Another week, another frustrating loss that featured a defense trying its best to keep the team afloat, an offense that simply can’t seem to get out of its own way and penalties in the worst possible moments.
It’s becoming a recurring theme. It feels like we’re watching the same game over and over again. It’s hard to come up with new and interesting ways to describe it.
But, here we go...
1) The offense. My goodness this offense.
I don’t know what more can be said. Missouri has now gone back-to-back games without a touchdown for the first time since... 2015. The deep passing game is non-existent. The running game is dormant. The play-calling lacks any sort of cohesion or creativity.
Nothing is going well right now. And it sounds like the coaching staff is a significant part of the problem.
Odom says he could "talk for a while" about the difference between the offense against Ole Miss and today, but says in a nutshell the coaching staff isn't giving them opportunities to make plays. Says the team has good enough players to move the ball.— Mitchell Forde (@Mitchell4D) November 16, 2019
Mizzou has scored a total of 27 points in its four games since the Ole Miss win. The offense is 16-for-51 (31%) on third down in this stretch. They’re averaging just 164 passing yards per game in this stretch on 5.1 yards per pass attempt. There are 23 teams nationally averaging more yards per rush attempt this year than the Tigers have averaged per pass attempt over the last four weeks. To take it a step further - Northwestern is the only team nationally that averages fewer than 5.1 yards per attempt for the season.
In other words, Mizzou’s passing output over the past month has been among the worst in the country.
Mizzou’s last 30 offensive possessions, spanning the last 145 minutes of game time: punt, downs, fumble, punt, end of game, punt, punt, punt, punt, INT, punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, downs, end of game, punt, punt, punt, FG!, punt, punt, punt, punt, FG!, punt, punt, punt, INT.— Greg Tepper (@Tepper) November 16, 2019
Not great, Bob.
2) But it’s not just the lack of yardage on offense, it’s also the way the drives stall
Missouri went 3-and-out on its first drive. The Tigers finally got something going on their second drive until Kelly Bryant was sacked, forcing a 3rd & 13. Punt one play later.
The next drive was more of the same. Put together some nice plays, only to shoot themselves in the foot with a false start on a 3rd & 5. Punt one play later.
Missouri’s opening drive in the 3rd quarter was one that’ll stick with most Mizzou fans. There was once again some signs of life until Bryant scrambled to his left, went out of bounds, was tackled late for a flag... And then it was offset by an Albert O late hit. Next play, punt.
Next drive, an intentional grounding puts Mizzou in a 3rd & 19 situation. A first & 10 becomes 2nd & 18 after a sack. A 3rd & 13 becomes a 3rd & 38 after a penalty. From there the game was more or less over.
It’s not only that the offense is having a hard time getting anything going, it’s that when they do, they find a way to shoot themselves in the foot to set themselves back once again. Missouri had more penalty yards (55) than rushing yards (52) this week. In their last four games, the Tigers have committed 31 penalties for 306 yards.
That simply can’t happen.
3) Mizzou’s defense did everything it could to give the offense a chance.
The Tigers held Florida to 3-for-14 on third down, and allowed just 2.2 yards per carry on the ground. Sure, they gave up a few big plays over the top. Jarvis Ware had his struggles in coverage. But Missouri’s defense did more than enough to give the Tigers a chance to win this game, just as they have each of the last three weeks.
The only other team to hold Florida under 24 points this year is Georgia. The defense did its job. Again. They just can’t seem to get any help.
4) We’ve gotta talk about the officiating.
There were some, umm, questionable calls in that game. Mizzou did not lose this game because of the officials. The offense did plenty to make sure they lost. But the officials’ decision not to overturn the catch by Kyle Pitts into an interception by Khalil Oliver & confirming the touchdown catch by Lamical Perine all but put the game away.
Before those calls, it was 13-6. After them, the lead was extended to 20-6. There was no way Missouri was going to be able to score 20 points today against that defense.
Again, the refs didn’t lose Missouri the game. The Tigers did that to themselves. But it’s silly not to at least acknowledge that the SEC’s officials had a bad day in Columbia.
5) The conversation is shifting quickly on Barry Odom.
I think many Mizzou fans are like myself. I was hesitant to buy into the Barry Odom hype machine. The first couple years were rough. The in-game management always concerned me. The defensive issues were baffling. The coaching staff turnover was surprising. But last year he seemed to get things together. Sure, there were still issues. But the end result was a sign of progress that was enough to get me on board with what Odom was selling.
This year has been a clear and obvious step in the wrong direction. The offense is in shambles. The coaching staff is, according to Odom’s own words, not putting players in the best position to succeed. A team that started the year 5-1 is at risk of not making a bowl game as the season spirals out of control.
I didn’t expect Odom’s future to be in question after the season started the way it did. I honestly assumed given the way the season started that we would get some sort of news about an extension at the end of the year.
That talk is over.
Many of you have already begun the conversation of whether or not Odom is the right man for the job moving forward. Some of you have had that question since the day he was hired. That’s fine. But they weren’t having those same conversations in the athletic department. They’ve been on board from the jump.
I have to imagine those conversations are now taking place. I would think the next two weeks will go a long way in determining what Odom’s future is at Mizzou. Is 6-6 enough to keep him?
After today, that’s probably the question Jim Sterk needs to be asking himself.