1. THE BILL SIGNAL: Missouri gets the Bill Connelly preview treatment
Bill’s preview of all 130 FBS teams moved on with Missouri on Thursday. Obviously, you should read the whole thing. But the biggest takeaway?
This season could really be a toss-up. This is the key section from Bill:
S&P+ is pretty confident in this team. The Tigers return a majority of the reasons for their late improvement, and despite a tricky schedule that features trips to Purdue, South Carolina, and Alabama and a visit from Georgia, they are given at least a 46 percent win probability in 10 of 12 games.
Lock could end up the No. 1 QB in the 2019 NFL draft, and Missouri could easily consolidate last year’s gains with an 8-4 season. We could look back at 2017’s win streak as the moment Odom truly became Gary Pinkel’s long-term replacement.
The offense could also come out stagnant, thinking too much and trying too hard to be something it’s not. The defense could prove that last year’s schizophrenia is baked in, and the Tigers could get upset by Wyoming on their way to another 1-5 start. (Odom probably can’t count on surviving a second one of those.)
Given two extremes, I think I lean toward the former. But the latter’s on the table.
I also found this aside from Bill interesting, and an important note to bring up:
Dooley knows the SEC, and he knows “pro-style” concepts (at this point, “pro-style” basically just means “more” — more reads for the QB, more protections for the line, and more potential routes). Theoretically, he’s got a cast that can handle “more.”
There’s been a lot of talk about a pro-style offense under Derek Dooley, but there’s a heck of a chance that most fans won’t see obvious differences between last year’s offense and this year’s. Lock isn’t going under center; there’s not a fullback. What will happen is a more nuanced, complex offense — not one where receivers are only running routes on one half of the field. But we’ll still see all the trappings of a spread offense.
Dooley’s not going to throw out everything that worked so well last year, that’s for dang sure.
2. They still call him Murph
Former Missouri running back/jack-of-all-trades Marcus Murphy scored a touchdown in the Buffalo Bills’ preseason game on Thursday. Writes the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
RB Marcus Murphy. The Bills signed him to their practice squad late last season, and brought him back this year and all he’s done is make plays in practice, and then in the game. There has to be a place on the roster for a guy who flashes like Murphy. I know Taiwan Jones plays multiple special teams units, but he doesn’t bring sizzle to the offense the way Murphy has so far.
Murphy finished with 65 yards on 11 touches (four receptions, seven carries). Here was his touchdown:
3. Letters from Camp!
Really great feature on redshirt sophomore Albert Okwuegbunam by Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I also had to do a double-take when Frederickson wrote that Missouri is preparing for the possible departure of Okwuegbunam for the NFL this year — not that it isn’t a possibility, but I just can’t believe we may not get three years of watching him on the field.
And the Columbia Daily Tribune has a look at the man behind this talented group of tight ends, Joe Jon Finley.
The Kansas City Star asks if Missouri can regularly produce NFL tight ends like it used to?
Yesterday at Rock M
- David Morrison shows that Missouri’s offense slowing down JUST A LITTLE could have huge implications in the turnover department.
- Poll! Who will lead Missouri in rushing touchdowns this season?
- Rock M Radio presents: Opponents Alley with Sam Snelling.
- Missouri is hosting four-star 2019 wing Jalen Hill on an unofficial visit, says Corey Evans of Rivals.com.
- Missouri apparently scheduled some more football games for the future! None move the needle, and you’ll still have nearly six years to wait until Buffalo comes to Faurot Field again.