The Missouri Tigers picked the absolute worst time to play their worst game of the 2019 season. They nearly had a chance to get away with it too, by playing a basement-dwelling Vanderbilt team. In the 21-14 loss to the Commodores, Missouri’s chances of finishing atop the SEC East took an enormous hit. But maybe more importantly, it’s the second damaging loss in a season that had so much potential.
My offensive player of the game: N/A
My defensive player of the game: Cameron Wilkins: One interception with a career-high eight tackles.
This is worse than the Wyoming loss
Vanderbilt is worse than Wyoming. I know it’s been said, but the previous week the Commodores were handed a 34-10 loss to UNLV (Wyoming beat that UNLV team 53-17 btw!).
The Wyoming loss happened in Week One, it was flukey, and to Missouri’s credit they rebounded with five straight wins. Recovering from this debacle is going to be a bigger challenge, because this week they go on the road and face a Kentucky team who isn’t great, but are trying to salvage their season. Just like Vandy.
Missouri had everything to play for this past weekend; they were back in the Top 25 and controlled their own destiny in the SEC East. What transpired was a disaster, and Brandon Kiley called it the worst loss of Barry Odom’s career. It’s hard to disagree.
Losing means Missouri has no room for error if they want to accomplish great things. Which leads to the next point...
Why can’t Missouri seem to win on the road?
Is this version of the Tigers what they are at this point? Which is a really good home team and a bad road team?
Winning on the road in college football isn’t easy, but should be when playing teams down a level like Wyoming and Vanderbilt. Did they overlook both opponents? You can’t overlook anyone at this level or you’ll get beaten, and the Tigers have shown that’s the case and are 5-2 because of it.
There are three more road games left this season, and until they win their first, it’s hard to expect them to win any of them. Prove you can win away from Faurot Field.
Everybody has to shoulder the blame for this loss
It all starts at the top. Barry Odom has been under a lot of heat in the past, but Kelly Bryant only threw for 140 yards with one very critical interception where he stared down his receiver. Meanwhile Larry Rountree III only rushed for 29 yards.
They committed 12 penalties for a total of 120 yards and were 3/15 on third down. Tucker McCann left six points on the board with two missed field goals (one from 50 yards out and the other from 48, both within his range). The coaches are responsible for getting the players ready and the players are responsible for execution. This game was a failure from top to bottom.
Through seven games, Missouri is 5-2 and 2-1 in the SEC. And to be fair, that is a good start most seasons. But this season is different. When you bring in Kelly Bryant to lead an offense with so many returning pieces and had the manageable schedule to work with, one expects something different.
Missouri is still a good team with good talent, but these flaws have shown up in games they have no business losing. Barry Odom and his team have five more games to change some minds on what this season can be. Luckily for him, Missouri is no stranger from bouncing back after his frustrating losses. I wrote after the Wyoming loss that Barry Odom is used to being under pressure.
Well, here he is again. It’s time to see what this Missouri team is made of for the rest of the season. Saturday at Kentucky could tell us a lot.