0-2, 0 yards passing. One rush for 10 yards.
That was Sam Horn’s line as he finally entered live action, something Mizzou fans have been clamoring over the last few months. The much hyped, very controversial elite recruit/backup quarterback has been one of the topic du jours all season long, and it lasted one series and six plays. Meanwhile, super-duper extra senior Jack Abraham saw his first action since a disastrous appearance against Kansas State, and attempted two passes over two different series.
All season long the wide receiving corps has been led by sophomore Dominic Lovett. Last night he had two targets and just one catch for 10 yards. 5-star freshman phenom Luther Burden III made the most of his touches with two touchdowns on six touches. Meanwhile, super senior Barrett Banister had 7 catches on 9 targets.
This game was never really in doubt. Mizzou didn’t punt until their final possession, and while they were only up 21-0 at halftime, New Mexico State didn’t have the firepower to put much real game pressure on the Tigers at any point. Even after the Aggies scored their first touchdown, Mizzou followed with an easy 7-play, 70 yard drive for a touchdown. The next possession was a pick-6 by Daylan Carnell, followed by another interception by Jalani Williams. Then came the Horn possession.
This game was about the seniors. Drinkwitz has been telling us Sam Horn isn’t ready. We didn’t want to listen. Horn went in when he did so he could still get a possession with guys who were mostly the 1s. He delivered a beautiful 29 yard ball to Bannister on 1st and 10, but the play was called back on a penalty. A few plays later he got Bannister crushed on a pass over the middle.
Maybe the future belongs to Horn. It looked like it might belong to Ryan Hoerstkamp, along with Tavorus Jones. It certainly has looked like it belongs to Burden Lovett, and Carnell. Lots of younger players got into the game and made some plays. And also missed opportunities. But the future is the future, and this staff and this coach have proven as often as they can that this season is not about the future. It’s about now. It’s why so few young players have gotten chances to show what they can do. It has to be “earned”.
That’s difficult when you’re not winning, but it’s still part of the process. The process is development. Development isn’t exciting, but it’s about the end result. And when the game was over, for all intents and purposes, it was more important for the staff to say thanks to the guys who have been there and shown up and been leaders. They fed Barrett Banister. They gave Jack Abraham some snaps.
I can disagree with how they go about their process, but in the end it’s their job to run the program the way they think is best. Eli Drinkwitz wants Mizzou to be great. This team isn’t great, but they’ve been close enough multiple times to think they could be great soon. As I’ve been saying, they’re almost a good football team.
At the very least, next week provides a chance to say you’re bowl eligible. Another chance to put a brick in the road. Another chance to develop. Beat Arkansas.
I’m not adding the Statbroadcast stat screenshots. The previously clean interface has been sullied by ads and it’s made it difficult to get a clean look. So here’s a link: StatBroadcast
Other SEC Scores:
- Georgia (1) 16, Kentucky 6
- South Carolina 63, Tennessee (5) 38
- LSU (6) 41, UAB 10
- Alabama (8) 34, Austin Peay 0
- Arkansas 42, Ole Miss (14) 27
- Mississippi State 56, East Tennessee State 7
- Texas A&M 20, UMass 3
- Vanderbilt 31, Florida 24
- Auburn 41, Western Kentucky 17