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Mizzou Football: Drinkwitz gets creative in trying to fix team's offensive line penalties


The Missouri Tigers football team moved to 7-1 this past Saturday after a 34-12 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks. That makes two straight victories over SEC opponents in Kentucky and South Carolina, in which Mizzou has outscored a combined 72-33.

Mizzou has steadily improved on both sides of the ball as the season has progressed and you could even argue that the team was a couple plays away from being 8-0. In recent weeks since the team's loss to LSU that was filled with mistakes and missed opportunities, the Tigers have been able to clean up some mistakes which has led to a larger margin of victory.

The biggest area of improvement for the Tigers in the last couple games has been the penalties. Penalties were a big reason why Missouri failed to pull off the upset over LSU, and head coach Eli Drinkwitz even mentioned that the team had been "living on the edge a little bit" with all of the mistakes they were making.

Missouri accumulated a season high 11 penalties in their loss to LSU and had struggled to stay disciplined prior to that game. In fact, Missouri has struggled with penalties dating back to last season, with the main culprit being the offensive line.

Missouri's offensive line has committed several big penalties over the past few years, with many of them even calling back touchdowns and they've really hurt the Tigers' ability to finish games. Players such as offensive guard Cam'Ron Johnson and center Connor Tollison lead the offensive line unit in penalties and have been repeat offenders with holding penalties and illegal snaps.

Desperate to clean up the offensive line issues, Drinkwitz went outside the box in order to try and fix the problem. In his postgame press conference following the team's 34-12 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks, Drinkwitz stated that the team brought officials in to officiate practice which he believes has led to improved discipline on the offensive line.

"We brought in officials. Dead serious." Said Drinkwitz

The idea seems to have paid off as Missouri committed just one penalty along the offensive line in the team's win over South Carolina and had their lowest amount of penalties of the season just the week before against Kentucky.

Many in and around the program feel like the Tigers are still far from putting together their best game, but it's very encouraging that the improvement from the offensive line in staying disciplined has directly correlated to two big wins for the Tigers with rather large margins of victory. The creativity from Drinkwitz in finding ways to correct the team's problems that had long been hurting them and his overall growth as a coach has been a huge part of why the team is 7-1 heading into the bye week.

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