Kansas City, MO (KMOV) -- The Missouri Tigers may well make a comeback in this game, and if they do, it will be in large part to the fans. The first third down for Kansas in the second half and the stadium is shaking with the roars of Tiger fans, felt even in the placid confines of the Arrowhead press box and certainly on the field, where Kansas is forced to take a timeout. For a neutral-field game, the fans have been loud and involved, affecting both offenses.
Forgive me for stepping up on a soap box, but I'll only be a while. I couldn't find a soap box that wasn't made out of paper board, so I'll actually be sitting for this rant. Hope you don't mind.
The scheme that the Tigers defensive coordinator is implementing doesn't make sense. Can someone please direct him to the part of the field located to the left and right of the tackle box known to many as "the flat?" Perhaps he has forgotten about it. When the inside slot receiver is covered by the strong safety, who lines up nine yards from the line of scrimmage, he is going to run to this apparently mythical area of the field. And, surprise, he will be open, every time.
Also, why is our All-American free safety William Moore stuck in coverage on every down while Kenji Jackson, a good player, don't get me wrong, roams the field in his place? We need plays, and to make plays you need, surprise again, playmakers in a position to do what they do best. That does not mean sticking Moore in coverage. He should be ball-hawking and putting big hits on receivers over the middle, a part of the field that has also been, coincidentally, open all game for the Jayhawks.
Successes by the defense in this game continue to be despite the scheme and due to the talent and heart of the individual players. Case in point: the last interception was created by a hard-working defensive tackle getting his hands up and finishing the play strongly.
These players deserve to give their all in a better way, but I'll step down from my soap box now, err, keep sitting here.
Missouri does keep stubbornly kicking to Dezmon Briscoe also. We don't have the only super-talented kick returner in the league. And secondly, the guy has a 'z' in his name and is faster than lightning. Don't kick him the ball.
So, coming up to the end of the third quarter, let's do a list:
Top five of the game:
-- Throngs of people flooding into the stadium, filling the concourses and ramps with chants of M-I-Z-Z-O-U.
-- The faux spar between Jay the Jayhawk and Truman the Tiger, thankfully ending with no ruffled feathers or cat-fighting.
-- Chase Coffman's gritty performance, limping off after a play or two but soldiering back into the lineup as soon as he could.
-- J-Mac's resurgence in the second half, bringing the razzle dazzle back to Mizzou's offense.
-- The gutsy defensive performance, despite running a game plan that could have been designed by my grandmother's poodle Annabell.
Lee Morehouse is a Journalism student at the University of Missouri