It felt good to be back watching Missouri football. No more hypotheticals, no more theoretical ideas about what the team could look like. Just actual football.
There was a lot to like in Missouri’s opening win against Louisiana Tech. They ran the ball pretty effectively at times, the defense stopped the run and created havoc, and Missouri’s wide receivers looked as explosive as Missouri fans have expected.
However, there was one particular sequence that stood out to me and gave me some hope that this year's team will be different than teams in the past.
Late in the 2nd Quarter, Coach Drinkwitz called a timeout to stop the clock and force Lousiana Tech to kick a long field goal, which they would miss. After the miss, it seemed like an opportunity for Missouri to push the ball down the field and at least try and get into field goal range.
With :24 seconds remaining, they ran this outside zone play, which is pretty successful. It gains a first down and the running back gets out of bounds to save the time out and keep the drive going.
The very next play, Brady Cook hits Tauskie Dove on a levels concept. It’s a well placed ball that allows the Tigers to pick up a chunk of yards while allowing Dove to get out of bounds and again... preserving that timeout.
After one more chunk play on a levels concept similar to the first one, Missouri was set up in a good position for a Harrison Mevis’ field goal, which he would go on to make. They moved up the field and got into field goal range with less than 20 seconds coming off the clock, which served as a sort of swing in the game for Missouri.
That decision to attempt to push the ball down field and try for the field goal is just the aggressiveness that this Missouri team needs to play with. In years past, Eli Drinkwitz would’ve taken a knee and let the clock run out. There’s nothing wrong with that, however with Missouri having the kicker that they do, it was refreshing to see them be more aggressive in the end of half situations like the way they were on Thursday. It’s just one game, but I’m hoping that that trend holds.