1. Narrative check
Pinkel comes home
The Trib: Pinkel glad to put Toledo trip in rear view
Okay, let's not make Sassinator happen
The Trib: Missouri's Sasser is a game-changer
PowerMizzou: The Leftovers
The Missourian: Bud Sasser picks up new nickname in Tigers' win at Toledo
Post-Dispatch; Mizzou receivers answer concerns
2. Everybody empties notebooks
Quicksand: Toledo spent 30 of its 75 plays going nowhere, at best. That breaks down to 21 passes that were incomplete or complete to Aarion Penton, five tackles for loss, three more in which the Rockets lost yards without getting tackled and one play that went for no gain. Through two games, Missouri is making its opponent mark time on 35 percent of its plays, or 49 in 139 plays. Nothing plays are drive killers. Nothing plays are demoralizers. Nothing plays turn 1st-and-10 into 2nd-and-10 or, in one very notable Golden-aided case from Saturday, 3rd-and-10 into 4th-and-27. And Missouri's defense is producing them 30 percent more frequently than its opponents are so far this season.
Conversions: Take a trip back to the South Dakota State game with me. Missouri faced an average of 4.4 yards to convert its third downs in the season opener and made good on only 3 of 11. Now hop back in the time machine and travel to the first half of the Toledo game with me. Missouri faced eight third downs at an average distance of 7.9 yards and converted three. A little better, still not great. OK, one more trip in the time machine, back to the Toledo second half. Missouri faced nine third downs at an average of 5.8 yards and converted six of them. The big difference? A certain alliterative quarterback. Mauk was 2 of 6 for 26 yards and one conversion -- a touchdown -- on third down against South Dakota State. He was 6 of 10 for 106 yards and six conversions -- including two touchdowns -- against Toledo. That'll do. It also helped Missouri keep the ball for 61 percent of the second half, even though Toledo got the opening kick.
Chemistry with Culkin: On the Tigers’ first possession, tight end Sean Culkin caught two passes, a new career high in receptions for the redshirt sophomore. But after that, Culkin and Mauk looked a bit out of sync.
Mauk overthrew Culkin a couple of times, and there were other offensive miscues. At one point in the first quarter, Mauk lofted a ball to Jimmie Hunt — in double coverage — while Culkin was wide open in the middle of the field. Hunt took a big hit on the play when he tried to elevate over the defenders; Culkin seemed to call for the ball and throw his arms in the air in frustration when it didn’t come.
Culkin finished the game with those two receptions for 23 yards.
We’re getting redundant here, but once again, defensive end Markus Golden was the best defensive player on the field. He finished with six tackles, two for losses, a sack and a quarterback hurry. Right tackle Chase Nelson probably saw Golden flashing past him in his sleep Saturday night after he consistently powered past him into the backfield. Golden said he was timing the snap by watching center Greg Mancz shift his hips. That helped Golden blow past Nelson on third and 8 in the second quarter when he rushed quarterback Phillip Ely into throwing a deep ball interception to Aarion Penton. Later, the Rockets squandered a golden scoring chance in the third quarter when Golden chased down Ely for a 17-yard sack on third and goal.
"We had the backside covered up really well," linebacker Michael Scherer said. Ely "had nowhere to throw it and started running around. If we ever give our D-line an extra half-second, they’re going to make a sack. That’s what happened."
Through two games, Golden has 16 tackles, five for losses and 2 1/2 sacks.
3. Rough start to the season for the fightin' Kreklows
Not the most well-oiled start for Mizzou this year in volleyball. But at least they salvaged a Tiger Invitational split.
Lipscomb 3, Mizzou 1
MUTIGERS.COM: Mizzou Drops Tough Match to Lipscomb, 3-1
Mizzou 3, Illinois State 1
MUTIGERS.COM: Mizzou Finds Its Stride in 3-1 Win Over Illinois State
Oakland 3, Mizzou 1
MUTIGERS.COM: Oakland Outlasts Mizzou in Four Sets
4. Soccer scores!
5. This was amaaaaaaaazing
Step 1: Homemade Pizza Sauce
Step 3: Big Green Egg at 600 degrees