Rapid reaction: Mizzou cruises to record-setting victory against Delaware State
Though everyone expected the Missouri Tigers to easily take care of business against the Delaware Hornets, it’s safe to say no one expected to see the historic offensive outburst in Columbia.
Mizzou scored early and often in a record-setting 79-0 victory over the FCS opponent, setting school marks for both points scored and margin of victory.
The Hornets never had a chance, as the Tigers dominated on both sides of the football while speeding to a 58-0 halftime advantage.
Both teams agreed to 10-minute clocks for the third and fourth quarters, content to run out the time on a certain Mizzou victory.
Drew Lock finished with 402 yards passing and five touchdowns.
Here are some of the major takeaways from Saturday’s big win for the 2-2 Missouri Tigers:
What I liked
Scoring early is always nice: Compared to how inept the Tigers’ offense was last season, this season’s squad is a juggernaut. Scoring a touchdown on the opening possession of a game is always a boost to morale, and that’s exactly what Mizzou did against the Hornets.
They’ve been making a habit of scoring early this year, which bodes well for the rest of the SEC schedule:
Mizzou has scored a TD on the opening drive for the third straight game. First time since McNeese State, SD State and Miami (Ohio) in 2010.
— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) September 24, 2016
This week’s opening drive saw the Tigers cover 94 yards on nine plays in less than two minutes. For good measure, their second drive went for 99 yards on six plays and another touchdown.
J’Mon Moore had a day: Though he dropped a pass on his first attempt (which has been a problem for him this season), WR J’Mon Moore finished with eight catches for 114 yards and four touchdowns in the first half.
Moore did it all, utilizing his speed, his jumping ability and his overall athleticism to torch the Delaware State defense.
J'Mon Moore has more touchdowns in the first half today than he did in his first two seasons combined at Mizzou.
— Tod Palmer (@todpalmer) September 24, 2016
If he can limit his mistakes moving forward, he’s a star in the making.
The other wide receivers were solid, too: In what has become routine for the Tigers this season, multiple receivers had 100-plus receiving yards.
In addition to what Moore did, Emanuel Hall had seven catches for 122 yards and a touchdown and true freshman Dimetrios Mason had eight catches for 120 yards.
Sorry, Mason is the 5th #Mizzou receiver over 100 yards this year.
— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) September 24, 2016
This Mizzou offense has more weapons than any other Tigers’ squad since the days of Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman.
Marvin Zanders got some work: Since splitting time with Lock in the first game of the season, Mizzou hasn’t used QB Marvin Zanders very much.
With the game out of hand in the second half, the Tigers were able to get the talented running quarterback some more work.
Zanders looked good running the football and scored a touchdown on an 11-yard scamper.
Getting him experience will only help as the season wears on. Using Zanders in a goal line package every now and then would make the Tigers even tougher to defend.
The defense continued creating turnovers: The Tigers won the turnover battle 4-0 on Saturday afternoon, recovering two fumbles and snagging two interceptions.
Again, the Tigers will need to prove they can have an effort like this against an SEC team if they want to earn bowl eligibility in 2016, but trouncing the Hornets has to be seen as a confidence booster for the unit.
Preserving the shutout (which they didn’t do against Eastern Michigan) was another good sign for DeMontie Cross’s unit.
What needs work
Seriously, extra points shouldn’t be that hard: This isn’t the NFL, where extra points are now attempted from 33 yards out. In college football, the ball is still placed at the three-yard line for the try.
However, the Tigers simply cannot convert extra points at an acceptable level. On Saturday against the Hornets, K Tucker McCann missed another easy attempt.
At some point, the fact that McCann is a freshman stops being an excuse for his poor performance on what should be gimmes.
Don’t run up the score: I had no problem with taking a 58-0 lead into halftime. In the first half, you have to be able to get your work in, no matter how overmatched an opponent might be.
I also had no problem with the first touchdown of the second half, which was scored by Zanders on a nice run.
But, on the ensuing possession, when Zanders threw to WR Eric Laurent for a touchdown, that was too much. Don’t throw the ball into the end zone when you’re up 65-0.
Nothing good will come from embarrassing an opponent that has done nothing to offend you. Neither team learns from such a lopsided score.
What’s next: Mizzou (2-2) is in for a much tougher test next Saturday as it travels to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers in a Death Valley night game.
LSU and Mizzou will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Central time and the game can be seen on the SEC Network.