5 Things I Learned About Mizzou: Week 1

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  1. J’Mon Moore is a Different Man: “Oh, what can you tell by one game? He had three receptions.” But he doesn’t catch any of those balls last year. His first catch, the TD, is a catch he has to make. A starting WR absolutely has to make that catch. But it was not an easy catch to make. Jump, turn, catch, don’t lose control, don’t touch the sideline. Mission accomplished. His second catch, from Lock, was near the sideline. If he takes one long stride, he’s out of bounds. Then he made the turn up field. His final catch was a toe-tipper against the sideline. Not easy. Also, he was open on all those receptions. There were times last year when Moore seemed allergic to being open with a genetic predisposition to premature sideline contact. Sure, it was an FCS opponent. But Mizzou played an FCS opponent last year and Moore didn’t seem to notice, collecting only two receptions for 33 yards the whole season. He has three for 74 already this year.
  2. The Frosh: True Freshmen saw 103 snaps (including punting the ball,) and certainly made their presence felt. Perhaps none more so than Drew Lock who counted for 138 passing yards and a Touchdown. But the most impressive was probably Terry Beckner Junior, who doesn’t play football so much as he just sort of smashes things. His is a violent brand of sport and the fact that he was able to exhibit that just 100-ish days removed from rumbling through the hallways during a four minute passing period screams great things for Mizzou. But the biggest surprise for me was Nate Howard. His next-next-level quickness, and extreme physical likeness to the Predator, should make him terrifying for opposing SEC coaches when they realize he’s only been exposed to the Kul for a little over a month. Corey Fatony looks like a long-term solution. Hell, he looks like he could grow into a ST’s All-Timer for Mizzou. He’s already contributed more than many scholarship athletes on tons of teams around the country. Emanuel Hall has about half the production that J’Mon Moore did his entire RS FR season. Josh Moore impressed simply by holding his own just months from being a TE. Terez Hall and Cam Hilton didn’t ruin anything. If you throw is RS FR and the snap count jumps to 288 for players with ≥47 games of eligibility remaining. That’s impressive. By the by, all snap counts are thanks to David Morrison in his weekly piece titled “Snap Decisions” which if you don’t read religiously, what the hell are you doing here?
  3. No Worries on the DB’s: News out of camp is always difficult to decipher. News out of scrimmages is almost always impossible to interpret correctly. But all summer long, news about the Mizzou Cornerbacks and Safeties seemed less than pleasing. Especially considering that the third true Freshman in two years would skip the redshirt process. But especially especially that the second team offense seemed to be carving up the starting defense. Turns out Drew Lock is just a future three-time Heisman winner. The DB’s are fine. That PBU Kenya Dennis had along the sideline? You could probably record every practice in the United States at every level of the game this week and only see a handful of plays that picture perfect. Timing, hand placement, opposite hand placement, etc etc. It was an FCS opponent, sure, but those guys were on scholarship too and Saturday was their Superbowl and Mizzou treated them like the scout team anyway. I think it will be interesting to watch Dennis progress as the season goes on. Right now, I’d bet he’s a 6th or 7th round pick if he doesn’t play another snap. And he has the potential to climb higher than that. I wouldn’t have thought that before the season. But it appears Mr. Dennis put in some serious work during the off-season.
  4. Drew Lock, Man. Drew Lock: You want to have some context as to what goes on in the Quarterback meetings at Mizzou? How the coaches really feel about Mauk versus Lock? About whether or not Pinkel was lying when he said that Lock playing this season was “not about Maty”? You do? Well, right after Lock’s 78 yard Touchdown pass to Hunt (probably the fourth option on that play) the camera gave us a close up of Maty Mauk on the sideline. That look on your face when you lose a game of 21 because you shoved your friend while he was taking a free-throw and the ball went in anyway? That’s that look. And that’s all you need to know.
  5. Kentrell Brothers Deserves the Love: The guy was everywhere. For me, in the wake of Spoonman, Mizzou linebackers have been sort of interchangeable. One of them makes a tackle two or three yards downfield and the next play happens and it’s a sack by DE. This season will be different. Brothers is a star. And, by the way, mea culpa. I didn’t see it coming. I thought Brothers was a nice piece to a really good defense but I didn’t ever see him being the centerpiece of Mizzou’s next incarnation of what appears to be an above average defense. Perhaps it really is appropriate to now say that Mizzou reloads.

 

Adrian Fort is a writer from Kansas City. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Masters degree in creative writing. Follow him on twitter @adriananyway

 

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