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NOTEBOOK: Barry Odom focuses on finishing the year strong

Odom talked Tennessee, the remaining schedule and the question of coaching security at his press conference earlier this week

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 Florida at Missouri

The Missouri football team seems like it’s been in a freefall.

They wield a tough defense that can only support an incapable offense for so long. After four straight losses, the vocal online attitudes of a large segment of the fanbase seem at a boiling point. The Tigers will need a win on Saturday to try and cool the waters of an angry fanbase.

Coach Odom addressed the media Tuesday about the course of action he’s setting for the team for the remainder of the schedule.

“The understanding of, it’s a sprint here, now for the next ten days to do the things we need to do to try to finish the season the right way. The kids responded and had a really good practice today and we’ll do the same thing tomorrow.”

Odom emphasized the gravity of sending the team’s seniors out on a winning note.

“It’s important to me to make sure that we do everything we can that when they walk off the field, they walk off as winners.”

With the Tennessee Volunteers coming off their bye-week, Odom acknowledged that Jeremy Pruitt’s team has likely spent the past two weeks preparing for Saturday’s game. He notably praised the Vols’ offensive line and the speed at which Tennessee’s defense plays. Odom understands that the Volunteers have significantly improved from the start of the season and that Saturday’s game will be a tough one.

“It will be a great challenge and tremendous opportunity,” Odom said. “Should be a great night for college football and this league.”

Odom believes that the Tiger defense will see all three quarterbacks Tennessee has rotated in at the position: Jarrett Guarantano, Brian Maurer and J.T. Shrout. He said that he and his defense need to bring an understanding of what each signal caller brings to the game.

Odom responded to concerns about his future with the program. He relied on what he’s been able to produce at Missouri through his four-year tenure as defense for questions about his job security.

“I look at the body of work that we’ve done at this point with two games left in year four, we’ve won more games in four years than any coach since I think Warren Powers in a four year time,” he said. “The grade point average, what we’ve produced, the graduation rate, all those things, I know the body of work on what we’ve done. Do I wish we would have won more up to this point, absolutely. So does everybody else.”

Odom expressed confidence in the current staff, program culture and that what they can do over the next two games will “springboard” them into next year.

Other Notes

  • Johnathon Johnson practiced Tuesday and is slotted to play this Saturday. “He was back out there today and looked really good— had fresh legs,” Odom said.
  • There’s still ongoing conversation about the topic, but Odom admitted that Cale Garrett may try and move on from Mizzou football and not seek a medical redshirt. “We’ll do whatever he wants to do, he and his family. He will, he’ll go have a successful career and he’ll have a successful life after that— such a great guy that has left his mark on a program.”
  • Odom alluded that getting back to the basics may be able to get the offense rolling again. “I think simplifying some things has helped our guys out going into this week. There was a bounce in their step, and we did some things today in practice that we haven’t done previously on a Tuesday which was good to see.”
  • Odom did not have any explanation for why Missouri still hasn’t received an answer from the NCAA on the appeal. Although the answer isn’t here yet, Odom expects it to be influential no matter what. “I think it’s impactful for not just Mizzou but for the landscape of intercollegiate athletics and the way things have been done and the way they’re supposed to be done and the way they will be done from here until the end of time,” he said. “Everybody will be watching what the decision is… It’s going to impact everybody.”