Welcome to the Monday links featuring... not many links!
Here at the daily links post, we strive to bring you comprehensive coverage of what’s going on in the Mizzou world. The best stories, the most engaging content: you can find it all every morning, here at Rock M Nation.
Except that is, when no one is out here posting! Of all the major Columbia outlets, only the Columbia Missourian published multiple stories about Mizzou sports Sunday. One of them is from our very own basketball beat writer, Brendan LaVell, who is also covering football for the Missourian.
Missouri’s close win over Vanderbilt isn’t as concerning as you might think, with one exception: the defense’s slow start. The Commodores scored touchdowns on their first two possessions, the first time the Tigers have allowed that since Sept. 23, 2017, a 51-14 home loss to Auburn that prompted head coach Barry Odom’s “I’m going to win here” speech.
That’s an interesting bit of information, and it definitely goes against all the good things we’d been saying about the defense up until Saturday. The truth is, Missouri’s defense has probably done a good job of masking their imperfections against highly flawed QBs at Kentucky and Florida. Kyle Shurmur was able to expose those faults as a savvy veteran. Tennessee’s Jarret Guarantano probably is more of the Terry Wilson/Feleipe Franks mold, but he’s certainly got some swagger after having his way with Kentucky’s defense last week.
Speaking of Tennessee, the Tigers are opening as a slight favorite as they head to Knoxville next week.
“Anytime you’ve got a guy [Drew Lock] that has the arm strength and the playmakers and the experience that he has,” first-year Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said during Sunday’s The Jeremy Pruitt Show, “it will be a tremendous challenge for us defensively.”
Whereas things were looking upward for an 8-4 finish after last week’s win in Gainesville, it’s now likely the Tigers will have an uphill battle. A surging Tennessee team will be hard to beat on the road and Arkansas — while still rebuilding — has taken some good teams to the fourth quarter. Still, there are worse positions to be in than being bowl eligible 10 games into the season.
Hopefully, everyone on the beat can get some rest before the season’s final two games. They’ll be big ones.
Report cards are in!
- Gabe DeArmond gave out mostly passing grades to the Tigers, though he was particularly complementary of two position groups on offense ($$.)
- PowerMizzou also listed the Pro Football Focus grades, and the first three names on the list may surprise you! ($$)
- Alex Schiffer was pretty critical of the special teams, but had nice things to say about the rest of the team.
Yesterday at Rock M
- For all you college basketball fans out there — if you haven’t watched the trio of freshman phenoms at Duke yet, do yourself a favor and bookmark their next game. Here’s their box score alone, in which they outscored the opposing team by themselves!
- Davidson may be best known as the alma mater of Steph Curry, but they’re also now the record-holder for the most rushing yards in a single game for any FCS or FBS school.
- The latest bowl projections for the Tigers are in!
Saturday Down South: Liberty Bowl vs. Baylor
SB Nation: Outback Bowl vs. Michigan State
Sports Illustrated: Liberty Bowl vs. Oklahoma State