Jeremy Maclin returned a punt 75 yards after Stryker Sulak sacked CJ Bacher forcing a third and long situation.  The Tiger offense has stumbled and while the MU defense has made mental mistakes, they’ve actually kept the game close.

In the first half, the key to Northwestern’s defense is they did a good job of clogging up the middle taking away Derrick Washington’s running lanes.  Just as I knew they would, they kept the plays in front of their secondary.  I was completely satisfied with Missouri taking the short 6-7 yard pass plays, yet at times Daniel and the offense failed to convert or made mistakes that stalled drives.

On Missouri’s first drive, Jeremy Maclin and Jared Perry ran to the same spot on the field, a pass tipped of Maclin and was intercepted.  Then on the Wildcats first drive, CJ Bacher found his receiver Peterman who beat William Moore after Moore slipped.

I will say this about Mizzou’s defense, the bent, but they didn’t break in the first half.  Despite the slip by Moore, uncharacteristic three offside penalties, and allowing Northwestern to convert on 8 of 12 third down conversions, they held the Wildcats to 10 points.

Do you want to know the difference between a player who is ready for the NFL and one who isn’t?  See Maclin’s punt return…not the fact it was a bad kick and poor coverage, but look at his speed.  That’s why Maclin will be a first round pick.  Then, think back to Chase Daniel.  There he was misfiring on third down conversions, forcing throws when he’s getting hit resulting in a cheap turnover for NU at midfield.

I’ve been saying it ever since the Oklahoma State game, when the pressure is on, Daniel folds. 

Keys to the second half:  Slow NU running Tyrell Sutton.  Work on getting the ball to Chase Coffman more.  Daniel must eliminate dumb mistakes.