The Missouri Tigers offense looked flat. Flat as a pancake hot off the griddle in the first half on Saturday against Illinois. Maybe they thought the game started at 1 p.m. instead of 11:30 a.m. Luckily there were 30 minutes left to play and the offense responded as the Tigers pulled away in a 23-13 win.
The Illini threw a few more wrinkles at QB Blaine Gabbert that seemed to confuse him. Among them, sometimes rushing only three and dropping eight into coverage. Once he settled in it was business as usual he finished up a workmanlike 34-48, for 281 yards and 2 TD’s. De’Vion Moore had a few bursts in leading the ground game with 78 yards on 16 carries, while TJ. Moe and Michael Egnewcombined for 23 catches and 161 yards and both touchdowns. Not too shabby for a pair that had nine career catches between them heading into the contest. Moe looked impressive including a tap of the toe in the back of the end zone to get Mizzou within three at 13-10 early in the 3rd quarter.
As for the defense the Illini ran the ball effectively finishing with200 yards rushing on 41 carries. Mizzou had a mobile, freshman quarteback to contend with, but for the most part they were able to take away the passing game. When they forced the Illini to play from behind it allowed the Tigers to attack freshman quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase with pressure and diffrentlooks.
Aldon Smith could not be stopped all day finishing with10 tackles and two sacks. When the Tigers defense was in the middle of something on a third down passing situation it was usually Smith who was in the middle of it. The rest of the Big 12 will take notice of this. Mizzou has now won nine straight season opening games, and improved to 9-2 overall against the Illini.
So what does this mean for the 2010 Missouri Tigers Football squad? I think dialing down the expectations would be a good start. I thought this team would be set for an eight, and if they were lucky, nine win season. I know it was the opening game of the season, but I think they should have done a heck of a lot more against a young Illinois squad. We really won’t know much about this squad until the Big 12 schedule begins against Colorado on October 9th. McNeese State, San Diego State and Miami-Ohio are not exactly a Murderers Row to get you prepared for the Big 12 part of your schedule. What Mizzou can do is go out and tune up their game by taking these teams out to the woodshed – which is what we all expect them to do. 4-0, confident, and at Faurot Field to welcome Colorado, well…. then we really will get a look at the 2010 Tigers.
Pay Per View: I can’t believe anybody would shell out $39.95 to watch Mizzou tune up McNeese State next weekend. I know, I know I write a blog about this season’s squad, but come on. $39.95 for Mc Neese State???? I should get a hat, t-shirt and program included in the cost.
About the Author
Written by Joe Zydlo
I have broadcast, covered and worked in sports for over 12 years. Being on both sides of the media (working for a team and working as a reporter covering a team) gives you a unique perspective. I continue to handle freelance PR projects, and college football and basketball broadcasts. I have a passion for writing/blogging, and LOVE college sports.