COLUMBIA, Mo. (Missouri Football App) -- The Missouri Tigers woke up Monday morning with a respectable 2-1 record after defeating Arizona State on Saturday 24-20.
Mizzou took the field Saturday night without their regular starting quarterback, junior James Franklin. Franklin was sidelined due to a sore throwing arm, so redshirt freshman quarterback Corbin Berkstresser got his first career start.
Arizona State trailed 24-7 after three quarters, but ended up scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter to make things close. But eventually the Tigers held on to win the game.
One thing I'm critical about is Mizzou’s choice of play call.
I realize the Tigers started a redshirt freshman quarterback in Corbin Berkstresser, but overall this season I think they are severely mismanaging the talent of wide receivers.
If you’re unfamiliar with some of Mizzou’s top wide receivers, the important ones to know are junior L’Damian Washington, junior Marcus Lucas and freshman Dorial Green-Beckham. Green-Beckham was one of the nation’s top high school football recruits coming into this season. He's originally from Springfield, Missouri and decided to take his football talents a little north to Columbia, Missouri.
Washington stands at 6’4, Lucas stands at 6’5 and Green-Beckham stands at 6’6. Combine all of their heights, athleticism and speed and that should create a nightmare for an opposing defense.
Despite having those great physical assets, in terms of wide receivers, the Tigers continue to underutilize these passing options.
Most of the time, cornerbacks are no taller than 6 feet. Mizzou should be taking advantage of their wide receivers' speed and height to make a big play when needed. I'm not saying it's easy, but throwing the ball and allowing your tall receivers to jump higher than the shorter cornerback/defender is an elementary thought.
On Saturday, out of Washington, Lucas and Green-Beckham, Lucas led the three receivers with four receptions for just 35 yards.
I realize that Berkstresser started the game and he’s just a freshman, but these thoughts are not new to me. The Tigers have not maximized their offensive potential with Berkstresser OR Franklin.
I just don’t understand how Mizzou struggles on offense sometimes. I know they play some tough defenses, but they should be putting up some better passing numbers with the wide receiver options they have.
Throw in the speedy T.J. Moe, and this offense could be lethal. And many times, opposing defenses have to account for the speed of Franklin too.
I know that Mizzou is 2-1 and has occasionally shown flashes of offensive brilliance, but there's so much more to be had.
We're going to need it too as the months get colder here in Columbia and at away games. The opposing teams in the SEC get tougher too. I pray that head coach Gary Pinkel will figure it out and starts making one of Mizzou’s greatest assets become a college football nightmare.