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November 25, 2012

Sunday Grade Card

COLLEGE STATION -- Each Sunday, PowerMizzou.com will hand out a position-by-position grade card for the Tigers from Saturday's game. Here are the marks from Mizzou's season-ending 59-29 loss to Texas A&M.

Quarterback: Corbin Berkstresser showed more promise on Saturday than he did in any other game this year. His footwork looked improved and he bounced around the pocket to buy time. However, the consistency just into there yet for the redshirt freshman. By the time Berkstresser got going, Missouri was already down six touchdowns. Final grade: C-

Running back: Missouri ran the ball decently well, but its 5.1 yards-per-carry average was bolstered by a 20-yard run on a fake punt by Trey Barrow. Still, Kendial Lawrence was effective, running the ball 15 times for 81 yards and a touchdown, giving him over 1,000 yards on the season. But, like quarterback, there just wasn't much consistency there.
Final grade: B

Wide receiver: Really, the only miscue was a fumble by Marcus Lucas. Other than that, Missouri's receivers made all the catches they could. Early in the game, the receivers were open -- it's just that Berkstresser couldn't get them the ball. Dorial Green-Beckham's late touchdown reception was as pretty as they come.
Final grade: A-

Offensive line: The line played better later in the game, but by that point it didn't matter. Texas A&M got plenty of pressure right up the middle, and many of Missouri's run plays were stopped because a defender was already in the backfield at the handoff.
Final grade: D

Defensive line: There was pressure on Manziel, sometimes. Yet he wasn't sacked, and was dropped for just one loss (a one-yarder, at that). It was an ugly showing for Missouri's defensive line, capping off a three-game free-fall to end the year.
Final grade: F

Linebackers: The defense gave up over 600 yards, and many of those were throws to wide-open receivers over the top of linebackers. Not a good showing at all.
Final grade: F

Secondary: It wasn't always their fault, as the lack of pressure and Manziel's scrambling set the defensive backs up to fail. But, still -- 647 yards of offense.
Final grade: F

Special Teams: Nothing on returns. Two missed PATs. The lone bright spot was another solid day by Barrow. It's not good when your punter was the player of the game in a 30-point loss.
Final grade: D

Coaching: The offensive playcalling seemed fine, as David Yost used a lot of protection and blockers both in the run game and the pass game. It was just execution that doomed Missouri on offense. On defense, it's a different story. Missouri refused to blitz, and used Sheldon Richardson as a linebacker-spy for some of the game. That doesn't make much sense when he's the only lineman to generate consistent pressure. But Missouri's entire team seemed unfocused, unmotivated and uninterested. At some point, that issue falls on the coaching staff.
Final grade: F

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