The Missouri Tigers had a much less eventful season opener than they did last season against Missouri State, thanks in large part to an improved defensive effort.

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The Tigers scored early and often while cruising to a 51-14 victory, saving the drama for later in the season.

Star QB Drew Lock looked good — he threw 4 TD passes — the defense played well and everything seemed to be clicking at Faurot Field, even as the players tried to avoid melting in the oppressive heat.

Yes, it was only UT Martin, but this is a good sign heading into Week 2 against Wyoming. Here are some quick thoughts from a strong Week 1 showing from the Tigers:

Derek Dooley’s offense looked solid

We didn’t know what to expect from new OC Derek Dooley, who had never called plays before. Taking over for Josh Heupel, Dooley’s offense looked slower, but that was a good thing.

The biggest effect it had was on the defense, which looked fresher and spent much less time on the field. The Tigers still had plenty of big plays and quick strikes, but Dooley’s offense managed the clock much better.

Again, this was only against UT Martin, but the Tigers can build on this against Wyoming next week and try to ready themselves for their first big test at Purdue in Week 3.

Drew Lock and Emanuel Hall are still in sync

Hall averaged an incredible 42.8 yards per catch on Saturday afternoon, catching four balls (three from Lock) for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Hall wants to develop his shorter routes a bit more, but there will be time for that as the season goes on.

Meanwhile, Lock got to show off his cannon arm while throwing his favorite route a couple of times, letting Hall run under the ball for huge gains and a pair of scores.

That duo might be the best QB-WR duo in the SEC, and if they continue to connect on long passes, the Mizzou offense will be one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.

Tough to tell with the defense

The defense looked good, allowing only 14 points, but it’s tough to take too much away from a game against a UT Martin offense that struggled for much of the day. Some would probably say that 14 points is too many to a team like the Skyhawks, but based on where this team was a year ago, this is a good step forward.

The big thing will be creating more takeaways. The Tigers recovered a fumble, but it was basically hand-delivered by the Skyhawks. Against tougher teams, you need stops and takeaways, and it’d be nice to see the defense improve in that area.

Welcome to Mizzou, Kam Scott

The freshman wide receiver made a great first impression for the Tigers, with his first catch going for 70 yards and a touchdown:

That’s a big-time catch, and if Scott continues to make plays like that, it just gives the Tigers another weapon on offense, which is a scary thought for future opponents.

Backup QB spot settled?

When Lock gave way early in the third quarter, redshirt freshman Taylor Powell took over — not Micah Wilson or Jack Lowary. Powell looked OK, making some nice throws, but also making some mistakes.

If Mizzou goes up big against Wyoming next weekend, it’ll be interesting to see if Powell will once again serve as the top backup.