PowerMizzou - Ten Thoughts on Missouri's 45-41 win over LSU
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Ten Thoughts on Missouri's 45-41 win over LSU

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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 45-41 upset of LSU.

1) Let me start with this: I’ve covered 20 seasons of Mizzou football including my college days. I’ve watched another 10-15 from afar. I’ve seen only one game that I can remember coming away as impressed with a coaching staff as I did on Saturday night. In 1997, Larry Smith’s staff REALLY kickstarted the renaissance of Missouri football by taking No. 1 Nebraska to OT in a game the Tigers should have won if not for an illegal (impressive, but still illegal) touchdown at the end of regulation on fourth down. That was a Missouri team that had quite a bit of talent and it would show over the next two years. But on that night, it hadn’t become what it would become. On that night, it was facing the biggest, baddest bully on the block at its best and it went toe to toe and took them to the wire.

This LSU team isn’t as good as that Nebraska team, but this Missouri team isn’t as good as the 1997 version either. Make no mistake: LSU had more talent everywhere than Missouri does. Missouri doesn’t have a guy that can cover Terrace Marshall (although Joshuah Bledsoe did it well for one play, more on that later). Missouri’s starting defensive line shouldn’t be able to tangle with LSU’s offensive line…much less the backups. The Tigers don’t have a receiver outside of Jalen Knox who should be able to consistently get open and dice up the LSU secondary. But those things happened.

I’ll get to the X’s and O’s in a minute but just the ability to get this team to forget about everything it’s been through the last seven months (which has gotten worse in the last seven days with all the injuries and absences) and get them to believe they could do what they did on Saturday is incredibly impressive. There were a lot of times on Saturday and a lot of times over the last few months Missouri’s players could have said “This year doesn’t count anyway” and quit. They didn’t. That’s a credit to the coaches (Eli Drinkwitz specifically, but all of them)

2) Okay, now for the X’s and O’s. We saw wildcat with two quarterbacks on the field on the first play. We saw a flea flicker. We saw a reverse flea flicker. We saw jet sweeps and screens and deep balls and a tight end shovel pass (shoutout Andy Reid and Travis Kelce). Maybe Eli Drinkwitz has more plays in the vault, but if he completely emptied it and showed every single thing he had on Saturday, I’d still be impressed. LSU’s defense has better players than Missouri’s offense. By quite a bit. And I don’t want to take credit away from Missouri’s players. They did one hell of a job. But a whole bunch of those nearly 600 yards had a whole hell of a lot to do with scheme.

3) What about the other side of the ball? Ryan Walters is a popular whipping boy. He wasn’t hired by Drinkwitz and his defense has been pushed around a lot in the first two weeks and, yes, even Saturday, it gave up 430 yards passing. You know what? It’s not 1983 anymore. We’ve got to adjust what we think good defensive football is.

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