Here’s the thing about ugly wins: they’re still wins. And in college football, wins mean that at least one or two players had big days.
It’s no secret that Mizzou wasn’t all that convincing against Abilene Christian this past weekend. But while the team performance could have been stronger, there were more than a few players deserving individual praise. And as so happens around game three or four in a new year, a crop of players is starting to separate itself as the guys we’ll see a lot on these lists. Only five total players were voted for this week, and the three who made the list received the vast majority of all first and second place votes.
1. Luther Burden III
Did Luther Burden fail to register a receiving touchdown for the second straight game? Sure. Did it matter? Absolutely not. Burden took his first career college punt return to the house and managed 111 total yards as the team’s main returner. He also managed 6 catches for 58 yards — along with an extra 8 yards rushing — and still looked like the most talented player any time he touched the ball. Burden had a rough week against Kansas State, but he was never going to stay down long.
2. Dominic Lovett
As BK put in his immediate takeaways, Dominic Lovett has avoided the sophomore slump in a major way. The receiver had a career day, totaling 132 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 catches. Lovett looked faster and shiftier than any one of ACU’s defenders and appears to be a legitimate deep threat for the Tigers. If they can start taking advantage of his talents, they’ll have a dynamic 1-2 punch with he and Burden.
3. Ennis Rakestraw, Jr.
What a game for the redshirt sophomore. A symbol of Eli Drinkwitz’s early recruiting success at Mizzou, Rakestraw has been a figure of immense scrutiny throughout his time in Columbia. Saturday was his strongest game in black and gold, highlighted by a high-difficulty interception that helped keep the Wildcats at arm’s length. It feels like Rakestraw can still build on the immense potential he brought to Missouri... even if it’s one step at a time.
Others receiving votes: Chad Bailey, Ty’Ron Hopper
Now it’s your turn! Tell us who your MV3 are in the comments or on Twitter!