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.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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