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For most of the second half against an SEC opponent, Missouri made it boring

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Missouri is above .500 in a weird rebuilding year, and you have to be a little happy about it.

Vanderbilt v Missouri Photo by Zach Bland/Mizzou Athletics via Getty Images

It’s easy to forget, but last season was actually going pretty well at one point. Sure the Wyoming loss happened, but that game featured a wild 2nd quarter which was enough to doom Mizzou. The team recovered, however. They dominated some questionable teams, but did so in really convincing fashion. They were 5-1 and ranked 22nd in the country. Their star transfer quarterback, Kelly Bryant, was dinged up, but he was able to play against Ole Miss and was effective. Surely a trip to Vanderbilt would keep the momentum going.

Vandy was 1-5, and the one win was eked out over Northern Illinois. They were coming off getting blown out by UNLV. They had lost their starting QB, and were generally looking a mess.

I don’t have to remind you, but Missouri lost that game. The loss started an ugly five game skid which cost Barry Odom his job.

Early in the week Eli Drinkwitz posted the headline of Mizzou’s loss a year ago into each player’s locker to remind them of what it cost when they thought they could just waltz into the stadium and get the win they wanted. The move obviously set the tone, because the Tigers came out determined and efficient from the start. They systematically dismantled Vanderbilt in such a crushing way that it became almost boring to watch.

Coming into the game, the Tigers had 3 wins all in different ways. They got creative in a shootout against LSU. They wrestled with Kentucky in the mud, got into a street fight against South Carolina, and then steamrolled Vanderbilt.

Eli Drinkwitz and his Tigers just ground Vanderbilt into dust.

The good news for the Tigers is they got some important pieces back. The interior defensive line got a boost from the return of Kobie Whiteside, and the offensive line got Larry Borom and Xavier Delgado back. The additions proved fruitful as the offense was able to move the ball enough to avoid punting all game, just a week after punter Grant McKinniss received MVP votes for his work against South Carolina. Getting guys back for the stretch run should be reason for hope.

But maybe the best reason for hope can stem from how the Vanderbilt game played out. The offense was efficient, and the defense punishing. Vanderbilt was riding a wave of momentum and were creating incredibly positive headlines surrounding the terrific story of Sarah Fuller. It was a super cool moment and I think everyone on the planet was hoping to see her get an opportunity to attempt a field goal. But Missouri’s defense was too good and put all the pressure on the Vanderbilt offense, and they couldn’t stand up.

History making moments aside, it was a pretty dull game. For all Odom’s faults as a head coach, Missouri was never boring under his watch. Mizzou was very Jeckyl and Hyde. There weren’t many systematic dismantlings of opponents under Odom. There were a fair amount of dominant wins, but not many grind-you-into-dust sort of wins. The way this team, even with the starters pulled in many cases, continued the pulverize the Commodores should make you feel a little warm and fuzzy about the future of the program. It was far more like Sherlock Holmes— systematic, analytical, and the most direct path to the answer.

Up next is Arkansas, or should be. Here’s to keeping this train on the tracks and getting another win.

Here are your other SEC scores:

  • 1. Alabama 42, 22. Auburn 13
  • 5. Texas A&M 20, LSU 7
  • 6. Florida 34, Kentucky 10
  • 9. Georgia 45, South Carolina 16
  • Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24

Arkansas and Tennessee were postponed,

Yesterday at Rock M

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