The Missouri Tigers found out on Saturday that Columbia, SC is worlds away
from Columbia, MO. They also learned that the USC Gamecocks are worlds away as
a football program. In one of their worst performances in the past ten years,
the Tigers were steamrolled by the Gamecocks 31-10.
Junior Quarterback James Franklin this week took back the reins of the offense from
Corbin Berkstresser. Unfortunately, the offensive line was unable to provide much
in the way of protection for Franklin. Franklin, on the occasions he did have
time, was unable to deliver the ball downfield effectively. Also, Franklin was
unable to get his run game going, gaining only 34 yards on 15 carries.
Not to allow the offense to shoulder the blame alone, Missouri's defense also
failed to prevent South Carolina from seemingly scoring at will. It was only due
to South Carolina's self-enflicted mistakes that prevented the score from being
much more lopsided than it was.
The Highs: A goal-line stand from the Mizzou defense stopped
South Carolina's first sustained drive of the day. Corbin Berkstresser, playing late in the game, was able
to score the first red-zone touchdown against the Gamecocks this year.
The Lows: Mizzou's defense allowed USC Quarterback Conner Shaw
to complete 20 passes in a row. Many of those were short dump-offs in the flat
that the Tigers seemingly had no idea how to stop. The Tigers had only two drives
of over 30 yards and only ran 58 play on offense. Special teams play was horrendous.
Injuries: None of note.
Take Aways: This loss should be embarassing enough to cause
some changes to be made, but as Missouri fans know, no changes will be made at all.
Next week, we will be treated to the same game plan, the same offensive play calls, the same
defensive schemes, and the same special teams tactics. Against the lower half of
the SEC, these things might work. Against the upper echelon, they will fail and
as we saw in South Carolina, sometimes fail badly.
Up Next: The Tigers are on the road again to take on the
University of Central Florida Knights in Orlando. The game is a scheduled 11am
kickoff on Fox Sports Net. The Knights are 2-1 on the season and are coming off
a 33-20 victory over FIU. While many Tiger fans might assume that the Knights will
be an easy foe for the Tigers, the Knights did play a strong game against the
Ohio State Buckeyes a couple weeks ago before losing 31-16 in Columbus.
Nick Witthaus is a 1992 Mizzou Graduate. He is currently the owner and publisher of Tigerboard.com.
You can reach Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.