TOO DAMN HYPE
♫ I’m So Sophisticated ♫
Block M? Check.
Slick white shirts? Check.
Regular-sized font on the Jersey lettering?
Not sure why they decided to crank the font size to 400, but it looks very bad. Aside from that, it’s a sharp look.
What’s On Tap?
I fear as though I’m going to have to defend myself from Sam, who may fire me on the spot when he sees what I’ve chosen for this week. Choosing a Manhattan seemed far too easy so, hard worker that I am, I googled “purple manhattan drink” and settled on a Red Moon Over Manhattan which seems to be related to a real Manhattan in no way, shape or form. But it kind of seems like a weird, half-thought-out Sangria and I’m not picky so I’ll give it a shot. Recipe courtesy of Sugar and Charm.
2 oz red wine
1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 large round ice sphere
3 gourmet maraschino cherries
Shake all of the ingredients together with ice for 20 seconds.
Rub orange peel around the rim of the glass.
Add in the ice sphere and strain the cocktail over the ice.
Scoop one cherry to place inside the drink and add two more on a twig or cocktail stirrer to garnish the glass! [Editor’s Note: THREE CHERRIES? Let’s cool it, Sugar and Charm.
Know Thy Enemy
Nathan previewed Kansas State back in the spring, and things haven’t changed too much from the initial assessment: Kansas State’s running game will be dangerous, as will their ability to limit Missouri’s. Moving effectively through the air will be key.
We all know the Drinkwitz offense is predicated on establishing the run and building off of looks set up by successful run plays; we also know the offensive line was suspect against Louisiana Tech and, while we saw who the better back was on Thursday, Drink will still most likely juggle guys in that position. Therefore, it’s going to fall to Burden, Lovett, Dove, and the rest of the receiving corps to step up and provide consistent successful plays.
Even though K-State tends to snuff out the run, they also leave themselves vulnerable to big plays. Nathaniel Peat, come on down!
Kansas State’s run defenses tend to be elite but, for whatever reason, they’ve also been susceptible to getting gashed on the ground for large chunks of yards. And if that tendency holds true through this year, that means Nate Peat and friends need to shake off the run stuffs they’ll inevitably experience and pounce on the over-pursuit to tote the rock far distances. If Missouri scores five runs of 12+ yards against the Wildcats then they should be providing an effective offensive attack.
On defense, Missouri has to create some extra opportunities for themselves. Chris Kleiman will try to dictate the pace of play with Deuce Vaughn and Adrian Martinez, and the Tigers’ best bet at stopping them will be to make things messy.
This was one of the surprise developments from the defense last week in that Missouri’s starting defenders were attacking, disruptive, and able to generate turnovers and havoc plays. It’s the best antidote to an offense that likes to play keep away and it will be a necessity to repeat that style again this week. A havoc rate of over 40% is a good goal to shoot for.
Not everyone on our staff was confident Mizzou could cover in Week One... and luckily they proved us wrong! What impressed you most about Mizzou’s thrashing of Louisiana Tech?
Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: The obvious answer is Luther Burden, but for me, it was the secondary, more specifically on the tackling side. Jaylon Carlies was a missile all night long, and he made pretty much every open field tackle he was presented with. Joseph Charleston really impressed in his debut as well, showing that he is more than just a big hitter. The STAR position also really seemed to suit Martez Manuel, and I think that will prove to be an underrated improvement for this defense in 2022.
There were a couple of coverage breakdowns, but other than that a solid showing.
Josh Matejka, Deputy Site Manager: I was pretty unimpressed — not discouraged, mind you, just unimpressed — by Missouri’s offensive scheme, but man alive was the defense fun to watch. Apart from a few coverage oopsies, everyone looked to be on the same page and flying all over the field. The line produced a lot of pressure, the secondary was buzzing around the ball and the linebackers looked fast and aggressive. We’ll see what they can do against a more formidable offensive unit — no offense to Sonny Cumbie’s Bulldogs — but they looked much more in sync than at any point in 2021.
Sammy Stava, Football Contributor: The Tigers were able to take care of business in Week 1, and they made it look easy. Yes, it was against Louisiana Tech — but last season Mizzou didn’t make it easy against Central Michigan and North Texas. Not only does the defense look vastly improved, but they were also fun to watch as Ty’Ron Hopper is a stud. Luther Burden lived up to the hype as well, and that was hard to do in his first game with such high expectations.
Dan Keegan, Football Contributor: Ty’Ron Hopper, Ty’Ron Hopper, Ty’Ron Hopper. He was mean, nasty, and chiseled. I said last week I wanted to see both lines dominate an overmatched opponent, and I got half of my wish. The defensive front seven was incredible, and the offensive line has me worried. Also, I really enjoyed Dave Steckel eating a bag of Luther Burden hot chip in the press box. Fantastic content.
Playing an old Big 12 rival always stirs up memories of Mizzou’s history. So here’s a hypothetical: If you had to schedule a regular series against an old Big 12 opponent — not counting Kansas, because who doesn’t want to see us take them to the woodshed every year? — who would it be and why?
Parker Gillam: Nebraska. A team that we are on the same level as in almost every factor (fan base and stadium are very far in their favor), and one with enough national prestige that Mizzou would gain a lot of respect from beating them. Playing a home-and-home in Lincoln and Columbia would see both fan bases travel really well, and I would think would produce some classic games.
Josh Matejka: Parker nailed it. Nebraska is a school Missouri should regularly be playing. Despite their more decorated history, the Huskers are about peer programs with the Tigers in their respective conferences. Sure, Nebraska gets more financial support, but the output is just about the same, and may even be tilted in Missouri’s favor since the Big 12 split. It’s a great travel opportunity for fans of both teams, theres mutual dislike and it couldn’t make more sense.
Sammy Stava: Since Parker said Nebraska, I’ll go with Iowa State. That’s been a consistently good program under Matt Campbell. The Tigers and Cyclones have played quite a lot recently in hoops, so why not football?
Dan Keegan: Screw Nebraska. I don’t want anything to do with them. Give me Colorado, we could use easy wins with the SEC schedule on tap.
Kansas State isn’t quite the stalwart it was under a century of Bill Snyder’s leadership, but they’re a much more formidable test than Mizzou’s first opponent... especially on the road. How do the Tigers walk away from Manhattan with a statement road win?
Parker Gillam: Limit explosive plays. The only way LA Tech really scored last week was on long passing plays, and Mizzou can not allow Kansas State to do the same. Between Martinez, Knowles, and of course Deuce Vaughn, the Wildcats have a lot of speed and guys that know what to do with the ball in their hands. Keeping everything underneath and forcing Martinez to lead 10-13 play drives would bode well for the Tigers.
Josh Matejka: Understanding that I just praised them above, the defense will need to button things up a bit. Louisiana Tech was able to exploit some of Missouri’s mistakes, but Kansas State will find holes that the Bulldogs couldn’t. Adrian Martinez has been around the block in his 10 years of college football and Deuce represents a speed threat that rivals anyone Mizzou will see in conference play. The offense needs to improve, yes, but the defense will have another “show me” game in Manhattan.
Sammy Stava: It sounds obvious but they just simply have to take care of the ball and limit Deuce Vaughn (easier said than done). They can’t afford to get too rattled in what should be a hyped atmosphere. Scoring first and taking the crowd out of it early is a must.
Dan Keegan: In addition to what my talented and handsome and intelligent and witty peers said about slowing down Deuce Vaughn, there needs to be another level of offensive line play that we didn’t see in the opener. Edge rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah is a potential All-American, and he is flanked by some other nice pieces. This is a great defensive line and the Tiger protection can not allow them to become the story of the game.
PICK ‘EM! Kansas State opened as a -8.5 favorite over the Tigers and are sporting home field advantage. Can the Tigers cover the spread or win outright? And which Tiger needs to show out if Mizzou is going to win?
Parker Gillam: Can they? Of course, this game is a toss-up.
Will they? I just don’t think so. I think K-State played their B game last week and are going to come out looking very different this time around, and I just don’t think Brady Cook is polished enough yet to go into a hostile environment and win. It’ll be a close, low-scoring game throughout, but I think Vaughn & Co. make enough plays late in the game so secure a win. Wildcats win 24-17.
If Mizzou is to win, I think the running game will really have to pick it up to help Cook out, at least in the first half. So I’ll point at Nathaniel Peat as a guy who can be the key to this win. If he outshines Vaughn, then Mizzou will be sitting in a great spot.
Josh Matejka: It’ll take both a flawed performance from the Wildcats and a damn good one from Missouri for the Tigers to win outright. That’s not out of the realm of likelihood, but Missouri will need a good punch in the mouth before they can truly pull off games like this.
I’m anticipating a close first half that ends tied or with a field goal’s difference, but Kansas State should start to pull away in the second half. My guess is it ends somewhere along the lines of 31-24. If Missouri wants to flip that scoreline, it’ll require some serious work from Ty’Ron Hopper to contain Vaughn.
Sammy Stava: This will be a game that goes down to the wire. Missouri covers but Kansas State pulls away and wins 24-20. Just can’t pick the Tigers on the road yet.
IF the Mizzou is going to win, Brady Cook will need a breakout performance.
Dan Keegan: I think Missouri can steal some games against more talented rosters this year if the other team has locker room issues or a flaw on the field. Like, say a really bad SEC quarterback or zero good wide receivers or a coach that apparently everyone hates. Not thinking about anyone in particular....but those things don’t apply to K-State. Unfortunately, the only way I see Missouri winning this is via an Adrian Martinez giveaway classic. Wildcats to win and cover. Dang.