Missouri lost a tough football game in Morgantown to begin the Barry Odom era. The final score was 26-11, but there were moments where Mizzou looked completely outclassed, and other drives where they looked like the superior outfit.
This game fits quite nicely into the yin-yang dichotomy of the Missouri fanbase. The more optimistic partisan viewers saw major strides from 2015’s offensive nadir; the naysayers saw little growth from the offense and signs of a collapse on defense. The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.
The game got off to a rough start, as Mizzou punted four times in the first quarter. The second quarter saw momentum swing as the defense made a few key stops and Drew Lock found rhythm passing the ball, but two decent scoring chances fizzled out.
After halftime, the Mountaineers pulled away with a dominant third quarter, and they held serve until Mizzou tacked on some garbage time yards and points. Despite the loss, there were encouraging signs, and a few legitimately fun moments.
Mizzou Week 1 Power Rankings
An unscientific look at the players, events, and things from the latest Missouri contest, ranked according to power.
1. Corey Fatony
Dammit. The punter was the MVP of Mizzou’s 2015, and here he is again at the top of the rankings. The punt coverage was incredible too, laying the wood urgently and legally. I love you Corey, but I would really like to start seeing less of you.
2. Aarion Penton
Penton is a sure thing at corner, and West Virginia was wise to avoid him, especially as other Tigers struggled in coverage. Penton had an athletic interception where he went over the Mountaineer wideout to get the ball at it’s highest point, causing Mizzou fans to dance like his famous little brother.
3. Drew Lock
Lock was sharp today, making quality reads and finding receivers in stride. He’s not a finished product, but he completed 23 of 51 passes for 280 yards, all career highs (yes, some of that production was in garbage time). It was an impressive game on the road in a very hostile environment with a brand new offensive line, a brand new offensive system, and a brand new haircut. Lock will be at the top of many of these sets of power rankings.
4. The grad transfers
Not much to complain about here. Ross and Black are going to contribute exactly as advertised: raising the caliber of skill position player while the rebuilding process begins. Ross carried 18 times for 67 yards behind a line that failed — stop me if you’ve heard this before — to clear much space in the run game. Black was key in helping ease Lock into his rhythm, and made a nifty sideline tiptoe catch for a touchdown.
5. Josh Augusta, running back
The Big Bear can scoot! Well, he can fall forward. If William Perry was “The Fridge,” Augusta is “The Walk-In Freezer.” Since nothing else clicked in the run game, at least we have this. I hope all the fans who used to go nuts in 2007 about a lack of a fullback are happy now, because that was awesome.
6. Michael Scherer
Scherer was everywhere in Morgantown, notching ten tackles and leading a linebacker unit that acquitted themselves well except when attempting to cover slot receivers. However, his ten tackles were short of the pace needed to reach his stated goal of catching Barry Odom in the stat book (a shade under thirteen per game). Slacker.
7. J’Mon Moore
Moore made some big plays, leading the team with 23 (!) targets, 8 catches, and 104 yards. He also had a few brutal drops, which is why he does not rank higher on this list. Some consistency from Moore will pay major dividends for the passing game.
8. The second quarter
That was fun for a little bit, wasn’t it? We saw what a good Odom/Heupel/Lock era team will look like: athletic defense making sound tackles and havoc plays, and a versatile offense stretching teams vertically and horizontally.
Unfortunately, the team couldn’t stay out of their own way in this quarter to truly capitalize and make the result of the game competitive. The decision to try out the Zanders package immediately after Lock had found the best rhythm of his career led to a stalled drive and a flummoxed fanbase.
In addition, the goal line three-and-out/missed field goal combination was particularly galling. Wait, why did this make the top ten again? Maybe that quarter actually stunk.
9. That onside kick
That was a nifty trick! If that play had been a deciding factor in the game, it would be among the greatest special teams play in school history.
10. Anthony Sherrils
Sherrils was consistent. The defensive stars were productive for Missouri, even if the youth and depth players struggled. West Virginia’s first touchdown drive came with Sherrils on the sideline getting a breather, highlighting his importance to the defense.
Others Receiving Votes: Dimetrios Mason, Josh Augusta the defensive tackle, dropped passes, Samson Bailey’s lack of pads (seriously: he looks like he’s wearing a t-shirt), Samson Bailey’s lack of bad snaps in a hostile road game in his first career start, ineligible receivers downfield, Barry Odom’s golf shirt that resembled a Gary Pinkel sweater vest, Terez Hall, Skylar Howard’s starfish genes, Marvin Zanders, the usage Marvin Zanders, yelling on twitter about the usage of Marvin Zanders, Sean Culkin, FieldTurf
Between The Hashtags
A round-up of the best gameday tweets featuring your quips, gifs, memes, meltdowns, analysis, etc.
As Barry Odom starts his 1st game, it's important to note last 3 Mizzou coaches are straight out of a Parks & Rec joke: Barry, Gary & Larry.— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) September 3, 2016
Hire Terry Bowden?
Our punter is better than their punter— Sam Snelling (@SamSnellingRMN) September 3, 2016
Mizzou tradition: Week 1 Braggin’ Rights
That first quarter looked waaaaaay too much like 2015. We went to some dark places:
Didn't know Lil Wayne was a Mizzou fan https://t.co/ZuE8Il7rBk— Matt Vereen (@MattVereen) September 3, 2016
The offensive was innovate all day:
So far Missouri has had a TE and an RB as ineligible receivers downfield so that's a new trick— Rock M Nation (0-1) (@RockMNation) September 3, 2016
Even when they struggled to find a rhythm.
Let's put Marvin Zanders in.......... Now? Or now? How about now?— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) September 3, 2016
Fatony gonna get paid, y’all:
Josh Augusta the running back caused us all to lose our dang minds.
Fullbacks don't come any fuller than Josh Augusta.— TPC SW MO (@tigerpackcard) September 3, 2016
Ish: Halfback— Randy Rhodes (@randy_rhodes123) September 3, 2016
Josh: Double Fullback, with extra gravy
Finally, an extremely Mizzou game made for an extremely Mizzou fanbase:
Go Tigers. See y’all after Eastern Michigan.