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Rock M Roundtable!

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UPDATE, by rptgwb: To those who came over from Tim Griffin's blog at ESPN, this edition of the Roundtable follows up on Monday's look at what went wrong with the Mizzou pass defense.

1 - Instead of leading off by asking "Is the Mizzou pass defense fixable?" (I think most of us assume it is), I'll ask this instead: if you could make one personnel change on the defense right now, what would it be?

2 - So...if Mizzou was favored by about 10...and their defense was worse than expected...and they still won by 10...does that mean the offense is better than expected?  Discuss.

3 - Beyond "no injuries", tell me one thing you want to see from Mizzou's cupcake diet this week.

4 - So Doug doesn't feel left out with the Mizzou-centric questions...Louisiana Tech seized an early lead against Mississippi State and held them at bay the rest of the game, winning 22-14.  Do the Bulldogs have a chance to at least put a small scare into KU this week?

5 - Predictions (and margins)!  Don't worry, I won't make you come up with creative ways to predict blowouts on the five (FIVE!) Big 12 vs 1-AA games this week.

Cincinnati at Oklahoma
Texas A&M at New Mexico
Texas Tech at Nevada
Houston at Oklahoma State
Louisiana Tech at Kansas
UTEP at Texas
Kent State at Iowa State

Oh yeah, and because this is a Mizzou site...

SEMO at Mizzou.

(And props to Ridiculous Matt for holding it down in the MU-UI live thread this weekend...what % of the 300+ comments were his?  96%?  Well done.  And there's no way we don't hit 1,000 comments for the Texas game.)

rptgwb: 1. As much as I hate to take a playmaker away from the line of scrimmage, I think William Moore needs to be taken out of the nickel back slot and put back over top. I mentioned in Good, Bad, and Indifferent how I think of Moore as Darren Woodson, a guy who is not only tremendous in run support, but also has enough ballhawking skill to make up for the deficiencies of the safety opposite him (remember, Justin Garrett = Roy Williams). I presume things will get back to normal a little bit more once Van Alexander is back on the field and Mizzou isn't running out only two linebackers all game long.

2. I'm going to go ahead and say yes for one reason: did anyone expect the offensive line to do THAT well in its first game? I expected big numbers from everyone, but I figured Chase would have to pull some of his voodoo magic in the pocket. He was well-protected all night, and Derrick Washington was given great running lanes on nearly all of his carries.

3. I want to see this freshman class, at least all the ones who aren't redshirting. I want to see Jackson and Egnew have at least 10 balls thrown their way.

4. I can't see it happening. The Bulldogs don't have enough explosiveness to hang with Kansas.

5 - Picks:
Oklahoma over Cincy by 17
Texas A&M over New Mexico by 10
Texas Tech over Nevada by 21
Houston over Oklahoma State by 4
Kansas over La Tech by 24
Texas over UTEP by 27
Iowa State over Kent State by 7
Mizzou over SEMO by 45

The Boy: 1. For SEMO, honestly I say make no changes.  Work on the communication errors, make some plays, have some fun.  But if you get burned more than once (or, honestly, exactly once), then changes are in store for Nevada.  I think they went with the 2 LB stuff as much because of Juice Williams as Van Alexander.  They wanted Willy Mo attacking him as the 3rd LB most of the time.  But that's not Moore's strong(est) suit, and I think he proved it.  I could see them doing something similar against Nevada and Colin Kaepernick, and I'm fine with it as long as communication among the other DBs is fine.  We'll see against SEMO.

2.  I honestly expected us to have to slog around a bit on offense, and granted...the Q4 offense certainly left a bit to be desired.  But the running game was clicking, and we gave up 1 sack against the 2nd-best DL we're going to see this year.  I had a lot of confidence in Derrick Washington, but I didn't have confidence in the number of holes he's actually see.  He had plenty to choose from.

And seriously...guys just bounce off of Washington.  He's thick and fast, and I just can't imagine what this offense will be like with Washington, Maclin, Coffman, Alexander, Perry, Saunders, and all the freshmen at full-speed.

3.  I'm not optimistic about seeing 10 balls thrown toward Jackson and Egnew, but I'd be happy with 5.  Egnew blocked very well on Saturday, but it's time to check out his hands.

I'll tell you what I do not want to see on Saturday: Blaine Gabbert on the field.

4.  La Tech was actually outgained 322-243 on Saturday and made their living off of 5 turnovers (4 picks).  Needless to say, Todd Reesing is a little better at winging the ball around than Wesley Carroll, and KU won't give Tech enough free breaks to compete.  KU by 24.

5. Cincinnati at Oklahoma: I like Cincy quite a bit, but there's a difference between being good and being good enough to compete at Owen Field.  OU 35-14.

Texas A&M at New Mexico.  I really want to pounce on ATM and pick UNM...but I can't.  ATM 23-10.

Texas Tech at Nevada.  Tech's defense made Mizzou's look pretty palatable last Saturday, and I do think Colin Kapernick's going to get some opportunities to make some plays.  But not nearly enough plays.  Tech 48-31.

Houston at Oklahoma State.  OSU passed a serious test on Saturday.  It's not that Wazzu's actually any good, but OSU's played like total ass in non-con road games under Mike Gundy (Houston in '06, Georgia and Troy in '07), so the fact that they won easily and looked good was a nice statement for them to make.  Houston's got some firepower, but OSU 38-21.

Louisiana Tech at Kansas.  As I said above, KU 37-13.

UTEP at Texas.  Texas gave up quite a few passing yards to FAU last week.  Unfortunately, UTEP's offense looked like crap against Buffalo.  Texas makes another statement.  UT 52-7.

Kent State at Iowa State.  REVENGE!!!!  ISU 27-14.

The Beef: 1 - I don’t know that I would actually make one.  I think RPT’s analysis (which was just amazing…props to him) showed some individual breakdowns which included poor finishing technique on great 1 on 1 coverage and some bad communication.  I think Luke Lambert did not have a great game, we were missing Van Alexander and I noticed Willy Mo dinged since about the 2nd quarter.  Some better communication and a little bit of a revised strategy, along with good health…and I still think the defense will be fine based on what we know Gettis can do in the secondary along with the front…um…6 from the last game.

2 - Well…technically the offense only scored 38 points, and 7 more of those was handed to them because of the punt return of Maclin.  Daniel was noticeably off, especially early in the game, and Maclin had a number of drops.  Again, without Maclin in the 4th to keep the defense honest, as well as Perry being dinged a portion of the game showed how good Coffman and Washington were.  I think the offense has the potential to be better than last year, but I don’t think they showed a full game of it in this one.

3 - I want to see receptions from all the frosh WR’s in the game.  No reason for them not to see a LOT of the field in this one….we committed to playing them, may as well get what we can out of them now and give them the experience they will need for the seasons to come.  I also do not want to see Willy Mo or even Maclin on the field at all…no reason for it.  Plenty of time to get them back in synch against a decent Nevada and OK Buffalo.

4 - I think La Tech COULD give them a scare, but if kU wants to feel good about their impending rather large game the following week, I suggest going out and laying the wood this week.  If you can’t and La Tech does hang with you…the hand-wringing might start just a tad, which is what you do not need going into that S. Florida game. 

5 - Cincinnati at Oklahoma – OU by about 30 points

Texas A&M at New Mexico – Um…a scoreless tie?

Texas Tech at Nevada – I could see this one topping 100 points considering what Tech gave up to Directional Northwestern School last week.  I think they win in the end by about 3 TD’s

Houston at Oklahoma State – Nice first win by Okie State, I say they keep it going by a few scores this week

Louisiana Tech at Kansas – Um…wow…kansas pulls away late and wins by 20’ish points

UTEP at Texas – Texas by a bunch, but will give up more yards through the air

Kent State at Iowa State – Iowa State makes it 2-0 by a couple of TD’s

SEMO at Mizzou. – I think in my emailing with The Boy yesterday I had it at 51-10…I will stay with that.

Michael Atchison: 1 - This is hard for me because I was sitting in row R near the goal line, which meant that I wasn’t high enough up to see plays develop, and I often didn’t have a very good view of what was happening on the other side of the line of scrimmage. How about this? Don’t change a thing. We had these same fears through the first four games last year, and it all worked out. Weird stuff happens at the beginning of the season, and give Illinois – and especially Juice – some credit. They made some plays, and not just because Mizzou’s corners turned receivers loose. Two of the touchdowns happened right in front of me, and the coverage wasn’t bad. Juice threw those balls just where they needed to be, and the receivers made plays. I was very impressed by his combination of arm strength and touch.

2 - No. The expectations for this offense are off-the-charts crazy, and I actually thought they looked out-of-sync for much of the game, which isn’t half-bad for a unit that put up 38 points on a good defense that played its last game in the Rose Bowl. We’re operating on a very small sample size here.

3 - The opportunity for other guys to make plays. I want to see Andrew Jones and the freshman receivers get more into the act.

4 - A chance? Sure. A good chance? Not really.

5 - Predictions (and margins)! Don't worry, I won't make you come up with creative ways to predict blowouts on the five (FIVE!) Big 12 vs 1-AA games this week.

Cincinnati at Oklahoma - OU by 31
Texas A&M at New Mexico - A&M by 0.5
Texas Tech at Nevada - Tech by 12
Houston at Oklahoma State - Pokes by 17
Louisiana Tech at Kansas - Kansas by 13
UTEP at Texas - Texas by 29
Kent State at Iowa State - Iowa State by 14
SEMO at Mizzou - Mizzou by 38

Ridiculous Matt: Do you have any idea how stupid you feel when you're the only one screaming "Thrust The Nunchuk Upwards!"? Pretty fucking stupid.

1. I agree with keeping Pig over the top. I understand wanting to use his insane athleticism to pulverize the other team, especially with the big meaty QB back there, but we just can't take those kinds of risks without an A+ shutdown corner. Even then you need to keep someone back when we're up by that much. We have the guns up front to play aggressive without needing the back 4, too. 

2. We had 17points off of defense and special teams. That's important on both sides. On the bad side, it means that what we thought we were seeing was true, the offense wasn't on all cylinders. It was well practiced, but not fluid. It was sharp, but not organic. That needs work. The good side is that it means that we can score in pretty much any conceivable way, which means teams have to score 38+ at least. 

3. A powerhouse effort. Go out, knock 'em out, run it up, shut it down at the half. I want the complete OU-Chattanooga package. 

4. No, Mangino's a good enough coach to keep them from suffering against a cupcake.  Mostly because his hunger will consume any sense of pride or arrogance. CUUUPCAAAAKES!

5. OU by 35

New Mexico by 7

Texas Tech by 17

OK State by 24

Kansas by 14

Texas by 13

Iowa State by 20

Mizzou by 24

The Beef: Oh…if only we still had Pig over the middle.

Ridiculous Matt: Yeah, that's wishful thinking right there. Which is weird, because I was always a bigger Moore fan than a Pig fan. And that's something I notices Saturday. It seemed like Moore, until he went out, tried too hard to be like Pig.  As in, lots of hitting people really hard and overplaying the run and not enough actually covering the pass.

ZouDave: I am at fairchild afb in spokane, wa, right now and getting absolutely jerked around.  Today is just a giant waste of my time so far and im really happy about it.

Im also typing this on my phone so please forgive my typing mistakes.

1 - I don't understand why william moore isn't  being used as a safety.  He's  an all-american level safety because he makes plays on the ball and takes away receivers.  Lets not try to convert him into brian urlacher just yet.  Kep him back in coverage and let him do what he does.

2 - our defense was only worse than expected against the deep ball.  Against the run and as a pass rush we were excellent.  Im not sure our overall offense was better than expected.  Our passing game was sloppy all day.  After the catch we looked ok, but daniel wasn't sharp.  Washington was amazing, as was our offensive line.  We are going to murder teams with the running game which is just scary considering I expect this to have been about our worst passing effort of the season.

3 - stats and scores.  Give me some good footage :-)

4 - a small scare?  Sure.  To me that means they might lead 10-7 or something before kansas takes control.  Theres no way ku loses this game.

5 - ou by 30
aTm by 3
Tech by 30
Osu by 10
Kansas by 21
Texas by 14, isn't  tht game at utep?
Isu by 5
Mizzou by 40

Michael Atchison: I thought perhaps it was a Heaven Can Wait reference, with the belief that Pig had inhabited Willy Mo’s body.

--

(three hours later)

Ridiculous Matt: Slower, this thread or Gettis in coverage on Saturday?

The Boy: I thought Gettis was the only one who wasn't slow in coverage?

Ridiculous Matt: see everyone said  Bridges was the one who was dead in the water but gettis was the one I saw lagging behind. That may have been affected by the alcohol and slamming my head into the table, though.

rptgwb: Juice wasn't very willing to throw at him. And given the success that he had throwing at everyone else, I'm not sure I blame him.

The Boy: It's always fun when a CB ends up with 12 tackles, and you can't remember the QB throwing his way once.