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Home » How bad was the offense? Grading Mizzou football's performance against Kansas State – Columbia Daily Tribune

How bad was the offense? Grading Mizzou football's performance against Kansas State – Columbia Daily Tribune

MANHATTAN, KAN. — Nothing was great. Not much was remotely good. Missouri football struggled for what felt like the entire game Saturday in Manhattan.
The Tigers struggled in every facet of the game as the hosting Wildcats did whatever they wanted with MU.
Here are post-game grades for Missouri’s 40-12 loss to Kansas State Saturday.
The starting quarterback needed to be a better decision-maker in his second start of the 2022 season, and for the first drive of the game, he did that. He made quick throws, ran when he needed to and got Missouri into a position to score. MU took a 3-0 lead.
After that, he struggled with accuracy when the Tigers needed to be aggressive to get back into the game. Cook had Luther Burden, who had a step on his defender, and overthrew what would’ve been a touchdown.
The deep shots were there, but he couldn’t hit. Backed up in his own end zone, Cook went deep again for Dominic Lovett and underthrew him for an interception. That snuffed any chance for Missouri to build a sign of life in the offense.
Grade: D
The picture hanging for the Missouri football program to see was of Deuce Vaughn. The plan was always to stop Deuce Vaughn. In the first half, the Tigers struggled to stop Deuce Vaughn.
The issue was Adrian Martinez. The Kansas State quarterback’s legs were able to extend drives and put the Wildcats in a position to score. That led to 19 points from the offense.
All that said, the defense still rallied to keep the Tigers in the game. 
It was a respectable improvement, with clear adjustments made by Blake Baker reminiscent to how MU adjusted to hold Texas A&M’s offense last season. Just like that game, however, the offense struggled to get anything going. 
There’s not much the defense can do when the offense throws interceptions on four straight drives.
When Vaughn sliced through the defense for his final touchdown of the game, it ended the contest. Vaughn finished with 141 yards on 24 carries and two scores.
The defense did all it could. 
Grade: B-
If the Tigers’ offense was stagnant, the special teams did nothing to help the cause.
Kris Abrams-Draine’s decision not to catch punts allowed Kansas State to back the Tigers up on their own goal line. When Abrams-Draine did have the chance to return kicks, he waived for fair catches.
Sean Koetting shanked a punt that gave Kansas State great field position. Kansas State also returned a punt for a touchdown.
The unit did block an extra point, but that does little to help the final grade. The unit was abysmal on a day when it could have swung the tide of the game.
Grade: D
The Tigers sat at 198 offensive yards in the final minutes of the game. Eli Drinkwitz, with his plethora of transfers and high-profile recruits, could not move the ball effectively against Kansas State.
The plays meant to get around the edge could never get there. Luther Burden was nowhere to be seen when he needed to be there. The deep shots couldn’t connect, be it talent-related or some form of disconnect.
Drinkwitz, who entrusted his defense to a third defensive coordinator in three years, struggled to show growth in his play-calling. His aggressive shots were accompanied by bad decisions. 
It was a terrible day for the offense. 
Grade: D
Chris Kwiecinski is the sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune, overseeing University of Missouri and Boone County sports coverage. Follow him on Twitter @OchoK_ and contact him at [email protected] or 573-815-1857.

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