Monday, September 10, 2007

Monday Musings

Freshly back from The Grove from which I hope to have pictures later in the week (if I can figure out how to get them on here). Considering Mizzou won’t be down there again for quite some time, just go down there for a game, any game. And to make your trip even better, wear the colors of the opposing team. Trust me on this. But more on this later in the week, for now, back to the lecture at hand.


So each of the last two weeks I have prided myself on being able to bring you something The Boy could not (and in fewer words) and that is THOUGHTS OF SOMEONE WHO SAW THE GAME LIVE IN PERSON :-) Having skimmed the bolded posts (and more so from talking to him on the way back from MS) I know what the game sounded like. Here is what it looked like.

Pretty much the same :-)

Seriously though, I think if you polled most Mizzou fans who witnessed the Illinois game, the biggest priority for Mizzou going into this week was going to be the offensive line. Well, we certainly made some strides in that area this past week, with a stronger running game. The 2nd quarter was as good as I have seen the line since last season, evidenced by Daniel just taking apart the Rebels. The offense, almost 1100 yards into the season, still has some work to do for sure. The line needs to be more consistent, and our WR’s really do need to hang on to the ball more. I still do not have as big of a problem with the playcalling this season on offense as I do with the play execution. Dropped balls and poor blocking have hurt us at many points so far this year, and while they have not come back to bite us in the W-L column, they may at some point.

As for the defense, I do not really know what to say. BJGE tore us up and down the field. The d-line was being substituted en masse in the 2nd half, I am thinking to try to get some fresher bodies in there in the hopes of doing something productive. Van Alexander had a very nice game, but Spoon and Christopher were not called as much. And while we delivered AT LEAST 4 crushing secondary hits, it was only after we had dropped back too far and were aiming to make up the difference. The only thing I can think of is that while it is known that fully offensive packages are not typically installed until about week 4 or so, perhaps it is the same with the defense. I only say this because in the last two weeks, I really do not remember us blitzing…like at all.

A win is a win for me still. Western Michigan has not looked terribly good in their 0-2 start, and this will finally be the home opener, which will be nice. We still have a good amount to work on, but less than after last week on offense. Three more weeks until it all needs to come together. However I am already looking forward to 1pm when it should hopefully be 68 and sunny in Columbia.


Good week for the ladies on the record books, potentially a bad week on the injury report for them. The ladies travelled down to Texas and took out 3 teams to win the tournament. After sweeping UC-Fullerton, the ladies took down Houston 3-1, but lost top-scorer Juliana Klein in that game to a reported hyper-extended knee. Mizzou went on to beat Texas State 3-1 to move to 6-2 overall. No reported word at this time of the length Klein will be out.

The Tigers will finish out their non-conference schedule against UMKC this week, and then take on highly rated Texas in the conference opener on the road. Clearly they can get by the Roos without Klein, I cannot think they will be able to do the same against the Longhorns. In the end, a 7-2 non-conference record is decent given the 5-set matches they ended up playing. Mizzou has a sizable NCAA rep now and does not need to have the shiny record to make the NCAA’s (as proven last year), but they still need to make sure to close out Big XII games better than they did OOC games at times these past couple of weeks.



The #23 Tigers are again off to a tremendous start as they defeated Iowa and Eastern Illinois this past weekend with matching shutouts, 2-0 and 3-0. In fact, they did not allow a SHOT against Eastern Illinois, getting 36 themselves. Honestly, I dont care who you do that against, keeping a team from shooting on net is impressive to say the least.

Freshman Alyssa Bonnick leads in scoring and assists at this point with 9 points (3 goals and 3 assists, goals count for 2 points in tallying statistics). Sophomore Kristen Andrighetto leads the team in goals scored with 4 (but does not start, seems strange to me, but whatever). The Tigers have only given up 20 shots on the season, and sophomore Tasha Dittamore has all 4 wins having given up just 3 goals. The ladies will obviously move up the polls later today when they are released, but their week coming up is going to be a tad tougher than their last one.

The Tigers will travel out to CA to take on Stanford and Santa Clara, two teams ranked currently in the top 5 in the nation. Needless to say, these games will provide the team with a bit better base to compare themselves against othertop teams in the country. In year’s past, Mizzou in OOC has even won some ofthese games before falling apart in the conference season. They have two more weeks before they will take on Big XII opponents, and hopefully this young team will continue to learn and grow (regardless of the outcomes this coming week)and be able to perform better in October and November than they did last season.

Men’s Golf:

Golf is a funny sport in college. There is a fall season, but it does not really count for anything. Of course, the actual season does not count for much anyway either, it pretty much all comes down to the conference, regional and NCAA tourneys later this spring.

In other news, Mizzou gets a hold of a new home course this year, moving away from A.L. Gustin to a brand new place called “The Club at Old Hawthorne” that likely one day will host some pretty nice tournaments. Head Coach Mark Leroux has been able to recruit off of this the past couple of seasons, as shown in a team this past weekend which was 2 juniors, a sophomore and 2 frosh. Interestingly, the frosh shot the best, as Tyler Hillis put up a 74 and William Harrold went with a 75. Overall, the team placed 4th of 6 in Purdue in a tourney that was cut to 18 holes total due to weather (kinda sucks to go all that way to not play more). They will head to Toledo this week to play at the Inverness Invitational.

Women’s Golf:

The ladies got all three rounds in of their tournament this past weekend out in East Lansing, MI and placed last to get the fall season started. Junior Chelsea Schriewer was tops for the ladies, placing a top 10 on the books. Senior Maddie Augustsson came in 16th, and a trio of sophomores rounded it out for the ladies towards the bottom of the pack.

In something of what I can only call a scheduling quirk, the ladies now have almost a month off before they tee it up again out in Manhattan, KS the first two days of October. The ladies will also have the honor of hosting the first tournament at Old Hawthorne this fall, and also get to play in Vegas later this fall,so they have got that going for them, which is nice.

Men’s X-country:

(good lord, I had NO idea everyone started playing this past weekend)

The men took on Murray State this past weekend in the annual romp around A.L Gustin called the Missouri Cross Country Challenge, which in the end is more about high school than college running. The men beat the Racers (ironic) 15-45 (low score wins) and took the top 5 places in the race (top 5 runners for each school are scored starting 1 and counting up until each school has 5 scored). For Mizzou, they actually had the top 6 finish, but only score 5 (1-2-3-4-5=15) and Murray State had 7-8-9-10-11 (=45).

Now that I have that little lesson out of the way, the winner of the race was senior Billy Bell, and the other placers were 3 juniors and two sophomores. Bell beat anyone on Murray State by 3 minutes in an needless to say, it was not close. Coming up next for the men is going to be a trip to Vanderbilt this coming weekend (lovely campus).

Women’s X-Country:

The ladies also competed in the Missouri Cross Country Challenge, also against the team from Murray State. The ladies won their matchup 24-31 with junior Amanda Potrykus taking the top spot and frosh Jessica Armstrong taking 2nd. Overall, it was 1-2-5-6-10 for Mizzou and 3-4-7-8-9 for Murray State (to further that lesson from before). The ladies will join the men in Vanderbilt and Nashville next weekend at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic.

Women’s Tennis:

So the tennis team also enjoys a fall season....who knew?!?!

The ladies were in Iowa this past weekend for the Drake Invitational, and as so aptly put it, they won just about everything you could win. Both flights of singles, the flight of doubles and the backflight (loser’s bracket) of one of the singles and the doubles. So...they did not win the backflight of the “B” group of singles....oh well...not quite the clean sweep :-)

A deeper look into the team shows no seniors at all. Champs of both of the ”winner’s” singles and the “winner’s” doubles were TRUE freshmen. All the more impressive since they have likely been on campus for maybe a month or so. Needless to say, an impressive start, the most impressive for Mallory Weber, who won the “A” flight in singles and then teamed with Kaitlyn Richie to take the”A” flight in doubles later in the day. And special kudos to Maureen Modesto, who played not one, but TWO 3-hour matches yesterday to finally come away the champ of the “B” flight. Again...all these women are true freshmen at this point.

Up next for the team will be a trip out to College Park, MD (one of The Boy’s favorite spots) and a few days at the Maryland Invitational, occurring in a couple of weeks.

Random Thoughts:
· I don’t even want to know the word count on this....good thing I started working on it Sunday night....but coming close to 2,000 words....oy veh. And let me just tell you how much it sucked to reformat this bad boy once I hit the wrong button previewing it.

· Great to see Keith Olbermann back doing sports stuff, working with the NBC Sunday Night version of PrimeTime. I always enjoyed his sports stuff, occasionally like his work on MSNBC (what can I say, am not really a political person) and it brings me back to his days on ESPN. My hope was that he would come back to do one last show with Dan Patrick,but I don’t know that we will ever see that.

· Another nice game by Penn State (the boyhood team of The Beef) this past weekend, their schedule holds home games against Ohio State and Wisconsin this year, perhaps giving them the inside track to the Big 10. However, it wont matter if they go undefeated because....

· WOW does LSU look good. So does OU. I only assume USC will go undefeated also....

· Jose Valverde has 45 saves...if you can tell me what team he plays for, you will get a shoutout in the next one of these :-)

· Never did think that Milwaukee would get back to first place in the NL Central, but good for them for not falling off of the map.

· More coming on The Grove this week....but all I can really say.