Revisiting "Five things I'll be watching:"
Will Shane Ray get the two sacks he needs to break Mizzou's single-season sack record?
Shane Ray did not record a sack, nor did Markus Golden. Harold Brantley record a sack late in the fourth quarter to force Vanderbilt to punt, essentially sealing the game. Matt Hoch recorded 2 sacks for 11 yards.
Matt Hoch had a a strong, if quiet game, tying Kentrell Brothers with a team high 6 tackles. Braylon Webb recorded an interception that came due to pressure caused by Harold Brantley.
Harold Brantley Harold Brantley Harold Brantley. He's good.
How healthy is Darius White and how well are receivers NOT named Bud Sasser or Jimmie Hunt used?
Darius White was an injury scratch having picked up a groin injury to the opposite side during practice this week.
Bud Sasser was his usual self, having 5 receptions for 74 yards and 2 touchdowns. Also, if he had been a girl his parents would have named him "Champagne" #TheMoreYouKnow
Will Russell Hansbrough be effective rushing the ball?
Russell Hansbrough had 87 yards on 19 carries and 1 touchdown. He was joined by Marcus Murphy who had 93 yards. Maty Mauk rushed 7 times for 58 yards. They ran the dang ball.
Can Maty Mauk show signs of improvement, completing greater than 50% of his passes and avoiding dumb mistakes?
Mauk didn't turn the ball over, completed 11/23 passes for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to Bud Sasser. He did not complete 50% of his passes but showed some improvement considering, completing some key check down passes to Murphy. Some drops were had, as was some pressure coming due to the offensive line, all of which is to be expected at this point.
I want to see Mizzou come out and play fired up like they did vs Florida. It'sHomecoming and this team has lost the last 2 home games - #FITFO
Beside an opening drive that ended in a field goal, the offense struggled until they sold out to running the ball and only passing when absolutely necessary. The defense was mostly itself except for two touchdowns, both a result of bad play in the secondary, both from Duron Singleton. Ian Simon also had at least one brainfart that resulted in a long passing gain.
Also, #FITFO when it comes to penalties.
Anthony Sherrills was ejected on a bogus targeting call that set the tone for suspect officiating throughout the game. Mizzou's aim at it's own foot is plenty fine, they didn't need your laser pointer refs.
Mizzou did enough to beat perhaps one of the worst teams in a Power 5 conference by 10 points. They didn't cover the spread, or look great doing it and the Kentucky team that hung with #1 Mississippi State is coming to Columbia next week.