Examining everything good and bad from Missouri’s loss to Kentucky.
- Connor Bazelak was again his usual calm and collected self, even in a raucous environment. He completed 67% of his passes with four touchdowns. He was money in the red-zone, and on third down as well. I was also impressed with the two minute drill he led down the field that culminated in a touchdown before halftime. So much of what makes him the player that he is, is that he is never trying to play outside of himself. Kentucky really tried to take away the deeper passing game of Missouri, and Bazelak was content with throwing hitches and curls up and down the field, and it was an effective way of moving the ball. We even got to see him use his legs a little, which was nice. He had one mistake on the interception, but you could argue that it was an excellent play by the Kentucky defender.
- Bazelak had a lot of help in this game, but nobody helped more than Tyler Badie. He had some really imposing runs in that first quarter to help settle everything down, but he was most impressive in the passing game. He was the leading receiver for Missouri with 10 catches for 88 yards and is such a nice safety valve for his QB.
Here’s the story of Mizzou’s season through two weeks: Tyler Badie leads the nation in yards from scrimmage (196 per game) while the defense is last in the Power 5 in yards allowed & rushing yards allowed per game.
— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) September 12, 2021
He’s been amazing through two games, but I didn’t realize he was this good statistically.
- I was really happy to see the Tight Ends get involved in the passing game a little bit more. DPJ and Niko Hea combined for 8 catches, 58 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s not some big number, but they were a useful presence in the passing game and provided a safe target for their QB.
- The defense is going to catch a lot of heat, but one guy who probably shouldn’t is JC Carlies. He’s been all over the place in the run game, and has been really solid in coverage. He created another turnover this week with the interception, and helped cause the fumble to really turn the momentum of the game. I’ve been really impressed with how different he looked from the few times we saw him last season.
- I don’t like moral victories, but I was impressed with the fight Missouri showed. This is a game where in the past four to five years, they would’ve given up in the first quarter and got housed. Not any longer. They battled and responded well to adversity in a hostile environment and competed at a high level. It sucks to lose, but this game is going to make Missouri better in the long run. This is a game that gives you the DNA you need to finally break through.
- The interior defensive line continues to be an issue for Missouri. They couldn’t get any push to stop the run, and were routinely blown off the ball. There’s not a lot of analysis to give other than that. Until/Unless they can find a way to be physical and close the A and B gaps, teams will continue to run the ball on this Mizzou defense.
- I think Blaze Alldredge is a good football player. I also think that there is a pretty stark difference between Alldredge and Nick Bolton or even Cale Garrett when it comes to filling gaps, getting off blocks, and making tackles. He’s got a more slight frame, so it doesn’t exactly help, but he’s got to find a way to go up a half level in that regard. He could also use some help from the interior defensive line to keep offensive lineman off him.
- The best players aren’t playing at cornerback. I don’t understand the logic in recruiting two transfers from Tulsa just to have them on the bench and rotating in. Especially when from what we’ve seen through two weeks, they’re better players. I don’t have the liberty of being at practice every day, but it does seems a little odd.