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Monday Musings (and Football Scrimmage Thoughts)

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I did spend the weekend in Columbia, taking in the baseball game (or most of it) on Friday night and then the football scrimmage (almost all of it) on Saturday morning.  I saw plenty of good things, but I guess the rest of the weeken did not turn out terribly great for Mizzou.  Let's take a look at that weekend and see how we did this weekend.

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Football:
That's right, we will go ahead and start with football since I spent three hours out at Faurot on a lovely and VERY sunny Saturday morning.  The team goes through some paces early in the session, and then this time went right into 11 on 11 drills.  Chase Daniel actually saw more reps than I thought he would, but Patton and Grooms saw plenty of plays.  I am not going to sit here and try to recap the action like our friends Gabe, Dave, Mike and Graham did over the weekend, but here are my thoughts.

*  You do have to worry about whether the hype we are going to be receiving in the coming months will affect this team or not.  I do not want to believe or have any reason to believe that we will, but just hearing about all the exposure we are going to have, you have to wonder what that will do to a team and frankly a program that has not seen this much attention of late.

*  That being said, I dont recall any of the incompletions Chase threw, though he evidently threw 5 of them, and I only recall one bad pass, a short pass on a 3rd and long which took Saunders out of bounds without giving him a chance at getting up the field for the first down.  And of course, Chase smacked his own helmet as he went off the field.

*  We sat bahind the defense, and that is a treat in terms of listening to Spoon.  He was firing up the defense and razzing the offense all morning long, even razzing the defense after a pick and long return by Tremaine Vaughns where Spoon said, "He finally did what we recruited him to do."

*  One concern I have is long snapping.  We lost an unappreciated member of the team in Steven Blair and I was not terribly impressed by the consistency of snaps on the punting.

*  Jared Perry did look as advertised in any of the other articles.  With the snaps Alexander is not getting, he was clearly the #2 guy on the day and did not disappoint.  I also liked what I saw from Laroderick Thomas, though he was not getting many snaps with the #2 offense and was behind people like May and Shock.

*  Most of the time, the #2 defensive line was Hamilton, Resonno and Keck (with Corbett on the other end).  They did not do a tremendous amount against the #1 offense, but a scary thought to have three of those guys here for the next 4 seasons.

*  Gissinger did a nice job on the day, showing solid hands and the ability to get up-field and get as many yards as he could.  And yes, Chase Coffman did the patented THRUST NUNCHUK UPWARD move, almost CLEANLY clearing a defensive back.

*  Chase Patton can move the offense decently....Blaine Gabbert will...um....appear to have a shot at the #3 QB spot since I do not see any future in Grooms, who can move but does not throw well.

*  Devion Moore did impress me, as did Washington.  While you know what you are going to get with Jackson (1st downs and TD's from short yardage), both of the other two caught the ball well out of the backfield (which I still want to see us do more of) and showed good speed outside and shiftability inside.

I will be back to CoMo in two weeks for the Spring Game...will be interesting to see how that event is tweaked at all for the TV exposure.  If you have a question about anyone else, leave a comment and I will do my best to recall anything in particular, though I warn it might not be much since I did not take notes or anything at the stadium.

Baseball:
I did make the trip out to Taylor Stadium just on Friday (would have on Saturday but moving the game for TV put it against the Final Four) and Aaron Crow is as advertised.  He ran his shut-out streak to 42+ innigs as Mizzou got up early and won 3-0.  We were not terribly impressive at the plate, but did score (obviously) enough to get the win.  Crow has great ability to both dominate and get through trouble, as he did not walk anyone, but did have to scatter hits throughout the game.  But still, 106 pitches or so for another complete game shutout and you have to believe he is further stamping himself as the #1 pitcher in the nation.  No REAL handle on what record Crow might be chasing in his next outing (as I have read Ben McDonald's name mentioned, but Mike DeArmond also mentioned another pitcher from the early 70's who made a great run...evidently the NCAA has not kept this record as well as the others they keep).  But...all that being said...do yourself a favor next Friday and get out to Taylor Stadium....he is a treat to watch.  And kudos to Mizzou fans who came out to the tune of around 5,000 for the weekend series...those kinds of numbers will make it easier for the NCAA to come back here for a regional and for the AD to be able to drum up support for the planned expansion.

As for the rest of the week and weekend for baseball...another disappointing 2-3 effort on the week, featuring a loss to Western Illinois which got Coach Jamieson all riled up and then two losses to Okie State on Saturday and Sunday.  The defense appeared to have let Ian Berger down on Saturday, and the pitching of Gibson and Zagone could not hold off Okie State enough for the offense to overcome.  We now sit at 22-8 overall and just 5-4 in conference.  With just one road game this week, a tricky affair against SMS before coming home for three against the 7-5 Longhorns next weekend at home.

Softball:
Mizzou split on the week, earning two easy wins over Drake during the week, and then taking on #11 OU down in Norman, falling in both, but in a close battle on Sunday.  Mizzou now sits at 2-4 in the Big XII and 33-12 overall, but have played the top two teams in conference the last two weeks BOTH ON THE ROAD, so hopefully the schedule should prove a little easier coming up.  Of note on offense for the Tigers over the weekend was freshman Rhea Taylor, who now has 41 stolen bases and leads the nation in this category.  She also already owns the #3 single season stolen base amount...and has about 20 games remaining.

The next of those 20-odd games will come this week, starting on the road here in St. Louis against SLU with a double-header on Wednesday.  After that, the ladies will finally come home for a conference series against 3-4 and 11-27 Texas Tech.  Mizzou needs to get back into the conference win column, and hopefully Texas Tech will do that for them.  In fact, in looking at their schedule, UMKC is the only non-con left for the ladies after SLU....all the rest of their games will come in conference, whether on the weekend or wit double-headers during the week.  Consider it the stretch run.

Soccer:
That's right...spring soccer baby.  It appears Mizzou will play a handful of games this spring, looking to get the chance to develop players (at times at other positions).  This past weekend, they beat UW-Milwaukee 3-0 while falling to Illinois 3-1.  Mizzou will play Minnesota next weekend in Kansas City, then round out their spring against Loyola-Chicago on the 19th at home (I do not see this drawing well against the Spring Game...just call me crazy).

Outdoor Track:
The first of what appears to be a new (and I say fun) trend in Outdoor Track with the return of the dual meet was held this past weekend at UVA with the Jefferson Cup.  The men took the inaugural title, while the women fell in the FINAL event to come up short.  A few thing also for the team as they travelled to D.C. to tour there on Sunday.

For the men, sophomor Nick Adcock was the huge scorer of the meet, netting 11.5 points in his FIVE events on the weekend.  Another sophomore, Andy Oaker also added his name to the NCAA Regional Qualifying list with his throw in the shot.  Senior Jason Miller busted out a huge effort in the long jump, earning a qualifying spot as well as his name in the Mizzou record books.

For the women, Shermelle Nichols, who sits in the top 15 nationally in the shot threw a season best in the event.  Junior Krishna Lee made her qualifyng throw in the shot, taking 2nd place and adding her name to the growing list of Mizzou qualifiers.  Also getting on the list was Elisha Hunt in the same event.  Perhaps most impressive of the weekend was freshman Hope Harris, who in the javelin extended her regional mark and is now (and already) third for the Tigers all time in the event.

Up next for the track team will be a return home for two events (I guess) with the Audrey Walton Combined on Thursday and Friday and the Tom Botts invitational against Tulsa and BYU on Friday and Saturday.

Tennis:
Tough weekend for the Tigers, as they took on #31 aTm and then #19 Texas.  Mizzou came up short in both, losing 5-2 to the Aggies and then 6-1 to the Horns.  Against the Aggies, wins for Mizzou came from freshman Maureen Modesto and junior Sofia Ayala.  Jessica Giugiolli and Mallory Webber also took their opponents at #1 and #2 to 3 sets before falling.

Against the horns, the lone Tiger win came from Modesto again, her 10th of the spring, moving her ALREADY to the top 15 for all-time wins (coupled with the 12 from the fall season).  Mallory Webber and Chrissy Svetlic, along with Ayala took their opponents to 3 sets before falling, and Kaitlyn Richie also lost close in 2 sets, showing perhaps the Tigers are taking steps in the right direction.

Up next for the team will be another conference battle, this time against Nebraska up in Lincoln on Friday before heading to Ames to face the Cyclones on Saturday.

Random Thoughts:
*  Carl Edwards has won 3 of the 7 races this season, winning again this weekend.  For what it is worth, he was up huge in another race before his engine blew and he did not finish.  Couple that with the 100 points which was taken away from him, he really should be in 1st place overall.

*  Hockey playoffs will start on Wednesday, home of the best moment in sports with the sudden death overtime.  The Devils chose a great time to win their first game (of EIGHT) over the Rangers on Sunday, clinching 4th place and home ice advantage against...you guessed it...the Rangers.

*  Ah...a tradition like no other this weekend coming up...the Masters...what I would not give for Gus Johnson calling one of the holes...

*  Two HUGE thumbs down this weekend from American Airlines, who managed on a round-trip flight for the Tailgate Queen to delay her for a grand total of 5+ hours on the way out before rendering her return flight mechanically delayed, which would have made her miss her connection and was lucky to get her on any sort of flight back to STL, even though that of course was delayed another 90 minutes...just terrible.

*  Not much else random this week I guess...I dont have much to say about the game tonight other than kU certainly surprised me in their ability to render Lawson useless and for Memphis in their ability to outrebound UCLA.  I really do not know what to make of the game tonight, I suppose I believe Memphis has a better shot at winning, but I see kansas as a team with better and more mature leadership and that could make the difference.