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That said, I don’t think there’s anything physically wrong with lock. Kansas city university school of medicine he’s still adjusting to this offense. I wrote about this transition in wednesday’s post-dispatch. This system is different in some major ways — and all ways lock has embraced and, in theory, should make this offense more competitive against better defenses. He doesn’t have the luxury of seven-man protections like he did often last year. He’s got to make quicker decisions sometimes, and he’s held onto the ball too long in some cases.

To lock’s credit, he’s quick to diagnose the problems. He understands what’s wrong, but he has to retrain his brain to make the transition. That’s easier said than done when you’ve got alabama’s 300-pound D-tackle racing into the pocket. And he’s playing with two mostly untested freshman receivers.

That’s not an excuse, but it’s reality. Knox and scott could end up having great careers at missouri, but this is the first time they’ve played against college dbs. Getting open and making contested catches is a lot harder in college.

QUESTION: at the halfway point of the season, how would you rate the following: 1. Offensive coordinator? 2. Defensive coordinator? 3. Special teams? 4. Fan support? 5. In-game adjustment to the other team’s coaching? 6. Tiger toughness and adversity meter?

3. Mixed bag. McCann has attempted more fgs than any kicker in the country but for the most part he’s been solid. (he’s shown above, kicking the game-winner against purdue.) the tigers get nothing out of the punt return game. I don’t understand why it’s so hard. Fatony has been fatony.

5. These things are hard to quantify. The offense would probably take a mulligan on the way it handled play-calling in the red zone and in the rain at south carolina. Otherwise, I can’t think of glaring issues on that side of the ball they could have addressed with changes. Obviously some different coverages or different personnel on the final drive at USC would have helped.

6. They collapsed in the third quarter at USC — but did come back and took the lead. That took some gumption. The purdue comeback was promising. University of kansas online lots of poise from the offense there. I don’t think this team lacks toughness or doesn’t play hard. They’re just deficient in certain areas.

QUESTION: lots of irrational fans are calling for barry odom‘s head. Even though sagarin has mizzou ranked at no. 41 and having played the 4th toughest schedule thus far and actually shows mizzou favored in five out of its last six games. Your thoughts on barry odom after 2½ seasons?

MATTER: this program still doesn’t have a signature win on his watch and hasn’t gotten over the hump against the best competition. I think the concerns about the defense — odom’s specialty — are legitimate. That side of the ball should be better. In terms of personnel, odom has had to rely on far too many underclassmen because of roster turnover and an extreme shortage of SEC-caliber upperclassmen the last couple years. That’s not on odom. Programs like missouri can thrive when you develop your players over time, because rarely are you going to land impact newcomers who can start and win games for you in this conference.

As far as the first half of the season, in august I picked the tigers to be 3-3 at this point with a chance to finish 8-4. If a play or two unfolds differently in a wacky game at south carolina, this team is 4-2 and instead of lamenting a third straight loss at alabama, we’re probably pointing out how promising that game was: the red zone defense, the running game, the lock-to-knox TD, the sack/strip, holding bama to a season-low 39 points, etc. Instead, the south carolina loss changes the perception of the bama game, as just another loss in a spiraling season.

QUESTION: A lot of big money has been poured into that stadium project and the program as a whole. I don’t think AD jim sterk is a man who has mediocrity in mind for the football program’s future. Let’s say the tigers go 6-6 or worse. Do you think a change will be made?

MATTER: let’s clear up one thing: $100 million for the south end zone complex is a lot of money, but donors only covered about half that — and $10 million came from one donor. The university is paying for the other half, until athletics pays it back with revenue from the new luxury suites.

Keeping odom after a 6-6 regular season isn’t necessarily settling for mediocrity — because there’s another big part of the equation: who do you hire instead? Power 5 programs rarely hire other currently employed power 5 head coaches. Kansas university football game today if missouri is shopping for a head coach in a few months — again, I’m just answering your questions — the likely candidate pool is non-power 5 head coaches and power 5 coordinators.

First off, if the knock on odom is he didn’t have the head-coaching chops for this job, then it’s doubtful mizzou wants a career assistant who’s never sat in the big chair. Second, being a winning head coach at arkansas state or north texas or troy doesn’t mean you can cut it in the SEC and take mizzou to greater heights than six or seven wins. It’s a risk just the same.

QUESTION: the injuries to our wide receivers has been mentioned as one reason for lock’s and the team’s problems. Since it’s tough for a freshman to step in and compete in the SEC, where is our seasoned depth behind hall and brown? What happened to ofodile? He was coveted coming out of HS & chose big-time oregon. Why does it seem our receivers have a problem catching the ball?

MATTER: prior to the 2018 class, mizzou had a rough time recruiting receivers. They had a couple decommitments there. A couple non-qualifiers. A couple players who transferred or were dismissed. Building the depth there has been a huge challenge. For whatever reason, alex ofodile just hasn’t done enough to earn snaps. He did not have a good camp, and that put him behind the two freshmen, jalen knox and kam scott. University of kansas track and field he was a prolific high school receiver because he used his size mismatch to catch every jump ball thrown his way. It’s not so easy at this level, especially in an offense that requires you to learn a variety of routes.

Johnathon johnson has struggled catching the ball this year. Not sure you can say that for the others. It hasn’t been a consistent problem. Hall had issues late last year. J’mon moore’s drop history is well documented. That said, I don’t think this is exclusively a missouri problem. Great receivers don’t drop passes. Missouri hasn’t had a lot of great receivers recently.

QUESTION: saw in an article that hearnes center is being repaired and the volleyball team will move back there at some point, but probably not this season. So I guess a definite decision has been made to fix hearnes rather than replace it completely. Do you know if any upgrades, like improved bathrooms and seating, will be considered? Or is that just too much money to spend?

MATTER: where and how will they build a replacement? Mizzou tapped out its top donors for the south end zone complex — and still had to borrow from the university to pay for half of it. It’s not like there’s $50 million just lying around to build an arena for volleyball, wrestling, gymnastics and indoor track. They really don’t have a feasible solution other than to spend less on repairs for hearnes. I don’t know about other fixes in terms of bathrooms and seating.

I wouldn’t expect any renovations. Those things cost money — and mizzou already loses money on those non-revenue sports. It doesn’t make much sense to invest more money in those teams — and take away funds for football, making that sport even less competitive in the SEC.