There are times when a fan has to wonder what is tougher, being a professional or college coach. College coaches have to worry about players going to class, and the limited practice time they have. For the NFL coach, it’s life. For a college coach, it’s close, but there are times to relax.
There were a couple of small coaching moves that helped cost Missouri the game against the Fighting Manginos, as Kansas’s team is known. It was fairly obvious at the end of the game that neither defense was going to make the big stop. When Missouri trailed 26-10, the offense scored touchdowns on their next four possessions. The defense held until Missouri had a lead. Then Todd Reesing, who made Chase Daniel look tall, started making plays. Kansas scored five touchdowns, and on every score, their receiver was beyond the last Missouri defender. On the final score, Missouri pulled off a poorly executed blitz. Reesing made one move and Kerry Meier, a backup freaking QB, got behind the defense. He wasn’t open by two steps. He was open by five yards.
Here are the two spots at the end of the game where a “professional” coach would have done things differently. Missouri had the ball inside the ten yard line with two minutes to go. Derrick Washington scored on an inside handoff. He scored really easily. The shark move would have been to run some clock. Send Daniel on a QB draw, which would have been less likely to score but more likely to run another 45 seconds off. It was first down. They could have scored in the following three downs. When the Tigers got the ball back with 19 seconds left around the 40-yard line, I wasn’t too confident. But Daniel hit Jared Perry for a huge gain to the Kansas 35. There were 11 seconds left and Missouri had two time outs left. Instead of calling a timeout, they spiked the ball. It only cost a second, but there were only ten of them left. When Danario Alexander dropped the next pass, there was no choice but to go for the field goal. Jeff Wolfert could have made the kick on a normal day, but it was a snowy, wet day. Missouri needed to get another ten to fifteen yards to have a chance to make that kick.
Even if the game went into overtime, I don’t know if they would have pulled off the victory. I would have liked to have the chance.
Gary Pinkel got another raise this year, and it raises expectations. Going 9-3 would have been great three years ago. This team was destined for more. I do not look forward to next week’s game against Texas or Oklahoma. I think the offense gives the team a chance, although if Maclin and Coffman are hobbled in any way there will be trouble.