Eli Drinkwitz is working on it and he’s not close to being done.
At kickoff I was being dragged around the neighborhood by a couple dogs, with my wife ahead of me, trying to keep with our routine of an early evening dog walk before settling in. I figured, what could it hurt to miss the first few minutes of the game?
As one of our dogs made a pit stop, so I pulled out my phone and checked the game. Not even 3 minutes had eclipsed in the contest and Missouri was already down 7. We got back home and the game was on, soon after Mizzou was down 14-0. They engineered a drive and got some points back, gave up another TD and things were looking grim as Chris Rodriguez went powering towards the end zone with the score at 21-7 already… but a miraculous thing happened when he fumbled into the end zone and Chad Bailey recovered.
Facing a three touchdown deficit, Mizzou marched the length of the field and converted their second touchdown of the night. A terrific back shoulder pass from Connor Bazelak to a posted up Keke Chism, with a defender draped all over him (and called for pass interference, though it was declined).
To that point in the game Kentucky looked the part of the more dominant team. They were more physical, and they really controlled the tempo of the game.
After, it was clear where Kentucky held it’s advantages, but the adjustments Missouri made were enough to keep things interesting.
Which gets me right to my point. Watching that game, I felt like Kentucky should have won by a lot more than a skin-of-their-teeth touchdown. The program Mark Stoops has in Lexington is by no means a world beater, but it’s a very good program. The offensive and defensive line play is consistently good, and you can see how just by simply having a quarterback capable of completing passes makes this a dangerous team in the SEC East. At the same time, they don’t appear to be a threat to Georgia. So good, but not that good.
Missouri… isn’t quite there yet.
You can see the elements. The gears are churning, but the engine isn’t quite heated up just yet. Connor Bazelak and Tyler Badie and a solid offensive line and keep things moving offensively. The Tigers defense is full of fun playmakers in the secondary, but the front 6 and/or 7 has left a lot to be desired.
If Missouri is competitive right now before playing with a full deck, what happens when Drink and his staff are able to fortify the offensive and defensive lines? What can this team look like with a stingier defensive front? If you were to swap the offensive and defensive lines from last night what changes in the outcome?
To understand that is to understand the basics of football and also why we all seem to have such excitement about Eli Drinkwitz. He’s building a program. The build isn’t done, but if he can put this all together and build up the depth and talent, then this is a game Missouri doesn’t have to scrap and claw just to stay competitive within the game, it’s one they win going away. The way Kentucky probably should have.
No full stats from Statbroadcast since it was password protected and I didn’t get the password. Instead do me a favor and read BTBS later this week:
Here are your other SEC scores:
- 1 Alabama 48, Mercer 14
- 2 Georgia 56, UAB 7
- 5 Texas A&M 10, Colorado 7
- 13 Florida 42, South Florida 20
- Arkansas 40, 15 Texas 21
- 20 Ole Miss 54, Austin Peay 17
- 25 Auburn 62, Alabama State 0
- South Carolina 20, East Carolina 17
- Pittsburgh 41, Tennessee 34
- Mississippi State 24, NC State 10
- LSU 34, McNeese 7
Yesterday at Rock M
- Missouri vs Kentucky football GameDay: info, where to watch, predictions
- Bottoms Up! Visits Kentucky
- Gamethread: Tigers @ Kentucky
- Instant Reaction: Kentucky 35 – Mizzou 28
- Kentucky’s devastating rushing attack pounds Missouri in pivotal East showdown
- Dave Matter’s game story
- Blair Kerkhoff’s game story
- Columbia Missourian Wilson Moore’s game story
- Trib’s Eric Blum wraps up the day
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!