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Damarea Crockett might or might not have had surgery and might or might not be out a while

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

So that might have been a first: Homecoming weekend getting commandeered by a basketball scrimmage. Mizzou news entities appeared to throw a lot more resources into yesterday’s Mizzou-Kansas shindig in Kansas City than the Football Tigers’ Homecoming win over Idaho, which of course makes sense. But while there’s plenty of hoops content coming later in the day, let’s work back through the football game real quick.

The most noteworthy piece of news comes in regard to a guy who didn’t actually play: Damarea Crockett.

In his postgame comments Tigers coach Barry Odom didn't mention Crockett's surgery but said, "He was not ready to go play. Still looks like he’s going to be out for a while."

Later, though, freshman running back Larry Rountree III said Crockett had surgery on Friday. Asked to confirm that Crockett had surgery, a team spokesman did not deny but wouldn't further disclose an update on the running back's status.

Yeah, god forbid we get a clear update. This is more serious than espionage, after all. This, of course, all unfolded after Barry Odom told media last Monday that Crockett ... probably wouldn’t be ready to practice on Tuesday. Which, I guess, was technically true.

(I’d be less sarcastic and annoyed about all this if there were any actual correlation between paranoia and secret-keeping and actually winning football games. But a lot of coaches and programs get so caught up in what they are and aren’t sharing with the public that it seems to distract them a little bit. But I digress.)

A sophomore and redshirt freshman were directly involved in Mizzou’s first-quarter explosion.

First, Albert O.

Chase Coffman's three touchdown performance against Colorado in 2008 marks the is the last time a Mizzou tight end has scored three in a single game in program history.

"It's definitely pretty exciting that I could be in the same category as someone as good as Chase Coffman was here," Okwuegbunam said. "It gives me a lot of drive and a lot of inspiration to strive to be as good as some of the great tight ends that we've had come through Mizzou."

Then, Mr. Floyd.

The line-drive punt was collected, off a bounce, by redshirt-sophomore WR Richaud Floyd at his own 15 yard-line, beginning just the second punt return of his college career. Floyd was immediately helped by a pair of key blocks by juniors Cam Hilton and Dominic Nelson on the Idaho gunners. The seam created by those blocks allowed for Floyd's quick feet to scamper through the initial pressure and find some open space downfield.

I really couldn't believe how open it was," Floyd said. "The people on our team did a great job blocking and I just did the rest. I just try to do as much as I can on the field. Running punts back, catching passes, that's what I' supposed to do. I'm a football player."

(Hilton, by the way, seemed to see the field quite a bit more on Saturday and played quite well.)

Where was Tucker McCann?

Redshirt junior kicker Nick Bartolotta made his first career start at Missouri on Saturday after junior Tucker McCann was suspended for a violation of team policies. Odom said McCann will be back next week for the Tigers' game at Connecticut.

Bartolotta transferred as a walk-on from Kansas, where he played in nine games during the 2015 season, and redshirted during Missouri's 2016 campaign. He found out he would be the starting kicker Tuesday.

Bartolotta certainly didn’t seem to have the same kickoff range but was mostly fine. I mean, he missed a PAT, but ... well ... our bar is pretty low at this point...

The lack of big plays was quite nice.

Missouri’s tackling has been inconsistent no matter whom the Tigers play, as evidenced time and again by chunk plays that have almost always resulted in opposing touchdowns.

But against Idaho, Missouri allowed only one rush and two passes more than 20 yards.

“We were playing a lot more aggressive throughout the week of practice,” freshman defensive back Adam Sparks said. “That was probably the key thing. Of course it’s going to carry over to the game.”

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