

And while we're at it, aside from an awful throw to Marcus Lucas (which Lucas caught anyway) and a couple of "Dammit, James, slide!" moments, did James Franklin do anything wrong yesterday? His reads were right (and, yes, easy), his accuracy was mostly strong, and in the end he completed 68 percent of his passes at 8.0 yards per attempt, and he rushed five times for 50 yards. That's solid no matter the competition.

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