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♫ Just left Faurot Field, dressin’ up formal ♫

So... the only functional difference is the white helmet, right? I feel like I’m missing something. I don’t mind the look, as I’ve always been a big fan of the white helmets. But I think going with one, unbalanced white element makes it feel a little unfinished. Maybe next time go with a white uni and black pants? I’m not sure... it’s like a B- for me. (editor’s note: or all white for the White Out game?)

In Case You Missed It...

  • Brady Cook is officially Mizzou’s QB1, but don’t expect Sam Horn to go away quite yet. Eli Drinkwitz says the staff will be using him regularly throughout the season.
  • Looking for tickets to the Mizzou vs. Kansas State game? GOOD LUCK! They’re sold out.
  • I’m not going to link anything out of the desire to not give them the clicks, but OU fans are still big mad about Williams Nwaneri’s commitment to Mizzou in August. So if you’ve got some downtime on the internet and want to experience a heavy dose of schadenfreude, you know where to go.
Pregamin’ Trivia Graphic
  • I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that Middle Tennessee State, known for its Recording Industry program, has a strong musical lineage. Rappers Isaiah Rashad and Lecrae both attended MTSU, while producer Tay Keith — you may know him from “Sicko Mode” — is a graduate. MTSU is a strong advocate for girl power in the indie scene as well, with Julien Baker and Natalie Prass boasting Blue Raider degrees. Sharon van Etten attended for a year before dropping out.
  • Another thing MTSU is touted for is its Concrete Industry Management program, which ranks among the country’s best!
  • Also music related: I’m a big fan of the “Notable Bands” list featured on Murfreesboro’s Wikipedia page

Several of these bands make for a hilarious listen if you’ve got a few minutes.

  • The Blue Raiders nickname came from a newspaper contest in the 1930s, in which the winner received a $5 cash prize before revealing he’d stolen the name from a rival school.
  • MTSU’s first mascot was Nathan Bedford Forest, one of history’s biggest losers.
lmao look at this idiot

Rock M-ixology...

I feel like there’s a stigma around blue cocktails, don’t you? Maybe I’ve seen Zodiac one too many times, but colorful cocktails get a bad rap despite being very tasty if you can get them right. I like bourbon as much as the next guy, but give me a Japanese Slipper any day of the week.

This week’s opponent mascot gave me an opportunity to try some things out with the color blue, which only prominently features in cocktails that feature blue curaçao. I knew there was a recipe out there for a Red Raider, so I adapted that into our drink for this week: the Blue Raider.

1 oz bourbon, 0.5 oz blue curaçao, 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice, splash of creme de cassis

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well until chilled and strain into chilled Nick and Nora glass.

I knew going in that I should’ve used a higher proof bourbon than Evan Williams 1783, but I don’t currently have anything above a 90-proof. That was the only downside of this one, however, as I was greeted by a wonderfully tart, sweet sipper. I think a boozier bourbon would stand up to some of the acidity of the lemon and make this less like a sour candy, but it’s still a winner overall. This also benefitted from a single strain, which left some refreshing ice chips floating up top.

As if “Middle” Tennessee wasn’t weirdly specific enough, MTSU adopted the “Blue Raiders” as their mascot in the 1930s. If you had to guess, what is a “Blue Raider”? Wrong answers only.

Josh Matejka: As you can see by this week’s featured image, I have to imagine it has something to do with a blue horse, no? Maybe I’m remembering a past encounter with the mascot — checking now... yep, it’s a horse with wings — but my mind immediately went the equine route. Does this still count as a “wrong” answer?

Parker Gillam: Taking the name literally, it’s an invading soldier who just isn’t into the whole “pillaging villages” thing. He’s feeling down, missing his family and just wishing he was back home. Thus, a Blue Raider.

Levi Hutmacher: Gotta be a Smurf or something.

Karen Steger: Remember that MTV dating show Room Raiders, where eligible bachelors and bachelorettes had their rooms raided by would-be suitors to see who had the best room content and therefore would make the best date? So it’s like that. But they’re head-to-toe blue, a la Blue Man Group style... or Dr. Tobias Fünke.

Quentin Corpuel: Whenever Josh Jacobs is sad. Teehee.

Sammy Stava: Some type of horse or whatever. Maybe they can form a rivalry with the Texas Tech “Red Raiders”.

Between the emergence of Nashville as a major tourist destination and the nationalization of the hot chicken sandwich, Tennessee is a Place To Be™ at the moment. Does it deserve the hype?

Josh Matejka: Tennessee is an absolutely beautiful place to drive through, assuming of course that you’re not towing a Kia Rio behind a Budget moving truck during rush hour traffic. Then it’s less beautiful.

I’ve never been to any of the big tourist spots like Nashville or Knoxville, but I did drink a lot of moonshine in Pigeon Forge once a few hours before I saw a black bear climb a tree right outside my rental home. Not sure how much that justifies the “hype” of The Volunteer State, but it certainly stuck in my memory.

Parker Gillam: Both of my parents attended Tennessee, and my mother grew up in a small town called Morristown, so I have plenty of bias when it comes to this. I do love the small towns of the state—although I would never live in one of them—and while Nashville deservedly steals off all of the attention, I believe that Knoxville is one of the more underrated cities in the country and is growing at an exponential rate. Oh, and the Smokey Mountains are a must-see if you have never been.

If you can get over the absurd amount of orange, give Tennessee a visit.

Levi Hutmacher: Tennessee is great! Since about 2012, I have been visiting the Gatlinburg and Knoxville areas with a big friend group. When we all started having kids, we kept going and now it’s a big, fun weekend away with a ton of kids, a ton of friends, and a bunch of memories. Sure, there’s a lot of weirdness in and around Gatlinburg, but it’s a great spot to hang out, explore the natural beauty, and enjoy some time away from home with friends and family.

Karen Steger: I have only been to Tennessee as a drive-through state, having stopped there numerous times in traveling between St. Louis and Charlotte over the years. And there was that one time my college roommates and I totaled my parents’ Explorer on I-55 on the way back from Spring Break in PCB, but that’s a story for another day. Tennessee drivers = bad.

In my more recent experiences, I concur with Josh that it is beautiful to drive through. While I’m not really a fan of country music and don’t particularly like the color orange, I’m more than willing to give it a chance. I’ve heard good things about Nashville and its beer/bar scene, I love live music (especially bluegrass), and I also love hot chicken. I’m currently planning a trip to Memphis in January to see Kobe/LA Clippers play the Grizzlies so I’ll report back.

Quentin Corpuel: I’ve been to Nashville twice, and I enjoyed it both times. I went last year during Halloween weekend, so Broadway was a little more electric than usual (I saw Elmo hit a mean Dougie). I feel like the experience would be a little different if I was over 21, especially considering that most of Broadway is made up of bars. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the food, atmosphere, and most importantly, Elmo hitting a mean Dougie. I would definitely go back.

Sammy Stava: I’ve been to Memphis for Mizzou’s Liberty Bowl game against Oklahoma State and Nashville a long time ago (I want to visit again soon). But yeah, I definitely recommend a trip to the state of Tennessee if you haven’t been yet.

We spend a lot of time talking about how Luther Burden is Him, but who had an underrated Him performance against South Dakota?

Josh Matejka:

Tired: Johnny Walker Jr. was Him against South Dakota.

Wired: Nathaniel Peat was Him against South Dakota.


Parker Gillam: Cody Schrader, purely from the standpoint that I am obsessed with any running back that takes negative yardage as a personal insult. Watch him play; the man almost always falls forward and is able to pick up at least 1-2 yards per play. The Coyotes had no hope of tackling him with just one guy, and Schrader even showed off his hands with three receptions. As he continues to become a more complete back, expect Kirby Moore to continue to target Schrader is a variety of ways.

Levi Hutmacher: I think we got a first look at what a refreshed Nathaniel Peat could be for this offense. And it was exciting. There’s something about the way he runs that is thrilling and powerful. As with my scotch, give me more peat.

Karen Steger: Missouri fans are lucky because Johnny Walker Jr., after being stuck behind Isaiah McGuire and Trajan Jeffcoat for three years at DE on the depth chart, is now showing the most Him-worthy moments. Flattening opponents, tossing them out of bounds, leading the team in tackles... we simply love to see it. Also, he has a very Him name.

Quentin Corpuel: I was very pleased with the tight end blocking. I know Tyler Stephens and Brett Norfleet are two different people, but watching them seal defenders all night long last Thursday (albeit against lesser competition) was a welcome sight.

Sammy Stava: Maybe not the most popular answer but I’ll go with Brady Cook — who is now the QB1, whether fans like it or not. While his stats on paper weren’t exactly eye-popping, he was efficient and played mistake-free football. He’s the leader of this team and played like one.

Last time Mizzou played MTSU, they got punked on their home field... during Homecoming, no less. In your opinion, would it be bad if that happened again this weekend?

Josh Matejka: Look, I’m an optimist. I like to see the positive in every aspect of life. When something dies, it makes room for new life. So if the Eli Drinkwitz era dies at the hands of Rick Stockstill this Saturday, that only means better times are ahead. Would I be happy to see that happen? Not really. But as Eric Idle once said...

Parker Gillam: It’s my senior year. I want to have a good football team. No thanks to that hypothetical.

Levi Hutmacher: yes.

Karen Steger: Would it be bad? WOULD IT BE BAD?! On the bright side, it would drastically curb my Twitter and Mizzou football news consumption, as the comments would be even worse than they normally are. And there’s a chance I could miss the whole thing, as this Spectrum-ESPN/Disney hold-up is really cramping my ability to consume CFB.

Quentin Corpuel: Last season, MTSU romped my other college of choice (Miami) on the same day as the Mizzou-Auburn fiasco. After enduring hours of pain and sadness, I trudged down to Sparky’s for a scoop of cookies ‘n cream to help me emotionally recuperate. Ice cream is one of my favorite things ever, but I don't really feel like doing that again.

So yeah. What Levi said.

Sammy Stava: Well, yeah. And it would be a much worse loss than the one in 2016. While Middle Tennesse is a respectable Group of Five team that is capable of upsetting a Power Five team on the right night — this is an obvious must-win in Year 4 of the Drinkwitz era.

Put your money where your mouth is, folx. Is Mizzou winning this game? Who will we be fawning over on Monday morning as the guy that popped against the Blue Raiders?

Josh Matejka: I can’t wait for next week’s MV3 to feature Harrison Mevis, Chuck Hicks and, the ultimate hero, “Beef” Williams.

Parker Gillam: Yes, and much like the last couple of years, Mizzou’s second “tune-up” game will go much better than the first. I’ll take the Tigers by a score of 41-13, and I’ll take Theo Wease as the breakout star of the week. After a quiet three catches for 17 yards last week, Wease should see increased targets with a game in Moore’s offense under his belt. He’s just flat out too talented to not be a consistent factor in this offense.

Levi Hutmacher: Yeah Mizzou has got this. I think Brady Cook did exactly what he was supposed to do in week one. But I feel like we see him take that next step in running away with the QB1 title. People will hate it, but hey I am all for rooting for a Missouri kid playing for his dream school.

Karen Steger: Yes, they will win handily, and I’m predicting something like 34-13. I’m ready for fans to fawn over Brady Cook and excited to hear Mike Kelly’s voice on the radio yell, “TO THE HOUSE!” a lot. And while I’m hoping we won’t need the Thiccer Kicker for many FG attempts, it’d be nice for him to have a bounceback game. Oh, and give me that Pick 6, PLEASE. I just don’t think it’s asking for too much, and I’m tired of requesting it.

Quentin Corpuel: Yes, I’ve got Mizzou winning. The Blue Raiders violently pillaged Mizzou’s defense in 2016 in large part because the Tigers were undisciplined (13 penalties for 114 penalty yards) and couldn’t tackle very well. The 2023 unit is far better and more fundamentally sound, so I don’t foresee MTSU’s skill players straight up running past everyone like they did seven years ago. Give me Ennis Rakestraw to have a big game as the big play-preventer on screen passes and deep shots.

Sammy Stava: 38-17 Mizzou winner with a big game from Mekhi Miller.