Missouri runs through Louisiana Tech in the prologue

11 hours ago

COLUMBIA, Mo. – – When things went badly for Missouri last year, defense was often the culprit.

It was that ball that helped the Tigers open the scoring against Louisiana Tech on Thursday night.

With their slow start, the new team of interface coordinators Blake Baker delivered a trio of interceptions in the first half, which included one Joseph Charleston return for a score. And that was all the spark needed for the assault on Missouri, who had become the man behind the heralded recruitment. Luther Burden III in a 52-24 win over the Bulldogs.

Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz admitted: “We struggled early on to find the rhythm.

Brady Cook, who won the start job at fall camp, throwing 196 yards with an intercept and a run to the ground. And the trio of Cody Schrader, Nathaniel Peat and BJ Harris in the backyard each person to the end zone.

However, it was Burden, the five-star prospect from St. Louis, who made a huge splash. He caught a pass from Cook before causing a defender to miss and split two more for his first score, then he made a direct catch and ran for a defender. other guard.

Burden’s only real giraffe made a powerful throw that blocked his arm.

“I see it every day, to be honest with you,” Drinkwitz said of his freshman star. “I just don’t want to build it up too much.”

Louisiana Tech’s Matthew Downing throw 184 yards with one touch and three interceptions in new coach Sonny Cumbie’s version of the Air Raid offensive. However, Downing didn’t get much help from the Bulldogs’ ground play, running 22 times over 11 meters against one of the worst hasty defenses at the Football Bowl Subdivision last season.

“That has to be better,” Cumbie admitted. “I have to be more patient with the track.”

Indeed, most of the focus around Missouri was on the defense, which was rebuilt for new coordinator Baker around a series of I Division transfers. And they were on the action. Immediate action: to Florida Ty’Ron Hopper and Charleston, a newcomer from Clemson, had two of three interceptions in the Tigers’ first half.

It was the first time Missouri picked three passes in the first half since September 4, 1982, in a game against Colorado State.

“When you flip the ball three times on the road with a good team, and your error rate is very small, and you give them seven points, momentum builds against you,” says Cumbie.

Charleston’s pick of six at the start of the second quarter had two innings after Schrader, who moved in after leading Division II last season for Truman State, launched into the bottom area to lead Missouri 7-3 early.

It was not a perfect performance for the Tigers, who nonetheless led 24-10 at the break.

They moved after Charleston’s score on a tight finish Tyler Stephens fumbling around inside Louisiana Tech 10. The Tigers also blew up coverage on a simple incline that Griffin Herbert turned into a 75-yard TD reception, and twice in the first half, The Tigers was stuffed into fourth and short conversions.

Burden’s short TD run and Cook’s 20-yard strike late in the third half made the game dull.

“The good thing for me, mistakes are fixable, they are all really fixable – omissions, mistakes, penalties,” says Drinkwitz. “There is a bright future ahead but we have to get out of our own way.”


WR Chance Luper, who is slated to start for Missouri, went to the hospital Thursday with what Drinkwitz called “an illness” that is expected to keep him out for at least six weeks. Luper is the son of the Tigers supporting coach Curtis Luper.


Louisiana Tech keeps possession of the ball, even when the game is out of reach and backup QB Parker McNeill was rewarded with a pair of late touchdown passes. It was a positive sign for the future of an attack designed around the pass.

Missouri will need much better offensive play when it starts with a trip to Kansas State next week. Along with not being able to push the fourth and short stack, the Tigers front struggled to protect Cook and received too many punishments.


Louisiana Tech played the opener at home against Stephen F. Austin on September 10.

Missouri visited the Big 12’s rival Wildcats on the same day.


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