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October 20, 2013

The Day After



FLAHighlights from PowerMizzou on Vimeo.


















***GAME DAY REPORT CARD***


  • Quarterback: I get that Maty Mauk could have thrown three or four interceptions in the first half. I get that he barely completed half his passes. I also know he led Mizzou to a more-dominating-than-the-score-says 36-17 win over perhaps the best defense in the country, threw for 295 yards, had more touchdowns than turnovers and spearheaded an offense that put up 500 yards. There can't be any other grade. GRADE: A
  • Running Back: Missouri's tailback trio was mostly without Marcus Murphy, but Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough combined for 183 yards on 30 carries against a defense that was giving up 83 yards a game on the ground. And Josey's touchdown saving tackle of a potential pick six changed the entire game. GRADE: A
  • Receivers: L'Damian Washington barely practiced this week and then caught a 41-yard pass on the first play of the game. Marcus Lucas continued his standout senior season with a team-high six grabs for 57 yards. Dorial Green-Beckham and Jimmie Hunt combined for 121 yards on six catches and Bud Sasser scored a touchdown. The Tiger receiving corps outplayed maybe the best secondary in the country. GRADE: A
  • Offensive Line: I think Mauk might have gotten touched once. Missouri had 500 yards of offense. GRADE: A
  • Defensive Line: Six sacks, half of them by Michael Sam who should currently be the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The line was fantastic. Every one of them. GRADE: A
  • Linebackers: I don't know if they were great. But I know Florida did nothing on offense. For consistency's sake. GRADE: A
  • Secondary: Without E.J. Gaines, Aarion Penton had an interception, a pass breakup and a TFL. Braylon Webb led the way with eight tackles and Matt White had a pivotal pass breakup. GRADE: A
  • Special Teams: Andrew Baggett tied a school record with five field goals, but Mizzou gave up a 100-yard plus kickoff return and Marcus Murphy's fumble on a punt gave the Gators three more points. Only phase of the game anyone can complain about. GRADE: C-
  • Coaching: Early this week I said it would be crazy not to dial back the game plan. That's why they get paid big bucks and I write about it. Missouri may have put together its most complete game in the Gary Pinkel era. GRADE: A

  • ***GAME AT A GLANCE***


  • Player of the Game: Yes, Maty Mauk probably deserves it. But instead, I'll go with Josey. He had 136 yards and a touchdown. His tackle on a potential pick six was one of the biggest momentum-swinging moments of the day. And perhaps the biggest ovation came when he popped up and jogged off the field after what many fans feared was another catastrophic knee injury. Josey is the heartbeat of this team that is 7-and-0 and will soon find itself in the nation's top ten.
  • Play of the Game: Pick one. But I'll go with the first one. The 41-yard pass from Mauk to Washington showed early on that Missouri thought it was plenty good enough to play its game and put up points and yards on Florida.
  • It was over when...: Officially not until Mauk ran for a 17-yard score to put the Tigers up 36-17. But more realistically when Baggett's fourth field goal pushed the lead to 26-17. Anyone who had watched this game knew the Florida offense had almost no chance to mount two drives in the final eight minutes. It mounted only one all day.
  • Reason to feel good: If Missouri wins its next three games, the Tigers will win the SEC East, regardless of what happens after the bye. Don't book your hotel room in Atlanta just yet, but the Tigers have a stranglehold on the division. Who didn't see that coming?
  • Cause for Concern: Today? If you can come up with one, well, more power to you.
  • Up Next: Missouri hosts South Carolina at 6 p.m. for Homecoming next Saturday. The game will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

  • ***FIVE THOUGHTS ON THE TIGERS***


  • Mizzou has two quarterbacks James Franklin is going to be back at some point in the regular season. But exactly when sure seems less important than it did a few days ago because Mauk won't face a better defense than he just beat.
  • The Tigers have an answer This team has been challenged a few times. Indiana tied the game, Arkansas State took the lead, Georgia scored 16 straight points. Florida had a big interception and a huge kickoff return for a TD. And Missouri has answered every single time. Immediately.
  • Michael Sam is making money He's also quite possibly going to win the SEC Defensive Player of the year award, but NFL scouts are at Missouri's games every week. And they have to be taking notice of #52.
  • Who do you cover? Florida might have the best secondary in the country. And Missouri had four guys top 50 yards receiving (plus another who caught a touchdown). You can't double cover anyone. This might just be the deepest receiving corps in college football.
  • Confidence is a dangerous thing I'll be honest: I don't know if Missouri is really this good. But you know what? The Tigers believe they are. Sometimes, that's all that matters. This is a team that truly believes it's going to win every week. And when you're dealing with 20-year-old kids, you can't overestimate the importance of emotion and momentum.

  • GAME DAY HEADLINES
  • Game Day Central
  • Instant Analysis
  • Mauk, Mizzou don't back down
  • Game Day Gallery
  • Defense, Josey dominate
  • Tweets on the Tigers
  • PMTV Post-Game Video
  • PMTV: Video Highlights




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