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Every team needs an Ish Witter

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Mizzou has won four games in a row for the first time in more than two years — the last time: the last game of 2014 and the first three of 2015.

The Tigers had fallen into the 90s in my S&P+ rankings because the offense was merely good and the defense was horrendous. But once Georgia was in the rear view mirror, the defense shored up its breakdowns and started making plays. You can’t really do much until you get the basics down.

“We’ve been focusing on the details,” [Cale] Garrett said. “We’ve been playing physical, and we’ve been playing hard, but focusing on the little things and doing your job when it’s time to make the play has been the key for us lately.”

The Tigers’ four takeaways on Saturday were their most since last year’s Florida game, and they got constant pressure on Tennessee’s young quarterback.

Suddenly, we’re talking about potential bowl destinations. (Memphis: hello.) The Tigers could become only the 13th team to ever attend a bowl after starting 1-5. A lot can change in a month.

The defense and Drew Lock’s own emergence have been key to this turnaround — the schedule has helped, too, yes. But it’s incredible to look back a month and think about our existential dread regarding Damarea Crockett’s absence and the effects it might have on a potential turnaround. Mizzou’s offense was crippled when he missed time in September, and now he’s out just as the winnable games show up on the schedule?

Instead, Mizzou has barely missed Crockett.

  • Senior Ish Witter, meanwhile, is making a Ryan Rosburgian charge late in his senior year. He’s carried 60 times for 413 yards (6.9) and four TDs during the winning streak.

Witter has always been likable for his team-first attitude and work ethic. But wow, has he produced. And his teammates couldn’t be happier for him.

“For him to come out on senior night and ball out the way he did, I’m so happy for him. I love that kid,” offensive guard guard Kevin Pendleton said. “He’s a great dude. I’m so happy for him. He’s got big things ahead of him.”

Per PowerMizzou, Witter needs 256 yards to finish his career in Mizzou’s career top 10. With a bowl, he would almost certainly reach that. Hell, he might not even need the bowl.

Every team needs a damn Ish Witter.

Basketball Links:

Lots going on right now! Here’s some hoops talk for you.

  • First, some video.

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