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Pourover: Still cautiously optimistic after all these years

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Yesterday was a reminder that we’re in year 2 and not year 6 of the Eli Drinkwitz era. Adjust expectations accordingly.

NCAA Football: Central Michigan at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I didn’t know what to expect. I even said so last week.

I read what we published, listed to Nate and BK on the podcast, and I was still uncertain of what we would see from Missouri against Central Michigan. But watching Football is a much different experience for me than watching basketball. I’m able to dissect plays and motions and rotations in real time when I watch hoops. But Football is far more visceral and reactionary. Despite it being far more of a slog (really, we can’t wrap up games in less than like 3 hours and 53 minutes?).

I’m probably every bit as bad as anyone getting mad at college students when they miss a tackle, or fail to convert a 3rd and short. But once you get outside of the play, the moment, and the game, it’s important to reel back. So we zoom out, and reset. All the cliches.

This is Eli Drinkwitz’s 11th game as head coach of the program — none of which have been outside of a global pandemic — and the very early stages of his second season leading the charge. It’s easy to get caught up in the amount of offseason winning Drink and his staff have been partaking in. It’s easy to forget a pretty important part of all this... this is a bit of a rebuild.

Mizzou wasn’t in year zero last year; the bottom never really fell out. Things weren’t great in the last year of the Barry Odom tenure but they won 6 games... but...

You can see watching the game yesterday that there’s still a lot of work to be done. The offensive and defensive lines just didn’t dominate on enough downs against a MAC school. And don’t get me wrong here, CMU is a solid team, with good and experienced lines. But if you want to be a program that competes within the SEC on an annual basis you don’t struggle to win those battles. And Missouri just isn’t there.

The difference yesterday was in the depth. Missouri just had more big bodies, even if the difference at the start wasn’t all that noticeable, the cumulative effect eventually wore down the Chippewas, and the Tigers were able to pull away. But they’re going to need more standouts on each side of the line to truly take a step up in the league.

So the good news if you’re gauging your contemporaries, winning a tough game over a group of five team isn’t anything to get upset about in Week 1. Oklahoma snuck by Tulane by just 5 points. Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 16-10. Oregon beat Fresno State 31-24. Washington lost to Montana. Charlotte beat Duke, Northern Illinois beat Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State beat Missouri State 23 - 16, Baylor beat Texas State 29-20. Illinois lost to UT-San Antonio.

So this is all to say... we’re fine. We’re good. Maybe we watched yesterday and were frustrated by different outcomes but Mizzou got the win and it was never really in question for most of the 4th quarter. Sure CMU had their shots, but it was never close. So while there are things to clean up (one for 11 on 3rd downs is yeeeeeeessssh), yesterday’s win means that the train is on the tracks and things are on schedule.

Full Stats from Statbroadcast:

Here are your other SEC scores:

  • Mississippi State 35, Louisiana Tech 34
  • Arkansas 38, Rice 17
  • Kentucky 45, UL Monroe 10
  • Alabama 44, Miami 13
  • East Tennessee State 23, Vanderbilt 3
  • A&M 41, Kent St 10
  • UF 35, FAU 14
  • Auburn 60, Akron 10
  • USC 46, EIU 0
  • Georgia 10, Clemson 3
  • UCLA 38, LSU 27
  • Thu: Tennessee 38, Bowling Green 6

Yesterday at Rock M

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