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What Eli Drinkwitz had to say: Halloween edition

Mizzou travels to try and snap a decade long losing streak to Georgia. Here’s some thoughts from Eli Drinkwitz on the Bulldogs and his team following the bye week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 07 LSU at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The bye week is over, and No. 14 Missouri faces perhaps its toughest matchup yet as it travels to Athens to take on No. 1 Georgia at Sanford Stadium. While this game has major implications for the SEC East, Mizzou is treating it like no other opponent it has already faced.

“What’s at stake with this game is no different than what was happening at Vandy, at Kentucky, at home versus South Carolina. If you don’t play well in those games or you lose those games, then you’ll lose any other opportunity, so to try to say this one is bigger than those I think is not what 1-0 means,” — Eli Drinkwitz.

The opposition

Kentucky v Georgia Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

On Kirby Smart: “I don’t think Coach (Kirby) Smart gets nearly enough credit for the job that he’s done at the University of Georgia, I mean two national titles, played in five of the last six SEC Championships. He’s got the best record in the first 100 games in the SEC... it’s really surprising to me that he’s never won a National Coach of the Year award.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 Georgia vs Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the job offensive coordinator Mike Bobo with Carson Beck: “I think he (Coach Bobo) has his quarterback playing at a very high level. I mean, if you didn’t know any better, you would think he was playing with Matthew Stafford or Aaron Murray again, that reminds you of when Coach Bobo was coordinating early in the 2000s there.”

More on Beck: “Carson Beck since the Auburn game has taken his game to a new level. I think it’s a level of confidence that was created in being able to win in this league and on the road. He’s very accurate with the football and knows exactly where it’s going. He gets the ball out right around 2.1 seconds, so he doesn’t hold on to the ball, which tells you that he knows how to read coverages, knows the concepts and is confident in the concepts.”

Words on the Bulldogs’ offensive line: “O-line is extremely physical and it starts with the run game. They do a great job of protecting the quarterback but also establishing the run.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 Georgia at Vanderbilt Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Georgia’s defense: “I think one of the things that is very unique about Georgia and what they do defensively is the number of tools they have in the toolbox to defend really any position.”

Why Georgia’s red zone defense struggles: “The one area they struggle with is red zone defense. But you know why? Nobody gets down in the red zone. So, there’s only been like five trips so they’re certainly very good on the defensive side of the ball.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 28 Georgia vs Florida Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On how Georgia has operated without Brock Bowers: “I think without him obviously Ladd McConkey stepped up. I think Dominic Lovett ended up being their leading receiver in that game, not necessarily from a yardage standpoint, but from a catch standpoint. But they certainly have a lot of weapons whether you’re talking about Ladd or Robert Thomas, or (Marcus) Rosemy-Jacksaint, or Dominic Lovett, they’ve got a lot of different players who can catch the ball and create opportunities after the ball is in their hands.”


Internal Thoughts

On Mizzou having the best red zone offense in the nation: “I think red zone scoring is extremely important. It’s something that we’ve identified is on both sides of the ball that could be the difference in the seasons that we’ve had the previous two years or the season that we’re trying to put together this year.”

On Darius Robinson switching to defensive end: “You know, as a captain, it’s easy to say, ‘‘No, I’m good. I want to focus on my future as a three technique in the NFL,’ but he said, ‘Hey, if this is what helps us to win, then I’ll do it.’”

Where to improve on the defensive side of the football: “Defensively, our tackling hasn’t been where we wanted it to be, especially in the open field. We’ve been over-running plays from the inside out. We need to do a better job there. I think our eyes in man-to-man coverage, not only our eye discipline but also the way we’re playing our catch technique has to improve.”

Where to improve on the offensive side of the football: “On the offensive side of the ball, I don’t think we’ve been particularly good on third downs. We’re avoiding them, but you’re going to have to execute third downs. Specifically in the month of November, you’re going to be in third downs. We’ve got to be better not only in protection, but in our scheme.”

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 07 LSU at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On the offensive line: “I think that the overall improvement of our overall offense can be directly tied to the improvement of the offensive line play, whether that’s been our ability to run the football or our ability to protect the quarterback.”

On the units outside praise: “As far as recognition goes, I’m going to watch what I say but it is what it is. All we can control is what we do Saturday and if people recognize that performance, great, if they don’t, well, that provides more STP for us. But I think our offensive line knows that Cody Schrader and Brady Cook are doing a hell of job. At the end of the day, that’s probably what matters more than whether or not somebody on Twitter recognizes it.”

Injury Updates

  • Chad Bailey is questionable.
  • Ennis Rakestraw is good to go.
  • Marcellus Johnson is moving without a limp.
  • Cody Schrader is out of the green jersey for the first time in six weeks.