Ten Thoughts on Missouri's 20-10 win over Kentucky
Every Saturday, PowerMizzou.com gives you wall to wall coverage for Tiger game days. On Sunday mornings, we'll take a detailed look back at the standout stories from that week's game. Here is our deep dive on the 20-10 streak-busting win over Kentucky.
1) The score doesn’t even come close to representing that game. It could have been 40-7. Missouri dominated that game from the jump. In every way. It was one of the more dominant performances I can ever remember seeing from a Missouri team. It was like a non-conference game against Eastern Michigan. There simply wasn’t a stretch of more than about 40 seconds where it seemed like Kentucky had any chance to win that game. They weren’t competitive. Missouri was the better team in every facet. I suppose you can spend time being bummed out that Missouri dominated that way and yet only won 20-10, but that seems silly to me. It reminded me a lot of the Chiefs/Bills game last Monday. If you watched those games, there was zero doubt who the better team was. But there were just enough weird things that happened that the worse team technically still had a chance to win the game for a little bit in the fourth quarter. Even though really, they didn’t.
2) Some coaches have a system. The best coaches make their system fit the talent on their team. Two weeks ago, Eli Drinkwitz saw some things on tape that led him to believe Missouri could exploit the LSU secondary and the Tigers threw the ball all over the yard and emptied the playbook in a 44-41 win. Coming into this week, Drinkwitz saw a defense that was dropping seven or eight guys into coverage and tricking quarterbacks into throwing interceptions, turning those interceptions into points and winning two blowouts. So Drinkwitz avoided the risky throws and his team pounded the ball down Kentucky’s throat for 60 minutes. Connor Bazelak threw one deep ball that I remember, an overthrow of Damon Hazelton. He threw another ball maybe 20 yards downfield that he completed to Jalen Knox. I don’t remember anything else long (I'll double check the passing chart later today, but PFF grades and info for the game are not yet available). I don’t remember a single ball that seemed at risk of being intercepted. Drinkwitz simply removed the risk by avoiding what Kentucky had feasted on the last two weeks. Coming into the game, we knew Kentucky wasn’t going to average more than a pick six per game, but what we didn’t know was if the Wildcats could win a game when that didn’t happen. Now we know. They couldn’t. In two weeks, Missouri has won two completely different games against two completely different teams by avoiding the opponent's strengths and attacking its weaknesses. That's coaching.
3) If I could boil that game down to a word, it would be this: Methodical.