Ross Taylor of Rock M Nation presents this primer of what storylines you need to know before Mizzou kicks off its final home game of the season when it faces Kansas State at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Narrative TV Announcers Will Make You Sick of Hearing: Mizzou gave up on the run!
Everyone's favorite narrative is back in the news. And on Monday, offensive coordinator David Yost spoke to the Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter regarding this very subject:
When asked about calling just nine running plays in the second half at Texas Tech, Yost answered with his own question, asking how many offensive snaps the Tigers had in the second half. The answer was just 27. And of those 27, as Yost noted, eight were third-and-long or fourth-and-long passing situations. Otherwise, the Tigers were closer to a balanced run-pass split with nine runs and 10 passes. Also, after MU broke off two long touchdown runs in the first quarter, Yost said Tech's defense dropped an extra safety into the tackle box on running downs, giving Tech at least six defenders against MU's offensive line, a scenario that led to more pass calls.
A day later, Rock M Nation's Bill Connelly added his thoughts:
Mizzou ran half as much on passing downs than they normally do, meaning when they did inevitably fall into 2nd-and-9 circumstances, they were almost definitely throwing the ball. As I have said before, there are few good play-calls to be made on passing downs, but Mizzou did fall into quite a bit of predictability here. Still ... "They didn't run enough on 2nd-and-9!!!!" doesn't make for a very good hater battle cry, does it?
Narrative You Really Should Be Hearing More About: Senior Day at The Zou
Missouri will bid a series of Faurot Field farewells to a small class of only 15 seniors at Senior Day on Saturday. WIth 37 wins and four bowl appearances (including this season), the 2010 senior class sits just one win shy of tying last year's senior class for most wins in a four-year period in school history. And though their football success is obviously a reason to be commended (including having been part of the 2007 team that ascended to No. 1), Mizzou has been just as proud to announce that all 15 seniors are on track to graduate either this December or next May, with several having already earned their undergraduate degrees.
For Your Mizzou-Themed iPod Playlist: "Little Things" by Bush
"It's the little things that kill,
Tearing at my brains again.
Oh, the little things that kill,
The little things that kill."
The little things murdered Missouri in Lubbock. Let us masochistically catalog but a small sample of such little things:
-- A couple of inches of extra air on a deep ball
-- Inexcusable drops from the receiving corps
-- Zaviar Gooden stumbling enough to cost him a potential pick-six
-- Offensive pass interference penalties killing drives
The devil is in the details, which were conspicuously absent from Mizzou's game for the majority of last Saturday night.
For Your Kansas State-Themed iPod Playlist: "Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland
"Somewhere over the rainbow way up high,
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby,
Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true."
So, for someone who is not a fan of The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland or musical theater, why would I select "Over The Rainbow" to represent Kansas State? And, no, it's not a segue to a lame "not in Kansas anymore" pun.
Rather, it was the top hit song of 1939, the year in which Kansas State coach Bill Snyder was born. This is not meant to be a joke at the expense of Snyder's age (for all of your "Snyder is old" jokes, all me to refer you to: The Internet), but instead a testament to his continued success, even with the Ron Prince Sabbatical thrown in the mix. Snyder is fifth in tied for fifth amongst active FBS coaches for most wins since 1990, trailing only Mack Brown, Frank Beamer, Joe Paterno and Steve Spurrier. That's esteemed company for a man given the task of changing the culture of "Futility U."
With a win Saturday, Snyder can claim sole possession of fifth place in those standings. The same, however, can be said for the man with whom he is tied -- one Mr. Gary R. Pinkel. Let the battle for fifth commence.
For more Missouri coverage, make sure to visit Rock M Nation.