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What Went Down: Week One E-mail
Written by Slim   
Monday, 06 September 2010 12:52

In our final article looking back at Illinois, I take a look back at my predictions for the Illinois game compared to what actually went down on the field.

i-3

Once again Ron Zook's team starts the season 0-1.  Zook is now 0-4 in his career against Missouri (AP photo).

When Missouri runs the ball: I said: Draw - Result: Draw

Mizzou didn't hand the ball off until the final play of the first quarter.  In all, the ground game was solid.  Missouri backs totaled 108 yards on 24 carries. However, Mizzou only had one running play longer than 10 yards and didn't record a rushing TD.

When Missouri throws the ball: I said: Advantage Missouri - Result: Advantage Missouri

It may have taken longer than most fans would have liked, but Mizzou's passing attack finally clicked in the second half.  At the end of the day Blaine Gabbert ended up completing more than 70 percent of his passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns.  TJ Moe was Mr. Reliable, consistently getting just enough yards to move the chains.  Gabbert also spread the ball around to seven different receivers.

When Illinois runs the ball: I said: Advantage Illinois - Result: Draw

Initially it looked like Illinois would dictate the tempo of the entire game.  The run game was effective and Nathan Scheelhaase was making plays with his feet.  But then the Mizzou defense began to figure things out.  Illinois gained only 46 of its 200 rushing yards in the second half.  Missouri was gashed by a few long runs, but they also managed to keep the Illini ground game out of the end zone.  It was a tale of two halves on the ground and Missouri won the most important one.

When Illinois throws the ball: I said: Advantage Missouri - Result: Advantage Missouri

This is an area Mizzou dominated.  They forced Scheelhaase to beat them with his arm and he couldn't do it.  Down field passing for Illinois was non-existent.  On two of Scheelhaase's three longest throws of the day, Missouri defenders came away with the ball.  Missouri avoided breakdowns that were commonplace last season.  At the end of the day, they limited Scheelhaase to 9 of 23 passing for only 81 yards and three interceptions.  Major edge to Mizzou here.

Carl Gettis was phenomenal on Saturday (photo from Columbia Daily Tribune).

Special teams: I said: Draw - Result: Draw

Missouri punter Matt Grabner downed two punts inside the Illinois 20 yard line, including the one downed by Carl Gettis at the one.  Both return games were mediocre.  The Illini get the draw because of the field goal kickers.  Grant Ressel was solid but missed a 37 yard attempt.  Illinois' Derek Dimke knocked one through from 52 yards that gave Illinois a lot of momentum heading into halftime.

Coaching:  I said: Advantage Missouri - Result: Advantage Missouri

Illinois had a solid game plan.  Offensively they showed some new formations that Missouri didn't expect to see.  Defensively they tried to take away the short passes and it worked... for a while.  In the end, the Mizzou coaches put their players in a position to win the game.  Whether you believe in halftime adjustments, constant adjustments, or no adjustments, Missouri improved as the game went on.  Illinois did not.  That's a testament to the Missouri coaching staff.

The Call: I said: Missouri wins 38-20  -  Result: Missouri wins 23-13

I think everybody thought Missouri would score more.  I thought we'd see more deep passes and more blown coverage by Illinois.  Illinois played a pretty good game.  Mizzou was simply more talented, it just took them a half to prove it.



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