♫ Just left Faurot Field, dressin’ up formal ♫
In Case You Missed It...
- The injury sheet is pretty clean for Florida with one notable exception: Ty’Ron Hopper is questionable with an ankle injury.
- Florida’s injury list is littered with depth players, as well as one starting offensive tackle who’s listed as questionable for the trip to Columbia.
- Drinkwitz mentioned every member of the senior class during his weekly presser. Whether or not all of these players will be walking is unclear.
Ben Straatmann, Bence Polgar, Caimin Hayes, Chad Bailey, Cody Schrader, Darius Robinson, Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Javon Foster, J.C. Carlies, Joseph Charleston, Josh Landry, Jay Jernigan, Harrison Mevis, Kris Abrams-Draine, Marcellus Johnson, Mookie Cooper, Micah Manning, Nathaniel Peat, Nyles Gaddy, Realus George, Riley Williams, Peanut Houston, Shawn Hendershot, Theo Wease, Tyler Stephens, Ty’Ron Hopper, and Xavier Delgado.
- Announcer U? It’s worth a discussion. The WWE ring announcer, David Penzer, the voice of The Price is Right, Rich Fields, and the radio voice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gene Deckerhoff, are all Florida grads.
- Things a city wouldn’t have advertised 10 years ago — the city of Gainesville has a strain of marijuana named in its honor: “Gainesville Green.”
- Another home of excellent music! Gainesville is the native of city of many notable American bands, including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, two members of the Eagles, Against Me!, and Less Than Jake,
I’ve opted for similar recipes over the past few weeks and while there’s nothing to prove that has had a cause-and-effect relationship with Mizzou’s quality of play, I’d like to think keeping things simple is at least in the spirit of Mizzou’s late-season flourish.
Coming up against Florida this weekend, my most obvious choice for a cocktail, the Alligator, has already been taken. In hindsight, I might have been better served by waiting a few weeks, and I’m left scrambling a little bit in terms of thematically appropriate drinks. On a whim, however, I googled “Swamp water cocktail,” and found a recipe that really intrigued me. So in honor of swampy Floridians coming to town, let’s make a Swampwater.
5-6 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice (depending on preference, I used 5), 1.5 oz Green Chartreuse, 0.25 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Add ingredients to cocktail shaker; shake until chilled. Double strain into fancy glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
You’ve got most of the ingredients here for a Chartreuse swizzle, except you’re really leaning into the pineapple and away from the lime juice. It’s sort of a confusing recipe given how rare Green Chartreuse has become, where drowning it out with pineapple juice doesn’t make a whole lot of financial sense. But I’ve got a few bottles at home, so I figured it was worth a shot.
I don’t know that I would call this drink “bad.” The flavor profile is actually very nice, with the medicinal and herbal elements of the Chartreuse really balancing out the sweetness of the pineapple. But it’s missing something to bring an extra dimension of flavor. I almost wonder if some bitters would’ve been helpful here, and perhaps more than a quarter ounce of lime juice. Overall, it’s a good-not-great cocktail that I probably wouldn’t have more than one of, mostly because of how expensive they would be to order.
The conversation around last week’s win was varied, but one common question arose: Was this the most complete game played under Eli Drinkwitz? What say you?
Josh Matejka, Deputy Site Manager: You can quibble about whether or not this was Eli Drinkwitz’s “biggest win” — 2020 vs. LSU and this year vs. Kansas State come to mind — but I don’t think you can argue that this was the best all-around performance a Mizzou team has put on. The defense was (nearly) flawless and dictated Tennessee’s style of play; the offense was one interception away from playing an extremely clean game; the special teams had no notable hiccups. All against a Top 15 caliber team? There’s no doubt this was Eli Drinkwitz’s masterclass.
Parker Gillam, Beat Writer: Yes, and it’s not very close. On one side, Missouri’s defense took away Tennessee’s main strength, the running game, which few other teams had been able to do this season. On the other, this offensive attack was as balanced as it has been all year long, and Tennessee had few answers. The Tigers dominated in the trenches, in the open field and in coaching. Can’t ask for much more.
Quentin Corpuel, Staff Writer: A perfectly complete game is impossible; I mentioned this in Rock M Reacts after the game. However, that was as close to a perfectly complete game as I’ve ever seen Mizzou play. The only real highlights Tennessee had were the Jaylon McCollough interception and the Joe Milton moon ball. Other than that, the Tigers dominated essentially every facet of the game.
Sammy Stava, Staff Writer: I mean, it has to be. Was it their biggest win of the Drinkwitz era? Maybe! But a 36-7 win over a Top 15 team tells you all you need to know. It was clear who the better team was last week — and Missouri dominated from start to finish. The just controlled the game and absolutely none of it was fluky.
We’re officially designating this as the “Cody Schrader Fan Club” space. Give us 2-3 sentences on how special this season has been for Mr. Schrader.
Josh Matejka: I used up all my thoughts on BTBS this week, so I’ll repeat myself: I think my past, vocal doubts of Schrader have earned me the right to shut up and enjoy his greatness. Every worry I ever had about his output (not explosive enough! not physical enough to break tackles! doesn’t see the game quickly enough!) has been thoroughly answered again and again this season. I assume there are probably many people like me, and I think it’s been a joy to watch Cody Schrader shut all of us up.
Parker Gillam: He’s certainly shut a lot of people up this season, but he’s been doing that throughout his career, so it’s nothing new for Mr. Schrader. His on-field play has been talked about enough, but what this man means to the Missouri program can be seen by the way the team rallied around after the game, putting him up on their shoulders and chanting his name. His pregame speech against Kentucky lit a fire into the team per Drinkwitz, and I would imagine that there’s been plenty of other undocumented cases of Schrader being the spark plug of this team in 2023. Running through a brick wall for him wouldn’t be enough.
Quentin Corpuel: Not only has Schrader excelled, but he’s inspired as well. There are a lot of cliches about hard work...and Schrader has proved them to be totally right. Throughout his football career, he’s been given very little, yet has earned so much in large part because of a maniacal work ethic. The way he runs is representative of his career arc: he never stops going forward despite obstacles standing in his way time and time again. I have little doubt that this can carry over into the next level.
Sammy Stava: The Cody Schrader story is why you love College Football and college sports in general. From Division II to leading the SEC in rushing is quite the story as he should be a lock for the Burlsworth Trophy and a First-Team All-SEC campaign. This should also help St. Louis recruiting.
Let’s think to the offseason quickly. With some job openings that may seem appealing to Mizzou’s coaching staff, what would be your priorities as it relates to locking up assistants?
Josh Matejka: I’m not too worried about either of Mizzou’s coordinators, but I think Mizzou can assuage any potential poach jobs by giving Kirby Moore a nice pay bump. As for the other assistants? It’s always hard to keep those “below the line” guys happy, especially when they’re doing well and have better options available. But I’d really try to make sure Jacob Peeler sticks around for at least another year to give Luther Burden, Mookie Cooper, Mekhi Miller and Marquis Johnson another offseason of excellent development.
Parker Gillam: At this juncture, I do have a fair bit of belief in Drinkwitz’ ability to hire coordinators considering he’s hit on a couple of major ones in the past two years. Thus, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned if someone left, although it would certainly be a hit. I’d prioritize Moore ever so slightly over Baker, but guys like Jacob Peeler (WRs) and Kevin Peoples (DEs) are also pivotal on the recruiting trail and consistently field top-notch units.
Quentin Corpuel: Keep. Kirby. Moore. Offensive coordinators with aesthetically pleasing (and successful) systems are all the rage nowadays, and Moore certainly fits that bill. He played a huge part in resurrecting Mizzou’s offense, and him departing for a Division I head coaching job would certainly hurt a bit.
Sammy Stava: Locking up Kirby Moore would be a smart and much-needed move as this offense has been dynamic under his watch — and it’s obvious that Drinkwitz needs OC help for this team to succeed. Keeping Jacob Peeler in the fold would be a plus as well as his wide receiver “Nasty Wide Outs” recruiting has been top notch.
You should never say things get “easier” in the SEC, especially with a road game on the horizon. But how confident are you that Mizzou can get to 10 regular season wins now that they’ve easily dispatched Tennessee?
Josh Matejka: I will admit, I was a little worried about the Battle Line game in Fayetteville later this year. Winning on the road in SEC is never easy, after all. But after watching the Polar Express debacle, it feels like the writing is on the wall for Sam Pittman. Neither of these games will be easy for the Tigers, but they’re playing with swagger and clearly have their sights set on a NY6 bowl. I feel pretty good about them getting that wrapped up.
Parker Gillam: 90% confident. The only things standing in their way is a true last-gasp effort from Florida and rivalry craziness against Arkansas. I wouldn’t rule out each of those teams playing some of their better games of the season against Mizzou, but I also believe that these Tigers are able to withstand that occurring and come out on top.
Quentin Corpuel: There are so many teams throughout college football history who’ve, on paper, had a clear path to a great bowl game or even the national title late in the season... only to lose to a team they shouldn’t have lost to. Mizzou has a chance to join that infamous group, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. They’ve been more consistent and, simply put, better than Florida and Arkansas have been this season.
Sammy Stava: No game in the SEC is a “gimme”. Florida is playing for bowl eligibility, and I think that’s somewhat important — but we’ll see how motivated they are. Despite a long season, Arkansas still has KJ Jefferson. Having said that — Mizzou is still the better team and I don’t see them losing on Senior Night or against a Razorbacks team they’ve owned recently. It might not be the domination against Tennessee — but they’ll find a way to 10 wins.
Florida has had an odd year: They’re only 5-5, but they’ve got a few good wins under their belt and can be a tricky out. How do you think this weekend’s game plays out against the Gators?
Josh Matejka: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Florida come out and take a few big swings at the Tigers early on. Billy Napier needs a statement to close out this year or else the heat will really be on in Gainesville. As good as Mizzou is, Florida has got a better shot of beating the Tigers than Florida State, so it feels like the Gators will be desperate.
That being said, I think it’s clear who the better team is. That Mizzou has this game in Columbia on Senior Night will be enough to dampen any momentum Florida may gain in the early going.
Parker Gillam: Florida’s offense was much-maligned after that early loss to Utah, but it has generally been a strength for this team recently. Graham Mertz has evolved into an efficient QB, Ricky Pearsall and Eugene Wilson are dangerous receivers and the duo of Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson Jr. in the backfield is tough to contain. Frankly, UF will put up a better fight than Tennessee did, and I can see the Gators keeping this one close into the fourth quarter thanks to a strong day from their offense.
In the end, Mizzou’s veteran team will not lose on Senior Day, and I think the Tiger defense will force a turnover or two in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
Quentin Corpuel: Like Josh said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Florida creates an explosive play on offense early on. However, Mizzou has been the more complete and consistent team all season. 35-21 Tigers.
Sammy Stava: Graham Mertz is from Overland Park so I would expect some of his family and friends to attend this one. He’ll be ready. Florida will give Mizzou their best shot and the Gators might take some leads here and there — but Missouri will take over in the end. 35-23 Tigers.