You may not be able to convince yourself of this, but just four weeks ago I wrote about how Missouri wasn’t perfect, but they were able to work through the flaws and pick up an important home win against Ole Miss. The following day, the Tigers cracked the top 25 for the Associated Press poll.
They weren’t a great team, but they were finding their way through and winning games. The five game home stretch provided some sense of what we can expect from this team. Led by Kelly Bryant on offense and Cale Garrett on defense, things were looking at least a little promising. It set a nice ceiling of what the season could be if things went the Tigers way.
There’s things going your way, and then there’s things completely unravelling before your eyes. What has transpired over the last few weeks has been the latter.
The same Missouri offense which had scored at will and dominated (admittedly not great) teams through September has stalled back to a time more reminiscent of the darker end of the Gary Pinkel years, or more directly— the 2015 season. It was startling for them to lose to Vanderbilt and disturbing the way they lost to Kentucky. And while you expected a loss at Georgia — in fact, I don’t know anyone who predicted a win in Athens at the start of the year (well, maybe Terry Dennis did) — it was how it transpired.
The defense came to fight, and while Georgia was able to put up points, they gave Missouri a punchers’ chance. The punches were stale and predictable, like Glass Joe in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Redshirt Sophomore Quarterback Taylor Powell provided a yeoman’s effort, but devoid of enough time to throw or playmakers to get the ball to or even hand off to, the Missouri offense was dead on arrival. They weren’t helped much by unimaginative play-calling. Any of flaws on Powell put aside, he’s been lauded for his command of the playbook, yet facing an opponent like Georgia when you have nothing to lose, the Tigers were careful and safe.
Georgia is bigger, faster, and stronger than Missouri at virtually every position. They recruit at a very high level, and there are very few, if any, Tigers who would start for the Bulldogs. Through that lens it’s understandable Missouri would lose to Georgia. And nearly every year this is going to be the case.
The problem is we got our hopes up; this team got our hopes up. The way the defense finished the season a year ago, with so many of the playmakers returning and a capable quarterback, then the five game win streak.
But Missouri, at least under Barry Odom, only runs hot and cold and things have gone very cold. The defense is still fighting and playing pretty well. The offense is another story. It’s just pretty hard to field a football team with one and not the other.
There’s also this:
I remain convinced SOMETHING we don’t know about happened after that Ole Miss game. Eventually the story will come out, whether it’s after the season or down the road. But I just can’t believe this team did a complete nosedive for no reason at all. https://t.co/8OJYP8TlEJ— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) November 10, 2019
I don’t have much to say about this. But it would seem impossible to ignore Gabe pointing to a hypothetical singular (or even multiple) event(s) causing this team’s downfall, even if he’s just speculating. You probably have to agree to an extent, maybe it’s something sinister or perhaps it’s more simple. Either way, it’s been crazy to watch it unfold.
No box today, Statbroadcast was again password protected this time by Georgia. It’s still stupid.
Other SEC Scores:
- LSU 46, Alabama 41
- Florida 56, Vanderbilt 0
- Western Kentucky 45, Arkansas 19
- Appalachian State 20, South Carolina 15
- Tennessee 17, Kentucky 13
Yesterday at Rock M Nation:
- Missouri vs Georgia football GameDay: info, where to watch, predictions
- Study Hall: Missouri 71, Northern Kentucky 56
- GAME THREAD: Missouri looks to end road skid at No. 6 Georgia
- Missouri outmatched in every facet by Georgia
- Mitchell Forde’s post-game video and story
- Dave Matter’s game story
- Christina Long’s defense (of the defense) story
- KCStar’s NEW beat writer Souichi Terada’s Game Story
- Columbia Missourian Liam Quinn’s game story
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)
- Also, a heads up: The FanPulse emails should be out by now, if not now they will be soon. Regardless of how you feel, vote.