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Missouri’s Jim Sterk on football struggles: “Somehow they lost focus.”

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk spoke to both the Post-Dispatch and KC Star on Wednesday. I’ll say this: he has the ability to deliver AD speak in what feels like a very candid, engaging manner.

“Somehow they lost focus”:

Asked if he was concerned that Odom had lost his team, Sterk said, “No, because I see them in the locker room and in meetings. (But) somehow they lost focus between practices during the week and then the game.”

“Yeah, it’s a challenge,” he added. “I think they’ve got a lot to do. But I think the kids are behind him, and the coaches are together and they’ll develop a good game plan and I expect a heck of a lot better game this Saturday.”

Even if “how?” is a legitimate question.

Georgia 2014:

Q: Your track record suggests you favor end-of-year evaluations when it comes to reviewing a coach's performance. Is that a set standard?

A: "I don't think it's fair to the coaches, or the players. So, that's something that you evaluate at the end of the year. That's not unusual for me, and most people are that way. You've got not only coaches themselves, but the families of coaches. There are a lot of people connected to the program, about 60-70 people who are impacted by that. I take that very, very seriously. You want to protect those coaches, families, kids. And the student athletes. And it's unfair to judge after three games. In 2014, we got beat 34-0 by Georgia. Then won the East division. There are things that can happen. You can make really positive moves. So you don't want to judge anything too early."

“We had momentum”

Last Saturday’s dispiriting 35-3 loss to Purdue at home represented a new low point. Sterk didn’t sugarcoat the fiasco, but for the record he refused to write off the season.

“We have nine games left. It’s important for us to focus on each of those games and move forward,” Sterk said. “(I’m) disappointed from the standpoint of we had momentum at the end of last year, two out of three, beating a couple of bowl teams down the stretch and having 10 of 11 offensive starters back.

“For us to be successful, we’ve got to score points. From the first three weeks, we need a big jump in the rest of the nine games.”

All three pieces are very much worth reading in full. He talks about fan engagement, the success of the athletic department as a whole (16 of 20 sports making the postseason), the challenges of having a smaller fan base than other SEC schools, etc. Do give them your clicks.

More Football Links:

More Links: