♫ I’m So Sophisticated ♫
So fresh. So Clean. Sophisticated. Drippin. Whatever word you need to describe this outfit is appropriate as long as that word acknowledges this look as banging.
What’s On Tap?
Abilene Christian University is theologically and strategically aligned with the Churches of Christ, a denomination of Christianity more widely known for two specific theological convictions.
1. Baptism in water is essential for the salvation of a soul.
2. Instruments are not permitted during worship because God doesn’t specifically permit them in the Bible.
I have to say, it’s about damn time the church stood up for the truth. I can’t imagine anything more blasphemous than a poorly-tuned guitar or an overly loud drum set in Sunday service. Do these things honor God? Certainly not! Time to bring it back to the only way God accepts human worship... that’s right, baby. GREGORIAN. CHANT.
But enough about salvific doctrine! Churches of Christ is all about dunkin’ folks, so it seems appropriate that this week’s cocktail is named after the original dunker himself. No, I’m not talking about Julius Erving. I’m talking John the Baptist.
1 ounce Green Spot Irish whiskey; 1/2 ounce apricot eau-de-vie; 1/2 ounce creme de cacao; 2 dashes Pernod absinthe; 1/2 ounce pineapple juice; 1/2 ounce pistachio syrup; 1/4 ounce half-and-half; 1 teaspoon Coco Lopez-matcha green tea powder mix
Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated; mint sprig (optional)
Add the Irish whiskey, apricot eau-de-vie, creme de cacao, absinthe, pineapple juice, pistachio syrup, half-and-half and Coco Lopez-matcha green tea powder mix into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Tiki mug or Collins glass over fresh ice.
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and an optional mint sprig.
Know Thy Enemy
There’s only so much digital ink spilled on FCS teams, but Nate Edwards is going to uncover it, dadgumit. After perusing the data, we see that Abilene’s defense will feel pretty familiar in terms of opponent difficulty.
[Head Coach Keith] Patterson and junior defensive coordinator Skyler Cassity have concocted a defense that ranks 23rd in FCS and has held their first two opponents to 14 points or less. That will most likely change after this week. They are, roughly, about as good as Louisiana Tech’s defense that made a few plays but were overmatched most of the game.
On offense, Abilene should have (in theory) a dangerous attack due to strategic staff building. However, the Wildcats are still fully in transition mode from a ground-and-pound attack.
I mentioned in May that Patterson made a dynamite hire in pulling offensive master mind Stephen Lee away from his Mary Hardin-Baylor dynasty and into the OC chair at ACU. The problem is that ACU was a run first-second-and-third team last year and they’re transitioning to a warp-speed air-raid offense that, currently, ranks 101st in the FCS.
So looking at the keys to the game it appears... oh, look at that. There’s only one key to the game. And it seems pretty easy. Huh. Should be a breeze!
After flopping in their first real test of the season, Missouri will be looking for fresh ideas against Abilene Christian. Are there any specific shakeups you’d like to see on Saturday in the rotation, scheme or otherwise?
Josh Matejka, Deputy Site Manager: I don’t think we’ll ever learn what happened to make the offense go more vanilla against Kansas State than they did Louisiana Tech, but Drinkwitz has to inject some life into his play-calling. Stop saving everything for the next opponent down the road and show off some of the offensive wizardry that’s apparently hiding in the playbook. If you can’t do it against an FCS opponent, I’ll assume you can’t do it at all.
Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: I just want to see the ball in the air more. This passing offense has a ways to go but so many weapons to work with, and this is a perfect game to really figure out what routes Brady Cook and his guys really like. No matter the score, I want to see Cook throw the ball at least 35-40 times, just to get him comfortable in a pass-heavy game, because this offensive line is not good enough to punish any SEC schools on the ground.
Sammy Stava, Football Contributor: The number one thing I would like to see on Saturday is Luther Burden returning punts. If there was a time to do it, this would be it. Last week against Kansas State, the defense wasn’t exactly the problem. Offensively, I just want to see a cleaner game with no turnovers. So, it’s not exactly a scheme thing — but playing smart, clean football would be ideal.
While Brady Cook started the season as QB1, it’s already clear that Drinkwitz won’t hesitate to go to someone else in dire circumstances. Is there already a QB controversy in Columbia?
Josh Matejka: I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be. Brady Cook isn’t as bad a QB as he showed against Kansas State, but he’s been on campus for three years at this point. If that’s how he’s going to turn out against Top 25 adjacent competition then you need to move in another direction. I understand that playing true freshmen with a shaky offensive line isn’t always ideal, but if Sam Horn is the future then he has to get some game reps in sooner rather than later.
Parker Gillam: I’m of the opinion that one game should never determine a player’s future, but Cook should be on a short leash for sure. If his confidence continues to slump and he doesn’t put together a quality 60 minutes, then other guys deserve a shot. For me, I’d be in favor of seeing Tyler Macon get a shot. Jack Abraham was not the “veteran, smart-with-the-ball” guy that we thought he’d be, so why not get the guy with major upside that can maybe even keep you in the game with his legs. If he isn’t effective, then you’ve got someone with even more upside sitting behind him in Sam Horn. At the bare minimum, Drink would let Horn get a shot just to keep the fans at bay.
Sammy Stava: Josh said it, Brady Cook isn’t as bad as a QB as he showed on Saturday at Kansas State — that was his third career start on the road in a hostile atmosphere against a legitimate Power Five opponent. He’s bound to get better. Cook is a serviceable quarterback who has the most experience under Drinkwitz’s system and I still think he’s going to be a fine option under center. However, I’m sorry, but — Jack Abraham is not the answer for the backup position. At some point, you have to let the future come into play and give the fanbase some excitement, and this is the perfect game for Sam Horn to see get some playing time. If Horn doesn’t get to play on Saturday, when will he this season?
There may be no way to fully regenerate fan excitement against ACU, but Missouri has to do everything it can to re-engage the fans. What are some ways they can do that this weekend?
Josh Matejka: Play exciting football, man. I don’t know how else to say it. Let your best players work. Put the ball in their hands. Score points. Throw the ball down the field more than a few yards. It feels like it may be that simple.
Parker Gillam: The same as above. Explosive plays, get Burden and Lovett the ball, and dominate with the pass rush. Mizzou fans have been blessed with plenty of playmakers and elite pass rushers in the past, Drinkwitz needs to remind them that they still have that.
Put a gaudy points number up on the board too (I’m talking 60+). Oregon put 70 on Eastern Washington after scoring 3 against Georgia, and now their fan base has at least some level of belief in the potential of the offense. Fans just need to see what the unit can become.
Sammy Stava: I’ll be honest, I try to get excited for every Mizzou Football game, but an 11 am kick-off against an FCS opponent after what happened last week is just the worst kind of game to play.
So, just make the big-time explosive plays and get the in-state players involved. Nathaniel Peat needs to have a big day. Mookie Cooper needs to have a big day. Luther Burden needs to have a big day. And yes, Let Brady Cook. Obviously, some Sam Horn time wouldn’t hurt as well.
PICK ‘EM! Missouri is a 33-point favorite over their FCS foes, which feels enormous even after their pounding of Louisiana Tech. Does Mizzou cover? And how much do they need to win by to give you some confidence heading into next week?
Josh Matejka: No amount of margin will make me feel comfortable against Auburn. Missouri could win by 50 and I wouldn’t feel good about the trip to Jordan-Hare. The best they can do is iron out the kinks this weekend and hope it translates to the coming game. I also don’t think Missouri will cover here, mostly because they’ll be playing backups in the second half. Give me a 49-23 final score line.
Parker Gillam: 33 is a large number in my eyes, especially with no idea of how this offense is going to rebound from last week. I don’t think they cover, but I’ll say a final score of 45-17. And no, there is nothing they can do this weekend for me to bet on them going to Jordan-Hare. That is already a crazy difficult place to play (no matter time of day), and those Tigers still have way more talent than Mizzou. However, we will learn much more about the men from the plains when they take on Penn State this weekend.
Sammy Stava: Look, Missouri covered a big spread in Week 1 against Louisiana Tech and Mizzou has played reasonably well at home under Drinkwitz. The Tigers have never lost to an FCS opponent in program history. That will continue.
In fact, they are even going to cover with a 45-10 win, I’ll say. None of that gives me confidence going on the road to Auburn next week, however.