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Making The Play: Vanderbilt

Luther is Him. Please keep him healthy and involved in the offense. At this point, I’m begging.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Vanderbilt at Missouri

Seeing Luther Burden III be involved the way he was this week was exactly what I think most Missouri fans have been begging to see. It’s not an unusual concept or anything. Just get one of your best offensive weapons more touches. It’s why anyone who has seen Missouri play in the earlier part of the season has questioned why he wasn’t already receiving more touches. Any time you give the kid the football, he is a threat to put up six points. Saturday against Vanderbilt, Burden proved just that.

Very early on, Missouri’s offensive decided to get Burden involved with a simple bubble screen for his first touch. In this play specifically, they start #10 Mekhi Miller in motion from the opposite side of the formation over into the boundary. Barrett Banister does a good job of getting a block on the closest threat and Miller does a good job of getting what looks akin to a combination block, just on the perimeter. Miller gets a chip to help, and then gets up to the next level to block the corner.

From there, it’s all Burden. He beats the initial wave of blockers and runs through a couple of would-be tacklers in route to the end zone. It’s very rare to see a player at 19 years old have that level of lower body strength to run through those kind of tackles and still maintain his speed. All you can say is wow.

Vanderbilt v Missouri Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

Thus far, with Burden he has exceeded all of my expectations. The statistics aren’t staggering, but he has had a huge impact on this offense and is a bona fide playmaker. The explosive ability he brings to the table is obviously important, but he also has been a great decoy for the other receivers. Dominic Lovett has been very impressive in the early parts of the season, but part of the reason he’s been so successful is that he has another player in Burden who commands respect from secondaries and defenses as a whole. With both of them on the field, you can’t tilt the coverage and usually at least one of them has got a one-on-one matchup.

I just pray that it doesn’t take an angry social media mob to keep him involved in the offense week after week.

Follow me on Twitter @iAirDry!