Score: Mizzou 51, Vanderbilt 28
It was over when: Two first quarter touchdown passes and two field goals in the first quarter gave Missouri a 20-0 lead that Vanderbilt could never recover from.
Player of the Game: James Franklin was everything he needed to be in Nashville. Franklin was 19-28 for 278 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for an additional 63 yards.
Fun Stat: Missouri rushed for 245 yards in the game even though they had no ball carrier rush for over 70 yards.
1. James Franklin (Quarterback)
Vanderbilt is the best defense Franklin has seen this season and he passed the test with flying colors. Georgia’s defense is going to pose some issues for the Tigers, but when looking at the season as a whole Missouri has to be encouraged.
2. Time of Possession
For a team that can move up and down the field quickly, Missouri displayed the ability to hold onto the ball when they needed to. Mizzou had only four fewer seconds of possession than Vanderbilt, even though they had four possessions that lasted under two minutes.
While time of possession had little baring on this game, it is something that is important to be able to do if they want to close out games against teams like Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
3. Third Down Defense
Mizzou help Vanderbilt to 5-14 on third downs. The better Mizzou is on third down, the better the chance they’ll have to make noise in the SEC East.
How much of it was scheme after the early 20-0 lead and how much of it is an inherent problem is something to dissect over the next week. Mizzou allowed 468 yards to an average Vanderbilt offense, and had issues slowing down Austyn Carta-Samuels after his terrible first quarter start.
Also keep in mind that from the second quarter on, the score was 31-28. Yes, you can’t ignore the first quarter, which is why no one should be in panic mode. But passing off the defensive performance in the last three quarters would be just as silly.
2. Third Down Offenese
Missouri was 4-11 on third down, which was reduced in significance by their ability to convert two fourth downs.
A 5-0 start means very high expectations moving forward. If Missouri finished the season 8-4, which would be a stark improvement from last season, it would be considered something of a disappointment after the strong start. Missouri needs to find at least one win against Georgia, South Carolina, and/or Florida.
Missouri travels to Georgia to play the best team in the SEC East. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. on ESPN.
“CAN’T NOBODY HOLD ME DOWN” PUFF DADDY AND MASE