COLUMBIA, Mo. (Missouri Football App) -- Many Missouri football fans were left disappointed after the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 41-20 on Saturday night.
Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel and the rest of the Tiger coaching staff definitely learned a thing or two about calling plays against an SEC defense.
To start, the atmosphere was unbelievable. In my three-plus years watching Mizzou football, I have never seen a crowd so loud at Faurot Field.
As early as 8:30 a.m. Saturday , I saw Mizzou and Georgia fans up and walking around campus getting ready for what would be a great game of football.
Georgia was winning 24-20 at the end of the third quarter. Then the floodgates opened up.
Georgia kept Mizzou from scoring in the final quarter and ended up posting 17 unanswered points. Early in the fourth quarter, with Mizzou still down by only four points, we were left shaking our heads by a specific play call.
With the ball at Mizzou’s 35-yard line on 4th and 11, Missouri punter Trey Barrow received the snap and - instead of punting the ball and avoiding the risk of not making the first down - Mizzou coaches decided to call for a fake punt. Barrow took the ball and followed three Mizzou blockers. He ended up getting tackled after only gaining three yards and inevitably turning the ball over on downs deep inside Mizzou's side of the field.
I’m all for trick plays and taking risks, but this play call was poorly planned. First off, punters stand anywhere from 10 to 15 yards where the ball is placed. Mizzou was in a 4th and 11 situation, so that means Barrow would have to run 11 yards plus the extra 10 to 15 yards he was back from the original spot of the ball.
You’re telling me Mizzou’s coaching staff is asking a measly punter to run more than 20 yards to try and pick up a first down, despite being very deep in your own part of the field? I’m baffled at this play call for a bunch of reasons.
For one, Mizzou was still close in this game. This play shifted momentum drastically. Your team’s only down by four in its first ever SEC game and you call for a play that asks for a punter to sprint for a first down?
Mizzou coaches, you’ve got to understand that SEC defenses are generally much quicker than Big 12 schools. I’m not saying to never try a fake punt again, but I am saying you have to think about asking a punter to run at least 20 yards for a first down in one of the biggest games of your school’s athletic history.
The game was amazing.
Mizzou fans are disappointed that we lost, but encouraged that we were able to score some points and keep the game close for three full quarters.
The Tigers play Arizona State on Saturday night.