So, Week 2 was pretty good! Barry Odom earned his first career win at Missouri, in front of a crowd of 51,000 supporters. The running game came alive, showing some promise up front. The defense had a tough start, but settled in nicely. The only injuries appear to be minor. Truman celebrated his 30th birthday, and Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox was honored.
Hmm, anything else?
Oh, right. Only the most dominant passing attack by a Mizzou team in recent memory. Drew Lock was absolutely on fire in the second and third quarters, turning a game that was relatively close (14-7 midway through the second) into a laugher. For the second week in a row, Lock posted career-high numbers, this time while leading his team to victory instead of scrambling during garbage time.
The offense was multiple, it was vertical, and it was explosive. Some of this assuredly had to do with the low level of the competition. The question of how to use backup quarterback Marvin Zanders was answered: as a backup. Josh Heupel could take this unit even further by being choosier about using his up-tempo offense; a fast pace after unsuccessful plays and incomplete passes again bogged down the game during some stretches. But this is picking nits; the passing game was spectacular.
The defense has clearly regressed from the dominant efforts of the last few seasons. There was some hope that the struggles in Morgantown where due to first-game jitters, or lack of experience, or just the quality of a veteran opponent. But EMU found some success on the ground until the Missouri aerial show put the game out of reach. And again, a Tigers opponent found success passing over the middle.
Enjoy the win and an offense that doesn’t frustrate on every play. Pray for some leadership to solidify what might be a shaky defense. Things get a lot more interesting in Week 3.
Mizzou Power Rankings
An unscientific look at the players, events, and things from the latest Missouri contest, ranked according to power.
1. Drew Lock
Drew Lock, welcome to the #1 spot in the power rankings! If Mizzou wants to be a factor in the SEC East race, Lock will have to take command of the top slot here on a weekly basis. This game was a turning point; Lock no longer simply has dominant potential, or explosive potential, or leadership potential. He was all of those things.
2. Jonathan Johnson
The fumbled punt return was tough, but otherwise that was a pretty nifty Marcus Murphy impression from the redshirt freshman. Johnson brings a dynamic element to the slot and the return game that was missing last season.
3. Spreading The Ball Around
Ten different Tigers took in Lock’s tosses — five receivers, three backs, and two tight ends — and none of those players were the seniors Chris Black, Alex Ross, or Sean Culkin. Will they all be stars, especially in league play? No. Is the skill position talent remarkably improved from last season? Yes.
4. Josh Augusta
Arguably Mizzou’s most disruptive defensive player this week, with a sack and a tackle for loss. Certainly Mizzou’s most versatile player this week, with a two-yard
scamper fall for a first down, and a double-team block that sprung a touchdown run by Damarea Crockett.
5. Barry Odom
Congrats on the first career win, Coach. Here’s to many more! The students serenaded you with a post-game chant of “Bar-ry! Bar-ry!” and some excitement has been restored after last season’s on-field struggles. Your “Show Me” program branding his caught on: the logo was painted into the Memorial Stadium grass and even made it onto the SEC Network broadcast. Most impressive was not sweating completely through a white golf shirt on a warm evening.
6. Drew Lock Hype Train
Get on board, nerds! Unless you don’t like silly hashtags and terribly great photoshops. Lock looked the part tonight, and could be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC as early as right now.
7. Aarion Penton
Hands-down the best Missouri defender. He had his second interception of the season when he jumped a sideline route, and tossed in a key pass breakup on third down to snuff out an EMU drive. Penton was dinged up and left the game; Odom said afterwards Penton would have stayed in were the game closer.
8. Offensive Line
The big uglies are coming together in a major way. They gave Drew Lock a clean pocket all night, and they began to open holes on the ground in the second half, something that was missing the first six quarters of the season. The job Glen Elarbee has done with a group of untested youngsters is nothing short of remarkable.
9. Corey Fatony
Last week these power rankings wished to see a lot less of Mizzou’s 2015; we got our wish. Four punts, two of them pins. This is just the right amount of Corey Fatony.
10. Truman The Tiger
Happy 30th birthday to this goofy mascot, who popped out of a birthday cake to celebrate his own birthday (??) and also got swole doing all those dang pushups. Have a day, Truman.
It's Truman the Tigers' 30th birthday. Crowd signing Happy Birthday as he pops out of his own cake. Historic moment.— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) September 11, 2016
Others Receiving Votes: Emanuel Hall, the bazooka, Terry Beckner, Jr, Ish Witter, Drew Lock passing record watch, Anthony Sherrils, retroactively appreciating Andrew Baggett, Damarea Crockett, Ray Wingo.
Between the Hashtags
A round-up of the best game day tweets featuring your quips, gifs, memes, meltdowns, analysis, etc.
On Saturday, I learned that blowing out an over-matched opponent makes for a lame night on Twitter. Rehashing all the best passing performances in Mizzou history was fun, but overall it was mostly a lot of “OMG Drew Lock.” I did that too, so I’m not mad atcha. There were a few gems, though.
Throw for 450 yards and 5 scores and you can dance however you want, kid:
Drew Lock's got a little pistol celebration dance that has potential.— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) September 10, 2016
MU Reese 19 YD TD catch from Lock; McCann accounts for rotational wobble of earth and converts PAT; 82 Y 3P 21 sec; MU leads EMU 33-7 :52 Q2— George Young (@GYCoMo) September 11, 2016
Some people felt bad for him, I guess:
How cruel of Missouri to make Truman do so many push-ups on his birthday— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 11, 2016
The aforementioned Show Me logo:
*whistles innocently....backs away slowly*:
Josh Augusta said his package on offense is called "Bone." I asked him why. He said he couldn't say it in front of recorders.— Ben Frederickson (@Ben_Fred) September 11, 2016
Shhhh....don’t tell them:
Stop throwing to Aarion Penton's receiver— Tramel Raggs (@Raggs_No_Riches) September 11, 2016
Some famous fans enjoyed the Drew Lock & Jonathan Johnson show:
Johnathon Johnson— Jeremy Maclin (@jmac___19) September 11, 2016
Go Tigers. Big game next week — see you after the Georgia game.