I need to be less critical. I gave Gary Pinkel all kinds of crap as Missouri’s offense looked sluggish in their 36-17 victory over Colorado. It was a more interesting game than the score indicated. Missouri led 33-0 after what I thought was a Belichickian move, a fake field goal with a 26-point lead. The Tigers were dominating on both sides of the ball and Colorado was clearly the inferior opponent. As the Buffs drove down the field, Missouri got a sack and they kicked a long field goal to cut the lead to 33-3. I noted on Twitter that the crowd’s cheering must have been sarcastic.
To open the second half, Colorado drove down the field and made the score 33-10. I’m at a three on the ten-point panic scale. Missouri just needs to score a TD and finish it. Gabbert had them driving but threw a pick six. The score was 33-17.
It was not a pretty half for Gabbert. The running game felt like Chris Johnson of the Titans. Either they’d get stuffed at the line or run for 10. The defense tightened and only Danario Alexander seems consistently worth a crap as a receiver. It was a defensive stop on fourth and less than one, a slow-developing play, that seemed to seal it. A field goal put the game out of reach.
I didn’t like the consistency of the offense. Earlier in the game on a fourth and goal from the one, Pinkel called the slow-developing run play from the shotgun. It was stuffed. Every run play seems to be slow developing and gets stuffed by a good defense. I’m not lying that Missouri could win their final five games and win the Big 12 North. They would be a worse team than the one that won the title the past two years, that those teams got stomped. Maybe the defense will mature. Alden Smith looks like a winner at DE. I’m not sure if that top-five DT they recruited this year is playing or not. Gabbert’s inconsistent and has thrown multiple interceptions in four straight games. I think he’ll get better as the year progresses and his ankle heals. Maybe this is a team for next year.
I should be happy for a 19-point win. Missouri finally won a Homecoming game. They traveled to OSU and lost, and hosted Texas for their own Homecoming (a curious decision). They are a good enough team to win their final four games. I’m not sure if they will, or if they should. Another title game loss might be more than my critical self can handle.