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Notebook: Banged up Bryant and Missouri to face top-ranked Bulldogs

Coming off back to back road losses, the Tigers look to change the narrative when they travel to Georgia this Saturday

Missouri v Kentucky Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

After a one-week hiatus from the usual weekly press conference, Barry Odom returned Tuesday to address the media. The last time Odom’s squad came off a bye week, the Tigers were able to thrash Troy at home. It’s safe to say that facing 6th ranked Georgia is a much steeper task.

Following a two-game losing streak, Odom laid out some specifics of how the Tigers took advantage of the bye week.

“We had three practices, plus a walkthrough and also some time in the weight room, and an extra film study, which we used well. I like the way that our team responded to things and the map we put out in front of them,” he said. “We had good energy and excitement and understand the challenge that’s in front of us and also the opportunity.”

Odom complimented the ability of the Georgia offensive line and offered some thoughts on what his team needs to do to neutralize the Bulldogs.

“You’ve gotta do some things that you get them off the double teams, quicker hopefully than normal, but also you gotta stand in. You gotta be sturdy at the point of attack from a defensive standpoint,” he said.

Possibly, the most concerning part about the Tiger offense is the health, or lack thereof, of Kelly Bryant.

“If we played today (Tuesday), he wouldn’t be out there,” said Odom about the quarterback.

Bryant, who is day to day as of right now, also said on Tuesday that his hamstring was at about 75%. If he’s unable to take the field, Taylor Powell, who saw action at Kentucky, will be the starter.

“The benefit for us is that last week, we got a ton of reps from Taylor,” said Odom.

Odom said that Powell has always prepared as if he would start so he has confidence in the redshirt sophomore.

Odom gave one last bit of hope on the healing Bryant, “Probably, he’ll be ready to go.”

Coach was aware of the apparent problems that have hurt his squad recently and he addressed many of them.

“We couldn’t run the ball effectively anytime in the last two weeks,” he said. To fix that, Odom did say that they will be implementing new schemes into the run game that should help.

On Tucker McCann’s struggles with getting it through the uprights in the last two games, (0-3) Odom displayed goodwill towards the kicker.

“I’m really confident in Tucker, and I have been for a long time,” he said. “He’s a really tough competitor and I know he’s gonna bounce back and have a really good November.”

Odom put to rest doubts about Albert Okwuegbunam’s conditioning, saying that he felt the tight end is in “really good” playing shape. Odom also admitted they need to continue to target the 6’ 5” playmaker both in and outside the red zone.

Other Notes

  • Crowd noise was played at practice this week to try and demonstrate what Sanford Stadium should sound like Saturday.
  • On the NCAA final ruling being still unannounced, Odom said, “We’ll hear at some point but yeah, I’m shocked.”
  • Johnathon Johnson is day to day. He has been out with a sickness.

After a swift fall from the top of the East, the Tigers have become, once again, a hard to team understand. With just four guaranteed games left for Missouri, each one is beginning to feel more crucial. Fan expectations have withered, but a win out of Odom’s group could completely shift not only the narrative, but the season itself.