Mental mistakes really undid Mizzou on Saturday night against Georgia. Key mistakes at key times stalled drives and forced an offense with very little margin for error, to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns. That’s the story of the game.
However, in my opinion, the story for Mizzou (aside from the defense being awesome) is the emergence of Dominic Lovett and how he makes things easier for the Missouri offense as a whole.
In just a little over a quarter of game action, Lovett finished with six catches for 84 yards and before an ankle injury sidelined him, it didn’t look like the Georgia defense had a defensive back on the roster that could hang with him. He was open almost every play.
Here he is on an RPO, slanting across the middle, making a nice grab with his hands and getting some RAC afterwards.
Here’s another example of him finding a way to get open while Cook scrambles. He also makes a really nice catch with the defender bearing down on him. Note the situation here. It’s 2nd and 20 and if they can’t get any yardage, they’re looking at a long third down and in all likelihood, a stalled drive around midfield.
Again, note the situation here: It’s third and six and the offense really needs to find a way to hold onto the ball and keep Georgia’s defense. Lovett sees zone coverage, gets to an open spot and shows his hands in the middle of a myriad of Georgia defenders.
It was interesting seeing Lovett match up with highly rated players in Georgia’s secondary. It was eye opening to see him legitimately have his way with former five star players like Kelee Ringo.
Unfortunately, it was really disappointing to see the passing game struggle the way it did without Lovett when he departed the game. You can tell that Lovett is Brady Cook’s favorite target and usually his first read in the passing game. Without him, Cook struggled a bit and Georgia’s defense was really able to focus in on Luther Burden and make things generally more difficult on the offensive end.
Going forward, hopefully Lovett will be healthy enough to play against Florida, but regardless, we need to begin to reevaluate the ceiling of what he can become at Missouri. He took one of the best defenses in college football and straight up had his way with them and has done that to pretty much every defense that Missouri has seen thus far. He is leading the SEC in receptions as well as receiving yards and when you turn on the film you see it too. I don’t think it’s crazy to start wondering if the best receiver in the SEC is playing in Columbia, MO.