Posted by Tom Fornelli
MISSOURI WON. It wasn't pretty, and it was a lot closer than most Missouri fans were expecting, but the Tigers got off to a 1-0 start thanks to a 17-6 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday morning in Columbia. All eyes were on quarterback James Franklin as he made his first start, and it was an uneven performance to say the least, as Miller finished the game with 129 yards passing, 1 touchdown and an interception. He also picked up 72 yards and a score with his legs.
WHY MISSOURI WON. Missouri's offense did what it could to keep the Redhawks in the game, but the defense made sure to keep the Redhawks off the board. It wasn't a dominant performance by the Missouri defense, but we were reminded why this team only gave up 15 points a game last season. Yes, Miami had some nice drives, but when the Mizzou defense needed a stop, it made one. In fact, Miami's only points came after a Franklin interception gave the Redhawks the ball at the Missouri 14.
WHEN MISSOURI WON. When James Franklin hit Marcus Lucas for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to give Missouri a 17-6 lead, it was over. There was just no reason to believe that the Redhawks could manage 11 points in one guarter when it barely managed to get 6 through the first three.
WHAT MISSOURI WON. A game that it should have. I'm not sure how confident Missouri can be in its passing offense going into next week's game against Arizona State on the road. Franklin may have completed 65% of his passes but the overwhelming majority of his 17 completions came on screens and short passes. Any attempt more than 7 yards looked incredibly shaky and the Tigers will face a better defense next week.
WHY MIAMI (OH) LOST. The Redhawks shot themselves in the foot a few times too many. A nice drive early in the game resulted in a missed field goal, and then the team's best drive of the game ended when Zac Dysert was picked off by E.J. Gaines at the goal line. While the defense can be happy with its performance, a team like Miami just can't afford to leave that many points on the board against an opponent like Missouri.
WHAT MIAMI (OH) LOST. Not much, honestly. The Redhawks weren't expected to win this game anyway, and they might have gained some respect keeping it as close as they did.