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A tough loss to Kentucky leaves us wondering what’s next?

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It’s tough, I know.

I watched a Missouri team in the first half who looked like the better team. But like usual they committed a lot of mental mistakes and had a bunch of near misses which left points or opportunities on the field.

  • On Mizzou’s first drive a block in the back took a touch down away and moved the Tigers from the 19 yard line to the 29 yard line. The Tigers failed to gain another first down and instead settled for a field goal attempt, which was blocked.
  • On their third drive, Drew Lock had a streaking Albert Okwuegbunam open over the middle of the field on 3rd down. He missed the throw putting the ball too far in front of Albert O. and Mizzou was forced to punt.
  • In the first drive of the second half, the Tigers had an ugly 3&out complete with a holding penalty.
  • FIVE straight possessions ending after three plays and a punt, the last punt in the series was returned for a touchdown, giving Kentucky life.
  • Then on the ensuing possession the Tigers had three straight passes which went incomplete. So they punted again.
  • This time, an interception by Demarkus Acy gave the Tigers hope and good field position. Not so fast my friend, an illegal block in the back forced Missouri back to the 19 yard line.
  • On 3rd and 2, with 1:41 on the clock and Kentucky with just a single timeout remaining, Missouri opted to attempt a pass instead of keeping the ball on the ground.

Keep the ball on the ground and you force UK to expend a timeout to preserve clock. A timeout they used when Missouri got to the quarterback on 1st and 10 at the 20 and sacked Terry Wilson. There were 9 seconds on the clock when they called timeout.

  • Five more seconds on the clock ticked off on a 17 yard pass which brought the ball to the 10 yard line where this happened:

I didn’t do this as a means to reopen any wounds, but more as an exercise for myself.

It feels like Missouri is close. Watching them it’s easy to see they play with passion for their head coach and that’s step one. They’re able to beat the teams they should beat, that’s step two. The issue is step three. And that’s making winning plays against good teams.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Barry Odom and Drew Lock are tied at the hip through a twisted series of unfortunate events which saw Odom thrust into the head coaching job before he was ready, taking over for a coach Drew Lock had committed to play for. Odom needed more seasoning, and so did his Quarterback, but there they were taking lumps together through a season and a half before anything looked like it started to click. Their record together is indefensible, and it’s ugly.

Every time it feels like the Tigers are about to turn the corner something twists the road in front of them with another detour. How many more detours can the team continue to embark on with Barry Odom while entrusting the current path forward is the right one? I’m honestly asking because I’m not sure. If you read this site you know I rarely comment on football, and when I do I’m usually fairly positive about it. And the truth is I still am.

When you’re a program like Missouri with limited resources you have to be more careful than one with far more. It’s why Kentucky has stuck with Mark Stoops, and despite having a flawed team in Lexington, he’s being rewarded with a team who is inexplicably 7-1. It’s also probably the last time Kentucky will be 7-1 for long time. So where does that leave Missouri?

They’ve got a team who’s struggled to a 4-4 record, and should be 6-2. In the words of Ben Frederickson:

Ben is right. You, Mr. Fan, are right to be frustrated. It was frustrating to watch the events unfold last night. And infuriating also. There are other adverbs I could throw in with but that seems enough for now. I’m not sure I know of anyone who wants to see Barry Odom fail (I should add the caveat to the Mizzou realm on that one), I only know of a lot of people who want to see Odom succeed.

It’s possible, even at this point, Missouri has the right guy. There was always going to be a learning curve for Mizzou when they hired a coach who had one season as a Power Conference coordinator and zero college head coaching experience. I think Odom can be the guy Mizzou wants if you can disregard the timeline.

The only question is how long of a timeline can Mizzou realistically afford?

Ok, some game stories:

STLToday.com: Mizzou collapses against No 12 Kentucky, loses on final play

KansasCity.com: Where does Missouri go after its devastating loss to No 12 Kentucky?

ColumbiaTribune.com: Kentucky stuns Missouri with a touchdown on final play

TheManeater.com: Mizzou falls short of beating ranked opponent despite defensive gem

I don’t expect Missouri to win at the Swamp next week, but I do think they need to win their final three games to get a sense we’re on the right path.


Notable Tweets

How’d that work out?

EEEE-LITE RE-CROOTER:

We all wanna know, Mrs Rogers.

At least Jim Sterk is all of us


Other things:

The SEC had a day, even if it was pretty quiet:

  • Georgia 36, Florida 17
  • Mississippi State 28, Texas A&M 13
  • Vanderbilt 45, Arkansas 31
  • South Carolina 27, Tennessee 24