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Mizzou Musings: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Mizzou's Win at Vandy.

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

Freshman Quarterback Tyler Macon scored a touchdown in Mizzou’s win over Vanderbilt. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

The game between the Missouri Tigers and the Vanderbilt Commodores produced some good, bad, and ugly moments for Ole Mizzou. Let's take a look.

The Good

First of all, Mizzou won 37-28, and that's good.

Second, thank the football gods for Tyler Badie and Harrison Mevis. Because without them, Mizzou wouldn't have won on Saturday, or be 4-4 for the season.

Badie's 254 rushing yards were fifth most in team history, and his 294 all purpose yards were the fourth most in team history for a single game. In fact, Badie accounted for 58.6% of Mizzou's total yardage against Vandy. The 5-8, 194lb. running back now ranks in the top four nationally in rushing (989 yards, fourth), yards from scrimmage (1,294, second), all purpose (1,299, third), and touchdowns (15, third). For his career at Mizzou, he now has 3,774 all-purpose yards, fifth all time at Mizzou.

On to Harrison Mevis. The Mizzou kicker nailed three more field goals on Saturday of 46, 32, and 52 yards. It extended his streak of 19 straight, dating back to 2020. He has also been perfect on extra point attempts this year, going 34 for 34. This also extends his career perfect streak of 62 for 62.

Mevis' 19 straight field goals leads the nation and he also leads the nation as the only kicker with multiple 50 yard field goals(3).

Other positive's to take from this game are:

Connor Bazelak 45 yard Hail Mary pass to Keke Chism to end the first half with Mizzou taking a 17-14 lead. Coach Eli Drinkwitz's call to use Tyler Macon instead of Brady Cook, after Bazelak went down with an injury in the 4th quarter. Macon came in and picked up 6 yards to put Mevis in field goal range. He also scored Mizzou's final touchdown. Coach Drink called his decision to go with Macon over Cook, "situational".

Finally, Mizzou special teams stopped Vandy trying a fake 51 yeard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

The Bad

Connor Bazelak’s injury in the fourth quarter leads to some uncertainty on his availability for the upcoming game against Georgia. Although the injury didn't appear to be serious, if Bazelak is unavailable on Saturday, that puts the offense in the hands of two freshmen quarterbacks, Brady Cook and Tyler Macon.

In the 1st quarter, Mizzou appeared to be driving for another touchdown to take a 17-0 lead. However, Bazelak threw an interception at the goal line, which changed the momentum of the game and led to a Commodore score.

As far as Mizzou's penalty issues were concerned, the bye week didn't help. The Tigers were flagged nine times for 100 yards. Tight End Daniel Parker, Jr. had three of the penalties, two holds and an unnecessary roughness.

The Ugly

The Defense continues to be the biggest issue for Mizzou. The previously hapless Vandy offense put up 28 points on the Tigers. Additionally, the Commodores were playing without their starting quarterback and two top running backs. Nevertheless, they rushed for 258 yards and 7.1 yards per carry. Just a week ago, Vandy was held to just nine yards rushing by Mississippi State.

The two plays which kept Vandy in the game were quarterback Mike Wright's two gains of 69 and 70 yards, which set up two of the Commodore's touchdowns. To be fair though, the Mizzou is facing many depth issues, especially on defense. Only 18 players saw action on defense on Saturday. In the defensive backfield, Ennis Rakestraw, Allie Green IV, Ish Burdine, and Shawn Robinson were all out with injuries. The remaining defensive backs were forced to play the entire game.

To Wrap Up

On Saturday, the Tigers will play the number one team in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia. As I write this, Mizzou is a 38 point underdog and there is no reason to think the line will get any better by game time.

The Bulldog defense only allows 6.6 points and 227 yards per game, and have the nation's second best passing defense. Meanwhile the Mizzou defense allows 36 points and 475 yards per game, making it not only one of the worst in the SEC, but statistically one of the worst in college football.

Nonetheless, the Tigers can boast of having the nation's 25th best passing offense, along with Tyler Badie and Harrison Mevis. Let's just say this, Georgia will be the Tigers’ biggest challenge of the year.

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