KCCD Editor: Jason Madson
First game of the college football season for me was a trip to Columbia, MO. The University of Missouri showed off a brand new press box, which is a huge improvement over the old version. The product on the field looks improved as well. The Tigers being fully healthy has something to do with that. Check out my thoughts on a few players from Mizzou, as well as Murray State, inside.
#9 WR/KR/PR Walter Powell
Halftime Thoughts: Super impressive player. He is making plays all over the field. Special teams return man and involved on punt coverage. Getting into the head of Mizzou’s best defender EJ Gaines.
-Lined up out wide most snaps. Took some snaps in the slot. Returned punts and kicks and was a gunner on the punt coverage unit.
-Very shifty after the catch. Made the first man miss on each of his first to catches. The 2nd catch he stopped on a dime, turned it up-field, broke a tackle to get into the endzone.
-On his TD catch, he sat underneath the zone until his QB found him, made the catch and turned it up field.
-On a streak up the sideline on third and long, he had the Mizzou DB beat by 2 steps, but the QBs throw was inaccurate. Decent throw gets him into the endzone for a long TD.
-As a gunner on the punt coverage unit, he gets off a block and makes an open-field tackle on talented return man Marcus Murphy.
Thoughts: Was a big part of the Racer offense early in the first half, getting the best of Mizzou CB EJ Gaines on a couple plays. He showed that he can be a nice compliment to an offense, but not the main attraction. Gaines shut down the FCS All-American from the 2nd quarter on. This game was a nice introduction for me to Walter Powell. His versatility was most impressive. Playing inside and out, returning kicks and covering punts; all at a high level.
#13 QB Maikhail Miller***
Halftime Thoughts: Although he is not draft eligible (true sophomore) MM is somebody to keep an eye on for the future. With the NFL looking for “dual threat” options MM is a great prospect. He’s built like a LB but moves extremely well. His mechanics could use some work, but the clay is there for the molding. Reminds me of former Minnesota QB/WR Marqueis Gray.
-Thick build, athletic QB.
-Showing off his running skills early and often in this game. Keeping Mizzou on their heels in this first quarter, throwing when he gets out of the pocket.
-Falls forward to finish every run. Tough, powerful runner.
-Catches a TD pass on a throwback from the running back. Full speed towards the sideline, cuts back inside to make the Mizzou defender look silly. High steps into the endzone.
-Offers agility in his play. Making defenders miss when he is running in the open field.
-Was under a lot of pressure tonight. His decision making could use some help, as he could’ve taken the sack on a couple of his interceptions, instead of throwing it up for grabs.
Thoughts: As said above, has skills that could translate to the next level. His arm is plenty strong, just a few refinements to his motion and decision making. Going to keep an eye on Maikhail to see how he develops over the next 2+ seasons.
Head to page 2 for my thoughts on some of the NFL talent Mizzou has to offer.