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Tyler Howell and Missouri's offensive line mostly held up against West Virginia

Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Barry Odom, naturally.

ABC-17: Odom, Mizzou try to learn from loss from West Virginia

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The Trib (Blake Toppmeyer): MU-WVU rewind: Game balls, grades and key plays

Offensive game ball – Tyler Howell

Howell, Missouri’s left tackle, protected Drew Lock’s blindside well in his Tiger debut. Howell, a junior college transfer, was frequently lined up across from WVU defensive end Christian Brown, one of the Mountaineers’ three returning starters on defense. Brown had a relatively quiet day with three tackles, no tackles for loss and no sacks. Missouri threw the ball 53 times, and the Mountaineers’ lone sack came off the right edge. Overall, Missouri’s pass protection was really good. Drew Lock was sacked once. The run blocking left a little to be desired.

The more I think about the offensive line play, the more I'm pretty satisfied with it. Lock was only severely pressured a couple of times in 50+ pass attempts, and while the run offense wasn't very effective, WVU ranked third in Rushing S&P+ last year and returned three of its top four up front. The Mountaineers' pass defense was overhauled, but the run defense was likely to still be strong.

Granted, we obviously need to see more from the run game moving forward -- so many opponents on the schedule are better against the pass than the run, so opportunity requires a solid ground attack. But it's possible that WVU has one of the better run defenses of anyone Mizzou faces, so we could see more efficient running in the weeks ahead. Maybe.

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