The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Nov. 1, 2004
That was a very nice win — we all needed that one. Not necessarily an artistic success, but we will take them any way we can get them. The stadium other than a lull in the 2nd quarter was alive, and it was fun to be there. We had a good defensive game plan that was well executed, and Ross is a terrific player. The biggest factor was that we were ready to play and played with emotion. We were lucky when their punter dropped the ball, but we were the victim of what I felt were many questionable calls. McBride and Tomich fired this team up, and I hope that isn't what is necessary to get the team ready to play the rest of the year.
On defense, many of our players had good games. McPherson and Ruud were outstanding all day, and Sievers did a good job of spying on Smith. The line kept Smith hemmed in. We used the same plan that Oklahoma State used: keep him in the pocket and let him throw. The entire secondary was in good postion all day. He hit a few throws because he had so much time. But overall the secondary performed and the plan worked. Just like the Sundance Kid, he is better when he moves and we kept him from moving. Their offensive gameplan was puzzling, but it has been all year. That's Missouri's problem, and it doesn't diminish the great effort that the defense put together.
The special teams put together a quality performance. Green and Jackson give us a chance to break any kick return, and Sandro had better depth on his kickoffs. He made a FG in very difficult wind conditions. The punt block and snap drop were timely, and Shanle was around the ball all day. But on a day when we could hardly move the ball at all, we continue to concede punt returns. If we need someone to catch the ball, put Pilkington back there; at least he is a good enough athlete to do something with it. Or Horne — he isn't playing from scrimmage so give him a shot. This remains the most puzzling strategy of the new coaching staff. Auburn has Williams running punts and he is their best player. I just don't get it.
On offense, Ross is a difference-maker and seemingly the only way we can move the ball. Our passing game produced 4 yards in 20 plays when you include Joe's runs. Joe is uncertain and looks tentative. When your QB is playing worse in the eighth game than he played in the first two, that is not a good coaching sign. Joe has talent, but the young man looks as though he has lost confidence. Jay said he was "slightly offended" when he was questioned about the offensive performance. That is a surprising reaction from a media-savvy coach when the question is legitimate. When you gain 98 yards in 52 game minutes, that is fair question. I know these guys want to institute their system and we have been told that the WCO can also run the ball. We will be a passing team long-term, and that is what they are recruiting for. These guys can show how to run a sophisticated passing offense next year when the personal will more suit the task. This year we are best when give the ball to 4 and 32 and have the big-butted boys in Phillips and Kriewald bash in front of them. It isn't very creatitive and clever, but it does work. We are a running team this year and I hope our coaching staff realizes that and takes advantage of our strengths. Many have said that it will hurt recruiting if we run the ball, but these recruits know that Bill is going to run a passing offense. I believe we can run the ball this year and not hurt recruiting .
If we play defense as we did Saturday and the coaches can get the team to play with as much emotion as we did this week, we should win two of the next three. We have a better team than Iowa State, certainly more talent. They are very dependent on the running game, and stopping that is our strength. Let's run the ball and get Joe in favorable down and distances to throw. Winning the north would be a great accomplishment for this team.
Keep the faith. GBR.