All year, Missouri has given their fans a steady dose of close wins and blowout losses. That made our new post-game MV3 feature a little tough to execute at times.
Saturday’s disappointing loss in Starkville was no exception. But while Missouri looked out of sorts all night, there were still some bright sports worth pointing out. So our writers sucked it up one last time (in the regular season, that is) and submitted our ballots for this week’s most valuable players.
1. Larry Rountree III
There’s a poeticism to what happened to Larry Rountree in Starkville. He was once again excellent — as he has been throughout his entire career — but the team around him disappointed. While the rest of the offense sputtered, Rountree consistently found the outside edge and gashed the Bulldog defense for big chunks of yardage. He also set a good tone for the Tigers early on, punching in a long TD after a 10 play, 75 yard drive.
Rountree only needs 28 yards to reach 1,000 on the season. Seems pretty doable, even if the Tigers are taking on a stout defensive team in the Music City Bowl.
2. Shawn Robinson
Personally, this was my first choice. Yes, Rountree’s production was good, but if anything embodies the culture that Drinkwitz is building within the Missouri program, it’s the performance of former QB-1 Shawn Robinson.
After being supplanted by Bazelak in the second game of the season, Shawn Robinson went through the ringer. He suffered a few injuries that kept him out of practices only to be supplanted as the backup by true freshman Brady Cook. Stuck behind two players whose total experience didn’t equal his own, it would have been easy to understand if Robinson wanted to finish out his career elsewhere.
But as he said during the post-game on Saturday, Robinson bought into the program. He wanted to be a part of Mizzou no matter what. So when Eli Drinkwitz approached him about making a permanent move to safety, Robinson agreed. And while it’s safe to say he’s got some work to do, the Tigers may have found a diamond in the rough on their roster. Robinson’s speed and athleticism was evident, and he displayed an uncanny knack for spotting the ball. His hard work paid off in the end when he nabbed a late-game interception.
It’s too early to say whether or not Robinson will be able to contribute on next year’s defense. But never say never, especially with the heart and raw talent he showed on Saturday.
3. Keke Chism
Chism’s performance was marred when he failed to make a play on a ball that ended up being intercepted. But the graduate transfer was also the only receiver who consistently put himself in position to make plays. When the Tigers needed a spark on offense, Chism was able to get open down the middle and move the chains. When the Tigers desperately needed to put points on the board, Chism created separation in the end zone for a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
We’ll use this space as our official lobbying opportunity: PLEASE COME BACK, KEKE CHISM!
Others receiving votes: Joshuah Bledsoe
How about y’all? Did anyone else pop in what was an otherwise ugly game? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @RockMNation.