Missouri remained undefeated on Saturday night with a 40-37 win over Purdue. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. The Tigers now host Georgia, last year’s national runner-up ... and the Dawgs appear to not have missed a beat.
Play of the game
David Blough’s 74-yard pass to Brycen Hopkins: If there was ever an omen that hinted at Missouri losing, it was this. The pass was originally intended for Markell Jones but was broken up but Cam Hilton and deflected right into Hopkins’ hands. Rondale Moore scored a play later to cut the Tigers’ lead to three, 37-34, with 12:16 left. In a night full of bizarre happenings, Hopkins’ catch might have topped them all.
Offense: A-. This was a tough one. Yes, Drew Lock had a horrible interception and Damarea Crockett was invisible, but Missouri put up 40 points without top receiver Emanuel Hall for most of the game and some missing starters on the offensive line. True-freshman tailback Tyler Badie carried the Tigers downfield on their final drive and Lock still had a good night.
Defense: F. This was not hard at all. Where to start? The pass-rush is MIA, the pass defense is awful, and the secondary might have looked worse than it did against Missouri State in 2017. Missouri has a lot to fix in a short amount of time.
Special teams: B+. This was another hard one. Tucker McCann had a 50-yard field goal blocked, but it’s not his fault that was the play-call. And on the flip side, he did hit the game-winner. Nothing happened on punt or kick returns, which appears to be becoming a trend nationally, and the Tigers’ did a decent job on Moore.
As Missouri hosts Georgia next Saturday, here are two things the Tigers need to improve:
The defense. All of it: Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm should consider bringing a lawn chair with him to Faurot Field, considering the lack of pressure Missouri got on Purdue quarterback David Blough. And the secondary had a very rough night, especially Terry Petry. Georgia could win by four touchdowns right now, given Missouri’s problems.
Put Drew Lock in Mamba Mode: Mamba Mode: A term coined by Missouri’s receivers when they feel invincible on the field (and named after Kobe Bryant). The Tigers needed Lock to make a play late against Purdue, and he threw a pick. That’s not going to help with his Heisman campaign. If Missouri beats Georgia, Lock needs to be a major reason. And when the Tigers need him to step up, the drive can’t end with a pick.