Also, if you missed the news, Missouri landed a commitment from four-star Tulsa wide receiver Javian Hester, who had serious interest from Texas and other Big 12 schools, along with Michigan and Nebraska. That's a statement for Odom and his offensive coaches.
Not if they still win eight, nine, 10 games. What's the hot seat really? His AD is watching him closely to evaluate if he'll keep him around? Well, that's the case all the time, some weeks more intensely than others. I think it's premature to start talking about Odom's job security. A lot of season left. A lot of winnable games.
It's on the short list. Yes, it was on the road. Yes, it's an unconventional place to play. Yes, season openers are tricky. Yes, elevation, altitude, 7,220 feet, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the Tigers were favored by 18 points. Nobody outside of the Wyoming locker room gave Wyoming a chance. The media who cover Wyoming expected a big Missouri win. Folks around town in Cheyenne and Laramie expected a Missouri win. I've been covering Mizzou since the late 1990s. I'd put this one in the company of 2004 Troy and 2014 Indiana. In hindsight, that was a good Troy team with an NFL superstart on defense. Urban Meyer's Bowling Green teams that beat Missouri in 2001 and 2002 were better than MU - or at the very least on par with the talent Missouri had in Pinkel's first two years. Odom was a rookie coach still trying to figure out what he had in 2016 when Middle Tennessee won in Columbia. All of those were bad losses but not like this one Saturday.
I don't agree that he hasn't shown anything. Missouri got hot last year when Walters changed up the defense, started playing younger defensive backs and the Tigers were much better on that side of the ball, among the top half in the SEC. Now, it was also his defense in the first half of the year that struggled - and in the bowl game. So I don't think anyone's making him out to be the second coming of Bill Belichick ... but it's disingenuous to say he hasn't done anything. He deserves credit for last year's adjustments and turnaround. That said, this defense has to play better the rest of the season
This is such nonsense. We ask the questions that need to be asked. It's not the questions you don't like. It's the answers. I'm not going to wag my finger, stomp my feet and shout questions like an unhinged talk radio host just so I can start a screaming match that makes it onto ESPN. That's not how this works. Odom and Walters were asked every pertinent question this week.
After rewatching a lot of the game I'm of the belief that it really came down to bad tackling on the two big runs. Wyoming ran the ball 42 times; Mizzou held 28 of those runs to 3 yards or less. More often than not, Wyoming barely got past the line of scrimmage. But when Mizzou missed a tackle, it paid dearly. Bad tackling isn't just failing to wrap up or a lack of toughness or physicality. It's angles. It's positioning. When MU didn't get a stop near the line of scrimmage, the secondary had to make a play in the back end and on the two long runs those defenders were either caught out of position or didn't finish the tackle.
I think you almost have to give the defense a free pass on the pass rush question for this past game. Wyoming only completed six passes. There were 183 plays in that game when you count all offensive snaps and every special teams play. And just six completed passes. When Wyoming did complete a pass it was behind max protection or on a rollout/play-action. That's not to say the pass rush is going to be a strength of this team. I have serious doubts. This West Virginia game will be a much better indicator. Austin Kendall is a prototypical pocket passer. They like to dial up deep passes, which gives the rush some time to attack the pocket. If it's a clean pocket all day and Kendall's jersey is clean, that's a big red flag for this defense.
Based on what we saw Saturday I'd say he's the punter until something goes wrong. He did a nice job - in the altitude. We'll see how he does closer to sea level. If anything he outkicked his coverage on at least one punt the other night. But he's certainly got the leg.
I'll always keep things real. You can find a healthy balance between being fairly critical and not over-the-top ballistic. Teams that aren't elite or terrible generally fluctuate a lot from one week to the next. It wouldn't surprise me at all if we see a much more crisp, more physical performance against WVU.
I suspect the loss will cost Mizzou some fans. A lot less? I'm not sure about that. There's a bandwagon element of the fan base that MU is working hard to recapture. Will one loss scare them away? It would be naive to say no.
Go back and read what I wrote yesterday. The staff said Tuesday that Badie played the second half because he was playing better than Rountree. The fumble was a factor in that decison. So was Rountree's pass-blocking. Ford always goes with the hot hand if one back is clearly playing better than the other guy. Rountree is still the starter. The coaches expect him to bounce back this week. I do, too. He's too talented to turn this into a thing. Both backs will play and should play - but I don't expect there to be a major change going forward.
Are we sure they struggled with RPO? Those are read plays where Bryant either gives the ball to the back or throws it based on how he reads the defense. The offense didn't run the ball very well, but I don't think it was necessarily an RPO issue. And he threw it better than anyone expected.
Let's not forget that teams can play a lot differently from one week to the next. Think about last year. Mizzou had one of the worst meltdowns I've ever seen against Kentucky and then dominated at Florida a week later. And we've seen Missouri teams do just the opposite, too. Play great one week and flat the next. Week to week momentum or carryover doesn't really exist in football. You can get on a losing streak or a winning streak, but how you play one week against one opponent doesn't really impact how you play the next week against a different opponent.
Anyone want to talk Mizzou hoops?
Poor tackling is a common problem this time of year. Teams just can't afford to tackle live in preseason camp. I get why coaches are hesitant to turn it loose in August. Concussions and other injuries are way too prevalent with athletes getting bigger, stronger and faster than ever before. That's not an excuse, just reality. Cale Garrett missed a routine tackle on the 75-yard TD run. Awful play. He owned up to it and was accountable after the game and again Tuesday. He's a guy I lean toward giving a free pass. He had 16 tackles in the game and was a main reason 28 of Wyoming's 42 runs were stopped for 3 yards or less. He had more tackles than any Power 5 defender in the country. But it's the big miss we'll remember.