It wasn’t always pretty, but Mizzou got the job done against FCS opponent to earn its first win of the season.
The new-look Tigers debuted plenty of new faces en route to their 34-3 win. It’s tough to take away too much from a game against this type of opponent, but these five things stood out:
  • Drew Lock is the real deal: We saw glimpses of Missouri’s new backup quarterback during August practice and a few scrimmages, but his accuracy took on a new level in a game situation. The true freshman went 6-of-10 for 138 yards and a touchdown.
  • Mizzou may spread the ball more than anticipated: With a whole new receiving corps and two returning tight ends, many thought the Tigers wouldn’t run the complete spread to which Mizzou fans are accustomed. But that didn’t stop OC Josh Henson from going four- and five-wide during some plays.
  • #DLineZou is back: Missouri’s defensive line lost a lot from last year. But Saturday’s win gave a glimpse of how good Charles Harris can be, how improved Josh Augusta is and how ready Terry Beckner Jr. is to take on the SEC.
  • Running back depth a concern: After starter Russell Hansbrough left the game with an injury, Missouri running backs only managed to rush for 79 yards. Neither Ish Witter nor Morgan Steward or Tyler Hunt stepped up.
  • Receiving depth may not be: J’Mon Moore and Nate Brown hauled in impressive touchdown grabs early. Freshmen like DeSean Blair and Thomas Richard also contributed, but the entire receiving corps faded a bit with QB Maty Mauk as the game progressed.
Offense: C+ — Maty Mauk, the new receivers and the run game started out with a bang but faded soon after. Drew Lock was a bright spot, but Missouri should have scored more than 34 points.
Defense: A- — It wasn’t just starters like Kentrell Brothers who showed up to play; the entire two-deep looked tremendous and held SEMO to three points while also scoring a defensive touchdown.
Special Teams: B  Senior PK Andrew Baggett had 10 points and P Corey Fatony exceeded expectations, but the coverage teams and return game left much to be desired.
Coaching: B+ — In typical Pinkel fashion, Missouri’s coaching staff didn’t show too much in a fairly meaningless game while also protecting starters and giving new guys a shot.
Overall: B+ — It wasn’t their best game, but this isn’t the same Missouri team Tigers fans are going to see the rest of the season.
It’s hard to tell how much the Tigers planned for Southeast Missouri, who brought in one solid receiver in Paul McRoberts but otherwise didn’t pose much of a threat. Overall, the Tigers were able to give their new players plenty of playing time while also controlling the game. Pinkel was smart to hold on Russell Hansbrough and Evan Boehm after their injuries. The former’s injury may have played into the run game’s ineffectiveness, which will be concerning should Hansbrough not come back next week.
  • LB Kentrell Brothers: There was a point during the game where people were wondering if Brothers would break Mizzou’s single-game tackle record. That didn’t happen, but his 16 were the fourth-most by a player in the Gary Pinkel era.
  • P Corey Fatony: Just a week after winning the starting punting job, Fatony boasted an average of 46.4 yards per punt while also handling kickoff duties.
  • QB Drew Lock: Responsible for 10 of Missouri’s 34 points while playing just three series.
  • RB Russell Hansbrough (ankle) and C Evan Boehm (ankle) both sustained injuries during the first quarter. Hansbrough returned for a play but then sat out the rest of the game. Boehm returned for a the quarter but was then replaced by guard Alec Ablen.
  • K Andrew Baggett handled field goals, but was held out of kickoff duties for precautionary reasons due to back spasms.