Mizzou Football Pourover: It’s all about how you respond

Not many would blame you for losing hope after last week. Especially after that disastrous first quarter.

We’ve witnessed similar games before. In 2021 against Tennessee or Texas A&M. In 2022 against Kansas State or Tennessee again. Under Eli Drinkwitz, Mizzou hasn’t been known for their ability to respond effectively within games. Mistakes tend to snowball, effort dwindles, and discipline fades away.

So, it’s understandable if you felt defeated when Devin Leary scored a touchdown with 2:12 left in the first quarter. The defense appeared lackluster and vulnerable, missing tackles and struggling against Ray Davis. On the other hand, the offense looked nothing like the inspired and dynamic unit we’ve seen throughout the first six weeks of the season. Brady Cook threw his third interception in two weeks, the offensive line was struggling, and receivers couldn’t get open.

When Cook fell on a fumble on third down with 11:38 left in the second quarter, it seemed like things had already spiraled out of control. The Kentucky voodoo felt overpowering. Mizzou, looking disorganized and on the brink of collapsing, needed something—anything.

Sensing the urgency, Eli Drinkwitz took action.

I’m going to quote Brandon ‘BK’ Kiley because he made a particularly insightful observation in our Rock M Nation Slack channel right after this play:

That just saved the game

It may seem obvious, but it’s hard to underestimate how accurate he was. After being dominated in the first quarter, Eli Drinkwitz unleashed a powerful counterattack on Kentucky. And it worked.

Mizzou’s team, seemingly invigorated by their head coach’s boldness, responded in various ways. Here’s a list of notable events that took place in the final 41:38 of the game following Luke Bauer’s touchdown pass:

  • Mizzou outscored Kentucky 31-7 – yes, you read that correctly.
  • Luther Burden caught 2 passes for 15 yards, which came on consecutive plays in the second quarter. Surprisingly, Mizzou moved the ball effortlessly.
  • Mizzou’s defense forced four turnovers – one fumble, two interceptions, and one stop on downs – and limited Kentucky to only 144 total yards of offense in 10 possessions.
  • The Tigers, despite a few offensive line penalties, played a mostly clean game. They certainly didn’t come close to matching Kentucky’s 100+ penalty yards.

Although Mizzou won’t receive high marks for style after their road victory on Saturday night, several aspects of their game were slightly off. Nevertheless, after being dominated by the team that posed the biggest threat to their position as the second-best team in the SEC East, Mizzou counterattacked with determination and decisiveness. They still have control over their destiny in the SEC East.

For the first time in 10 years, no one left Kroger Field questioning whether Mizzou was the superior team – they were certain.

Now, that’s what I call a response.

Other SEC Scores:

No. 1 Georgia 37, Vanderbilt 20

No. 11 Alabama 24, Arkansas 21

No. 19 Tennessee 20, Texas A&M 13

No. 22 LSU 48, Auburn 18

Florida 41, South Carolina 39

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