Missouri Football: Report Card Grades for Western Illinois vs. Missouri

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent ISeptember 20, 2011

Missouri Football: Report Card Grades for Western Illinois vs. Missouri

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    The Missouri Tigers football team set all kinds of school records in its 69-0 shellacking of Western Illinois on Saturday night.

    The 69 points ties a school record, while the 744 yards of total offense is also a school record.

    Henry Josey broke out in a big way, but we’ll get to that later. Basically, everything the Tigers tried on Saturday worked out well.

    This was exactly the game they needed heading into a big matchup with No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday.

    Before we get ahead of ourselves though, let’s take a look back at the report card grades from Saturday’s victory.

Quarterback: A

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    James Franklin didn’t need to throw the ball too much against Western Illinois, and that’s okay.

    He finished the game 18-for-25 for 246 yards and three touchdowns.

    He continues to improve in the buildup to Mizzou’s showdown with No. 1 Oklahoma next week.

    Backup QB Jimmy Costello was 2-for-2 for 70 yards and a touchdown in a run-heavy second half.

Running Backs: A+

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    Henry Josey had the best game of the year by a running back, and he only played for the first half.

    In the first half, he had 14 carries for a whopping 263 yards and three touchdowns.

    I would have liked to see him go for the Missouri rushing record in the second half, but I understand why coach Gary Pinkel didn’t want to risk an injury in a pointless half.

    Also, backup RB Jared Culver added 86 rushing yards and a touchdown in the second half. It was a great game all around for Mizzou backs.

Receivers: B+

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    Michael Egnew continues to be a non-factor in the Missouri offense. He only had one catch for 18 yards on Saturday.

    The coaching staff needs to draw up more plays specifically designed to get the excellent tight end the ball.

    The other receivers did well on Saturday though. T.J. Moe led the way with 68 yards and a touchdown on four catches.

    Wes Kemp had a good day too, with two catches (both touchdowns) for 47 yards.

Offensive Line: A

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    The offensive line did a great job creating running room for the backs to scamper through.

    And, they only allowed one sack on the day.

    They need to use this week’s bye week to get healthy though, because they’ll face their toughest test of the season in Oklahoma on Saturday.

Defensive Line: A

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    The D-line managed to keep pressure on the Leathernecks' QB all game long.

    They recorded four sacks, including one by highly touted recruit Sheldon Richardson.

    Brad Madison played well too, also recording a sack.

    The D-line would love to get Jacquies Smith back before the Oklahoma game, though, and right now it looks like they will.

Linebackers: A-

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    Andrew Wilson led the way for the linebackers, recording eight tackles.

    Three of those tackles went for losses for the Leathernecks.

    The backers completely stifled the Western Illinois running game, allowing only 24 rushing yards.

    We’ll see if they can keep that momentum rolling for the rest of the season.

Secondary: A

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    After an absolutely horrible effort against the Arizona State Sun Devils, the secondary bounced back nicely (albeit against a much weaker team).

    Western Illinois finished the game with only 20 (not a typo) passing yards.

    They only allowed four completed passes for the entire game.

    They won’t fare as well against Ryan Broyles and the Sooners, but it was a good sign at least.

Special Teams: A-

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    There’s really not much to talk about here.

    Kicker Grant Ressel hit two field goals, one from 28 yards and one from 25 yards.

    Punter Trey Barrow downed the Leathernecks inside the 20 on his only punt.

    It was a solid effort all around.

Coaching: B

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    As I said earlier, the Tigers need to get Michael Egnew more involved in the offense.

    And, I don’t necessarily like the way Mizzou ran up the score.

    The football gods won’t appreciate that. Though, I think some lenience is necessary, since most of the touchdowns were scored via the running game.

    Dave Steckel’s defense did a great job in the rout as well.

Intangibles: A

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    Everything was clicking for the Tigers on Saturday. Everything that the offense and defense did worked.

    Mizzou fans have to take this with a grain of salt, though, keeping in mind how bad Western Illinois is.

    But, this was exactly the sort of game the Tigers needed after a loss to Arizona State and before a big game in Oklahoma.