Craig's Corner: Experiencing SEC Football - The Missourian: Sports

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Craig's Corner: Experiencing SEC Football

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Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012 6:00 am | Updated: 8:31 am, Thu Sep 13, 2012.

As you know by now, the Missouri Tigers played their first-ever SEC football game last Saturday, losing at Faurot Field to Georgia, 41-20.

After a late Friday night of high school football, I made the trip to Columbia Saturday to experience some of the pregame festivities and to take in my first SEC football contest.

There’s a lot to talk about, both on and off the field.

Coming into the game, my two biggest concerns for the Tigers were their running game on offense and just their overall defense and how they would stop Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who is arguably the best signal-caller in the SEC.

Missouri’s defense surprised me with how well it played, especially in the first half.

The Tigers put pressure on Murray, stopped the run and forced a turnover or two.

Mizzou held a 10-9 lead at halftime.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who referred to Georgia’s game as “old man football,” actually backed up his words and played well.

By the way, Richardson apologized to Georgia Coach Mark Richt after the game about his remarks.

Things changed for the MU defense in the second half.

I believe the MU defense just ran out of gas from the emotional start and all the success in the first half.

While linebacker Zaviar Gooden’s injury is a concern, I am encouraged by the defense for the remainder of the season.

My concern for Mizzou’s rushing game turned out to be on the money.

There was no running game to speak of. MU rushed for 102 yards on 39 attempts for a 2.6 average.

That’s not going to get it done.

Yes, the offensive line is beat up, but either you have to really work hard on getting guys like Kendial Lawrence and Marcus Murphy going, or just throw the darn running game out the window and let quarterback James Franklin either throw or run every time.

Speaking of Franklin, he didn’t have the greatest night. He missed some open receivers. He’ll get better.

I don’t want to be mean, but the offensive line actually played better after left tackle Elvis Fisher left the game with an injury. Franklin was getting punished while Fisher was in the game.

Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones abused the Tigers. If there’s a better defensive player in the country, I’d like to see him.

The Bulldogs played without four suspended defensive starters. MU’s offense should have been better. Welcome to the SEC.

After two games, it’s time to get freshman receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation’s No. 1 recruit last year, more involved. He had one catch for five yards against Georgia.

Another tremendous concern is the kicking game. Not sure if Andrew Baggett is the answer.

Look, Georgia was the preseason favorite to win the SEC East and currently is a top 10 team in the country.

Not every SEC game will be this tough, but none will be easy.

And what about Missouri’s uniforms? I guess once a year to go crazy is fine, but let’s not get too flashy. This isn’t Oregon. Let’s just play football.

It was a great atmosphere inside and outside of the stadium.

There were a ton of Georgia fans in Columbia.

I would say there were probably 10,000 Georgia fans actually inside the stadium for the game, but I bet there were another 20,000 fans who did not have tickets, but still made the trip.

That gives you an idea of just how huge SEC football really is in states like Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida.

The interaction between the two fan bases was very friendly. I didn’t see any problems at all. I think the two sides were more less just feeling each other out.

As a matter of fact, there were published reports that came out Sunday that Georgia fans were complaining that Mizzou fans were too nice.

As time goes on, the hatred will build.

A lot of MU fans were cheering that Kansas lost to Rice. That mindset needs to change. The Jayhawks are old news. We should’ve been cheering that Arkansas lost to Louisiana-Monroe.

It will take time to switch from Big 12 to SEC mode.

Can you imagine? There were 20,000 Georgia fans who made the trip to Columbia even though they did not have tickets to the game. They just set up shop outside of the stadium and made a weekend party out of it—eating, drinking and watching the game on television.

As a Missouri fan, would you drive to Athens, Ga., without a ticket to the game and watch it on TV outside of the stadium? I wouldn’t either.

Wait until Alabama visits Columbia Oct. 13. It will be pure madness.

It’s going to take everyone involved with Mizzou Nation, players, coaches and fans, a little time to get used to this SEC thing.

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Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament

Thursday, July 17

At Westhoff Park

G1 (1) West 11, (8) Pacific 1

G2 (4) St. Charles 17, (5) Elsberry 2

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G3 (3) Washington 4, (6) Wentzville 0

G4 (2) Daniel Boone 8, (7) St. Peters 2

Friday, July 18

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G5 Elsberry 8, Pacific 3

G6 St. Peters 9, Wentzville 1

At Westhoff Park

G7 St. Charles 4, West 1

G8 Daniel Boone 7, Washington 4

Saturday, July 19

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G9 Washington 9, Elsberry 4

G10 West 9, St. Peters 6

G12 West 14, Washington 1

At Westhoff Park

G11 St. Charles def. Daniel Boone (fft)

Sunday, July 20

Rest at Westhoff Park

G13 Championship — West 2, St. Charles 1 (13 innings)

Monday, July 21

G14 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 13, West 11

Zone 1 Senior Legion Tournament

At Lindenwood University, St. Charles

Thursday, July 24

G1 West 13, Daniel Boone Post 262 8

G2 Jefferson City Post 5 11, Hannibal Post 55 2

Friday, July 25

G3 West 11, St. Charles Post 312 1

G4 Daniel Boone 10, Hannibal 2

Saturday, July 26

G5 Jefferson City 9, West 2

G6 St. Charles 11, Daniel Boone 0

G7 West 6, St. Charles 2

Sunday, July 27

G8 Championship — West 11, Jefferson City 0

G9 If-Needed Game — Jefferson City 14, West 12

Jefferson City advances to state tournament in Sedalia.

Ninth District Junior Legion Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 Elsberry 4, St. Peters 3

G14 Championship — Washington 3, Elsberry 1

Washington wins district, to host Zone 1 Tournament at Borgia. Schedule below.

Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament

At Borgia

Thursday, June 17

G1 Elsberry Post 226 10, Chillicothe Post 25 2

Friday, June 18

G2 Washington Post 218 5, Elsberry 1

G3 Chillicothe 5, Elsberry 4

Saturday, June 19

G4 Championship — Washington 16, Chillicothe 0 (5 innings)

Washington advances to State Tournament in Jackson.

Junior Legion State Tournament

At Jackson

Thursday, July 24

G1 Jackson 3, Springfield Glendale 2

G2 Eureka 7, Sedalia 0

Friday, June 25

G3 Jackson 8, Washington 3

G4 Springfield Glendale 8, Sedalia 3

G5 Jackson 4, Eureka 2

G6 Washington 8, Springfield Glendale 0

Saturday, June 26

G7 Eureka 11, Washington 10 (9 innings)

G8 Championship — Jackson 7, Eureka 6

Jackson advances to Regional Tournament in Leavenworth, Kan.

Sunday, June 27

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 1 p.m.

Freshman Legion Ninth District Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 Elsberry-Winfield 8, St. Peters 3

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 1

G14 Championship — St. Charles 5, Washington 2

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 2, Washington 0

Missouri Freshman

Legion State Tournament

At Rotary Recreational

Complex - Ronsick Field

Wednesday, July 16

G1 Creve Coeur Post 397 16, St. Robert Post 331 2

G2 Ste. Genevieve Post 150 4, St. Charles Post 312 0

G3 Jackson Post 158 1, vs. Springfield Glendale Merchants 0

G4 Washington Post 218 9, Eureka Post 177 4

Thursday, July 17

G5 Springfield Glendale 11, St. Robert 1 (St. Robert eliminated)

G6 St. Charles 10, Eureka 2 (Eureka eliminated)

G7 Ste. Genevieve 4, Creve Coeur 2

G8 Washington 12, Jackson 10

Friday, July 18

G9 Jackson 12, Springfield Glendale 0 (Springfield Glendale eliminated)

G10 Creve Coeur 8, St. Charles 3 (St. Charles eliminated)

G11 Ste. Genevieve 3, Washington 2

G12 Creve Coeur 11, Jackson 7 (Jackson eliminated)

Saturday, July 19

G13 Washington 8, Creve Coeur 3 (Creve Coeur eliminated)

G14 Championship—Washington 5, Ste. Genevieve 2

Sunday, July 20

G15 Championship Game 2—Washington 3, Ste. Genevieve 0

Great Midwest Football League

July 19

Missouri Cyclones 34, Illinois Justice 0

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian First

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    First

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    PPD

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    Third

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

*Indicates League Games

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