December 30, 2008

Alamo Bowl Grades

Missouri beat Northwestern 30-23 in overtime in what could best be described as an uneven effort. PowerMizzou.com hands out the grades from the Tigers' tenth win to cap the 2008 season.

Quarterback

Chase Daniel threw three picks, totalled 200 yards and missed receivers by so much you had to wonder if his vision was hampered. But he also led his team to a game-tying field goal, put them in position for the game winner and threw a touchdown pass that provided the winning score. If he deserves blame for the first three-and-a-half quarters (and he does), he deserves some credit for the final eight minutes.

Final Grade: C-

Linebackers

Who was the last Missouri linebacker to play a better game than Sean Weatherspoon? Maybe a better question is has there ever been one. Spoon was dominant last night. Brock Christopher had an interception, and nearly two. The Tigers were not beaten on the dink and dunk routes or in the running game, they were beaten over the top.

Final Grade: A

Special Teams

The only way it could possibly have been better is if Jeff Wolfertr made the 44-yard kick at the end of regulation. And if his coach had not surrendered three yards for no apparent reason, he might have. The Tigers do not win the game without Maclin's punt return. Jake Harry was phenomenal. The kickoff coverage did a 180 since the Kansas game.

Final Grade: A+

Coaching

The Tigers didn't seem particularly interested in the game at the beginning and killed themselves with turnovers and silly penalties. Those are two things Gary Pinkel has always prided himself on. Both were awful last night. The team stepped up and made plays when they had to, but the clock management in the final few plays before Wolfert's game-winning try was mystifying to be kind. When the opposing coaching staff has told its team that Missouri will lose patience and abandon the running game, it's clear a re-examination needs to be done yesterday. It was a win, but it wasn't the finest hour on the sidelines.

Final Grade: D


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