It felt like perfection, or close to it, was going to be the standard for Missouri’s season— at least to the most optimistic of fans— and that’s why the season-opening embarrassment to Wyoming still hurts. Beating West Virginia the following week by a 31-point differential righted the ship a bit, and now, after tonight’s game, Tiger fans are breathing a bit easier.
What Mizzou was able to do against Southeast Missouri State was expected, of course, but necessary. Mizzou outmatched the Redhawks in every facet. They hit the trifecta with an offensive, defensive and special teams touchdown. Mizzou dominated SEMO, winning 50-0.
The Tiger defense preyed upon the opportunity to play an FCS opponent. SEMO’s offense was limited to 40 yards on the ground and 54 through the air. On their second offensive play of the game, quarterback Daniel Santacaterina was knocked, redirecting the ball into the waiting hands of Mizzou linebacker Cale Garrett. With an entourage of blockers, he took the ball 27 yards to the house for a pick-six.
The offense had a stellar night. The first drive of the game took just seven plays going 75 yards with Larry Rountree III ultimately punching it in on a three yard rushing touchdown. Rountree spearheaded the ground attack Saturday night. He exploded for 142 yards on just 18 carries. Tyler Badie put up great numbers as well, rushing for 73 yards on seven carries.
Kelly Bryant looked poised, throwing for 225 yards and a touchdown. He went 14/19. His favorite receiver for the night, Jalen Knox, caught just two passes, but went for 104 yards.
The touchdowns scores were spread around. Albert Okwuegbunam didn’t need to be used heavily as the rushing attack was so effective. The tight end finished the night with 24 yards and a touchdown.
Special teams made their contribution with Richaud Floyd returning a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. McCann was perfect on field goals for the night, going 3/3 with his longest from 52 yards out. Coach Odom was impressed with McCann, saying, “He really hit it tonight, didn’t he?”
Coach Barry Odom was happy with the night’s result saying he was excited for the team getting the second win and second at home. He put tonight in perspective, stating, “If you take a step back and look at the 500thgame at Memorial Stadium, to win 50-0, those things just don’t happen and line up. So, proud for our team, excited for our fans.” He praised the atmosphere in Memorial Stadium as well. “To feel the energy, again, on the way that they poured into it,” he said. “I appreciate the fans being there.”
However, with such a dominant performance the Tigers strung together, some fans grew restless and (unsurprisingly) left. To show his appreciation for those that stuck it out, Coach Odom ran over to the student section following the game and gave out thanks. “I was happy they stayed,” he said. “It’s a Saturday night in Columbia, Missouri and they could have done a… few other things. And they stayed, you know, that’s awesome.”
Odom was also pleased with the secondary. “They’ve gotten better. You know, they’ve really improved their game, they’ve improved their skillset,” he said. “The urgency to continue to improve and do those things, time waits on no man. It’s right here, right now.”
The Tigers played with an intensity that will need to carry over to SEC play if they want to continue to win. Coach Barry Odom is well aware of the South Carolina game one week from now. “They’re a really, really good team,” he said. “I know they’ll be ready to play, and I know my team will be ready to play. I want it to be a hell of a game.” Odom continued, “They wanna win on the other sideline too. They’ve got good players also. So, you know the ante goes up a little bit. Let’s wrap it up, get after it.”
In closing, Odom commented, “Next week at three o’clock, you know, hopefully we’ll have the place sold out. Cause we’ll need the energy, we’ll need everything that we can get from our crowd to help us out.”