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Taking the Good with The Bad: Boston College

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Discussing the good and bad from Missouri’s OT loss to Boston College.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Missouri at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good

  • Tyler Badie was still his usual effective self. He finished with 106 all-purpose yards and two scores, including the go ahead TD in the fourth quarter. This was a tame performance in comparison to some of his previous games, and he still managed to rack up plenty of yards and find the end zone. Badie has been nothing short of excellent in 2021.
  • Missouri’s wide receiving corps had a pretty good day. 6 different receivers caught multiple passes, and they found a way to move the chains consistently throughout the day. In particular, Keke Chism had a really solid day. You’ll look at his line from the game (7 catches, 67 yards) and not think too much of it, but Chism was a consistent target for Bazelak and was a chain-mover.
  • Missouri’s offensive line wasn’t great, but they earned a spot in the “good” category based off their ability to keep their quarterback clean. The run game was just okay on Saturday, but they seemed to get the yardage they needed when necessary. I’ll take their performance in this game almost any day.
  • There will be some who disagree, but with the exception of two throws (I’ll get to those later), Connor Bazelak was pretty good on Saturday. Yes, the downfield accuracy leaves something to be desired at times, but there is so much more good in his game than bad. He was again uber-efficient, and led Missouri up and down the field pretty much all game. I understand the fans clamoring for him to complete more passes downfield, but what I think most don’t understand is that consistently being able to complete 7 yard hitch routes is hard. Consistently taking what the defense gives you is a difficult thing to accomplish. So while it’s okay to want to see more in a certain area, it’s also important to note that Bazelak has been leading an offense all season which has had really no issue moving the ball all year on opponents.
  • Grant McKinniss was excellent in his brief time on the field. He helped Missouri flip the field early, and also got the hold down on a few kicks that were important. He impacted the game in a positive manner by being steady and doing his job.
  • Missouri has a DUDE kicking for them in Harrison Mevis. He nailed a 56 yard FG to send the game to overtime to go along with an earlier FG as well. He also was perfect on extra points. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Mevis, and how well he’s performed since he arrived to Missouri. He’s been consistent, has made some huge kicks, and has developed into a weapon for the Tigers. He changes how you look at the field, because as soon as you cross over the 50, you’re getting close to his range. Mizzou lost the game, but Mevis provided a moment that I think most fans won’t ever forget.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Central Michigan at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bad

  • Bazelak was for the most part good against BC, but as I mentioned above... There were two throws that weren’t good at all. The opening possession for Missouri in the second half was a turnover by Bazelak after he hesitated on a throw to Barrett Banister. The second throw was just not a very good throw, and I’m sure Bazelak would like to have it back. The final throw sealed the game, and was a throw that Bazelak has to make to the back shoulder or nowhere at all. This isn’t that big of a deal to me because usually he takes care of the ball and avoids bad decisions like he made on Saturday. Unfortunately, he just made one mistake too many.
  • The elephant in the room needs to be discussed. This run defense is absolutely awful. I’ve said it before, but the defensive line and linebackers should take this kind of performance to heart, because they didn’t show up ready to play. They couldn’t tackle, couldn’t control gaps, and couldn’t fight back against that BC offensive line. The Eagles had a physicality that Missouri’s defense just couldn’t match and the only reason this game didn’t get out of hand is because the offense matched BC score for score, and for some reason BC’s offensive coordinator decided to put the ball in the air 29 times. There’s some who will want to blame the scheme or coaching, but there’s nothing that you can do about guys being literally pushed around.

It is this simple. Until the defensive line, and linebackers decide to start playing at an even average level, this Missouri team will struggle. In each of their losses, it’s been one score games where the Tigers get absolutely gashed against the run.

If they’re even slightly below average instead of awful, this is a 4-0 football team. We are one-third of the way through the season, and it’s going to be a tough watch the rest of the way through if they can’t find a way to improve their play in the last eight games.

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