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There’s been a noticeable difference in Missouri’s line play this season, and not in a good way

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Our illustrious leader Bill C. has left us, everyone. So you’re stuck with me now. Bill always finds a time to leave at the exact time Mizzou news dries up, but I’m going to soldier through. Don’t worry, it’s just for a few days. The news will be back soon, and so will Bill. In the meantime, let’s get to today’s links.

Mizzou starts a bye week in football and just about all the beat coverage followed. Despite the loud rant from Barry Odom there wasn’t much of an echo two days later as only Dave Matter came up with a few notes to write up. Mainly concerning the play of both the offensive and defensive lines:

The line gave up two sacks Saturday, though one was the disputable incomplete pass non-call that was instead ruled a Drew Lock fumble. Fumble or incomplete, Lock still got crunched on the play. On Mizzou’s first five possessions, defensive end Jeff Holland hit Lock three times, two on incomplete passes and a third time on the sack. Holland got through right tackle Paul Adams two more times on his path to Lock late in the first half.

When Missouri has been at it’s best they’ve usually had good players at the skill positions, but there are a LOT of former Mizzou players in the NFL today playing in the trenches of either side of the ball. The list of skill guys is short, but offensive line depth and defensive line tenacity is what helped the Tigers win so many games in the Pinkel era.

With so many players subbing in and out it’s clear the coaches haven’t found a combination of guys they feel can consistently get the push they need to win battles up front against power conference opponents. They’re consistently losing the one on one battles on the interior, and after reasonably solid play a year ago the offensive line has been shaky at best this year.

Maybe this is a group that just needed a bye week to regroup and find their cohesion again:

With eight games and the bulk of their SEC schedule remaining, Missouri players stressed the need for personal accountability before the team resumes play Oct. 7 at Kentucky.

“It allows us time to sit back and look at things, … look at the man in the mirror,” quarterback Drew Lock said after Missouri’s 51-14 loss to now-No. 13 Auburn. “And I think we’ve got a lot of time to do that with this bye week.”

We all sat and looked at the South Carolina game as vital as a measuring stick for the season. But this bye week has to carry more weight for a young team. Dig yourself out of a big hole and find a way to be competitive. The good news is the SEC East is still pretty terrible and there are winnable games left, even as bad as things have gotten.

More Links:

  • As for the rest of the sports, Soccer, Volleyball, Swimming... nobody is playing any games/events/matches until September 29th.
  • PowerMizzou’s Alex Schiffer caught up with Mizzou Basketball commit Javon Pickett.
  • Mizzou Football commit Chad Bailey is an animal, this is a helluva line.