Ten Thoughts on Missouri's 41-17 loss to Florida
Every Sunday morning we'll take a deeper look into the game from Saturday and where the Tigers go from here. Below are our ten thoughts from Missouri's loss to (and fight against) Florida.
1) It's never as good as the good times and it's never as bad as the bad times. We all fell into the trap of letting two wins over mediocre teams (that's what both LSU and Kentucky are if we're honest) convince us that everything was way ahead of schedule and that Missouri was going to go down and give Florida everything it had and win and that was going to set up a game for a chance at the SEC East in two weeks against Georgia. And then Saturday reminded us we were putting the cart ahead of the horse. Last night wasn't much fun. It was a reminder that the program is rebuilding, that this team is still a ways away from where anybody wants it to be. Missouri will have much better nights than it did last night. Last night was not a reason to give up or despair, but it was a bit of a snap back to reality.
2) We're going to get to the fighting, but I want to talk about some of the football things that happened first. Let's start on the offensive line. Last night's line was kind of what I expected to see coming out of fall camp. The way Eli Drinkwitz was talking coming out of camp, I wasn't sure Missouri was going to get a first down. Then the line overachieved from about halftime of the Alabama game through last week. It had been legitimately good and we readjusted our expectations. And then last night happened. Health is a big reason for that. Larry Borom didn't play and Xavier Delgado didn't play and Dylan Spencer found out Florida isn't Kentucky. Zeke Powell exited the game for Bobby Lawrence after just 17 snaps.So here's the line as it was last night:
LT--Starter (who arrived on campus about a month before the first game completely out of nowehere) pulled (assume for ineffectiveness) and replaced by redshirt sophomore who had 175 career snaps before last night
LG--Starter was injured, replaced by true freshman who had seen action in one game
C--Mike Maetti has taken every snap
RG--Case Cook has taken every snap
RT--Starter was injured replaced by redshirt sophomore who had 30 career snaps before last night
That means 3/5 of the line had combined for fewer than 300 career snaps prior to last night. The struggles weren't hard to see coming. The more interesting question to me is what does this mean for guys like Luke Griffin, Jack Buford and Mike Ruth who aren't seeing the field despite the relatively dire circumstances?
3) Everybody was talking about the wide receivers for good reason.