Daily Grind 11.16

I’m not sure I have ever led with something positive about college football, but I was thoroughly entertained. 

Congratulations to the Missouri Tigers, who returned from College Station, Texas via the ole ‘happy flight’. Mizzou rattled off 28 third-quarter points en route to a 34-27 win despite a persistent, nagging rain and the deafening 104,756 Aggie faithful in attendance. Any road win against a legitimate SEC program is impressive, and the Tigers mined through a bevy of adversity to secure the win.

A GAME OF SWINGS

  • Mizzou settled for a field goal in the second quarter after Bud Sasser had a TD called back for a questionable illegal pick. One possession later, Armani Watts picked off a desperate, errant Maty Mauk pass and the Aggies ended the half with a late field goal. The Aggies had momentum and a 13-6 lead at halftime. 
  • Tied at 20 in the 3rd quarter, Russell Hansbrough ran for a 45-yard score on a crucial 3rd-and-1. Mizzou finished 13-for-21 (62%) on third down.
  • Up 14, Mizzou botched a pooch kick attempt, giving the Aggies life. Kyle Allen engineered a 12-play, 57-yard scoring drive to cut the deficit to seven points. A&M had life. 
  • Trying to make it a two-possession game, Andrew Baggett rang a 49-yard field goal try off the right goalpost. But the Tiger defense bailed him out, getting a huge defensive stop on 4th-and-1 at the Missouri 2-yard line.
  • On the game’s final drive, Mizzou’s offense struck again. Mauk, standing on his own goal line found Jimmie Hunt for a 10-yard completion before Marcus Murphy sealed the win with a two yard run on third down. That’s big time execution.  

Before tonight, Texas A&M under Kevin Sumlin (2012):
18-2 in night games
13-5 at home

Gary Pinkel’s Tigers are now 12-3 in SEC games since last year. (2nd only to Alabama, 13-3)

So I’ll hold off on critiquing the pass-addict coordinator and the absurd ‘clock stopping on first down’ nonsense. Mizzou fought tirelessly and kept their SEC Championship hopes alive. Heck of a game. Now good luck at Tennessee; the Vols put up 60 points against Florida.

BLUES STAY HOT

The Note is 10-1 in their last 11 games. The “S-T-L” (Schwartz, Tarasenko, Lehtera) line has at least one goal in all eight November games.

The goaltending is sufficient and things are clicking on all cylinders.
Last night, for example, Washington gets a bad, game-tying goal on Brian Elliott to start the 2nd period. The Blues responded perfectly: the intensity level rose, Ryan Reaves won the heavyweight title, and sure enough, the “STL” line punched in a go-ahead goal.

As Mike Shannon would say, “man, these Blues are some-kinda-hot”.

Longtime NHL defenseman turned coach, turned broadcaster Brent Peterson told me Thursday night:

  1. Vladimir Tarasenko reminds him of Pavel Bure.
  2. Ryan Reaves is the most skillful enforcer in the NHL.

Long may you run, Blue Notes. They leave for a nine-day, 4-game trip through Boston (11-8), Montreal (13-4-1), Ottawa (8-5-4), and Winnipeg (9-7-2).

DENVER

I intended to write a big preview for the Broncos game, but figured it a waste of time.

The only way for the Rams to even have a SHOT today is to attack Peyton Manning and put him under duress for four quarters. Not three, not a half–all four quarters of relentless hell.

Prediction: Broncos 41 Rams 20
Perhaps the Rams stay competitive with Denver until they wake up. With a noon central kick, the Broncos will benefit from the Bull Shit Offense, er, the Brian Schottenheimer Offense (which seemingly always runs an hour behind) before going on their inevitable scoring binge. Perhaps it will include a late 1st half Shaun Hill “pick-6”.

The last time I was this adamant about the Rams losing a football game, they won- knocking off a 10-3 Saints team Week 15 last year with Kellen Clemens at quarterback.

At the least, enjoy watching Manning (live) for likely the final time.

Thanks for reading.

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