|They turned out to be paper tigers on Saturday, but the future should be better. |
It was the beginning of a new era in Missouri Tigers
football on Saturday, and for awhile it looked as if it was going to be a bright start to the future. For roughly 40 minutes -- maybe even 45 -- the Tigers played the Georgia Bulldogs
close. Last year's SEC East
champions looked every bit as fast and scary as we had all believed they might, and yet Mizzou faced them down.
The defense was stout, holding the high-powered Georgia offense in check, generating a couple of takeaways and forcing the Bulldogs off the field on third downs. Pretty much everything you could hope for, honestly. The offense didn't look nearly so good, but they matched Georgia point for point. James Franklin
and the rest of the Tigers didn't look stunned by the Bulldogs' defensive speed, even with Jarvis Jones running roughshod all over the Mizzou offensive line. The results weren't always great, but the Tigers never looked overwhelmed. The acquitted themselves admirably, in fact.
For 40, maybe 45 minutes the Missouri Tigers played tough against the Georgia Bulldogs, and proved they could stand up to an elite team. In fact, I would hazard to say for 40, maybe 45 minutes on Saturday night, the Missouri Tigers showed they could very well beat the Georgia Bulldogs. And then the Missouri Tigers decided to change gears and prove they could beat the Missouri Tigers, too.
It was, ultimately, a game of mistakes by the Tigers, and a few missed opportunities along the way. At no time did Missouri ever look outclassed by the talent level of the Bulldogs, but a few poor plays (and some rather questionable decisions, I think), were the undoing of the Tigers. Everything unraveled late, making the score look lopsided, when in reality it was an evenly matched affair for the first three quarters.
From the beginning, though, I never liked the Tigers' gameplan on offense. You're going to hear a little noise being made locally about Mizzou not trying harder to get the ball into the hands of Dorial Green-Beckham, considering his reputation as the Next Big Thing and playmaking skills, but I'm not so worried about the Tigers failing to throw the ball to a guy playing in his second college game ever. Don't get me wrong; I think the Tigers should make an effort to utilize him more in the coming weeks, but I'm not going to fault them for not forcing the issue in this particular game.
Okay, okay, I will admit: one catch for five yards is just ridiculous. The guy is a monster in waiting. Get him the effing ball. But, enough of that.