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Five takeaways from Missouri’s dominant win against Troy

We wait to find out how serious the Kelly Bryant knee injury is. But until then, this was a very good win for Missouri.

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

First, congratulations are in order to Barry Odom, who just won his first game as a head coach coming off a bye week.

What a convincing win for Missouri. The Tigers beat Troy exactly the way you would expect a quality SEC team to take care of a team the caliber of Troy.

There’s only one way to begin, and it’s with the uncertainty surrounding Kelly Bryant.

You've seen the play by now. It didn’t look good. It looked like a pretty obvious cheap shot, too. All we can do at this point is hope it’s not too serious. This team is legitimately good, but Bryant keeps the trains running on time. He’s the galvanizing force behind what this team has going right now. Without him, I’m not sure where the season goes. And, frankly, I don’t want to find out.

Cale Garrett should be on some All-American watch lists.

I’m not sure the linebacker position can be played at a significantly higher level than we’re seeing right now with Garrett and Bolton. While Bolton has been tremendous, Garrett is simply on another level. He has a touchdown in THREE STRAIGHT games... as a defensive player! Against Troy today, he had two interceptions and two tackles for loss in one half of football.

I’ve made the comparison before, but his evolution reminds me of what we saw from Kentrell Brothers in 2015. He always seems to be in position to make the play before the play is even there to be made.

Missouri only has 13 consensus All-Americans in program history. It might be early but Cale Garrett is making a strong case to be the 14th. Hard to believe he was a last minute offer.

Albert O added to his already impressive resume.

Albert Okwuegbunam had multiple receptions, which usually means touchdowns. He’s up to five touchdowns on the season and 22 for his career, which ties him with some guys named Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander.

Today’s touchdown catch may have been his best yet.

I would still like to see him more involved in the game plan, but if this staff feels like they need to save him for big spots then this is probably the best-case scenario. Albert O is averaging a TD every four receptions for his career, and every two receptions this season. That’s just an absurd touchdown rate. I’m not sure there are many (any?) better red zone threats in college football right now.

Missouri has a defense, ya’ll.

Phil Steele tweeted this morning that Missouri came into the day third in the country in yards allowed per play, behind only Wisconsin and Ohio State. The Tigers were allowing 3.7 yards per play.

They allowed 3.2 yards per play today.

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Barry Odom didn’t suddenly forget how to coach defense when he took over as head coach. But for a million different reasons, the defense struggled in the early-going. Well, it’s back. And it’s back with a vengeance. The run defense has been suffocating since the first game of the defense. The secondary is living up to its talent level. And the linebackers are dominating everyone in their path.

We are in the middle of the toughest part of the schedule for fans.

Mizzou has proven they’re a good football team. Troy, Ole Miss and Kentucky have proven they are not. As Missouri fans, we’re taught to wait for the other shoe to drop. It’s why losing to Wyoming was so deflating.

Missouri passed its first test in a potential “letdown” game. The Tigers need to pass two more tests before things get real again when Mizzou travels to Athens.

This is a good team. Barry Odom has done a good coaching job through five games. The defense is stout. The offense has some dynamic options. The results have been — sans week one — what you should expect from a quality team.

Now the waiting game begins. We wait for the next two games to be over without a letdown, and for word on the severity of Kelly Bryant’s injury.

Fingers crossed.