Missouri fans have seen the Tigers play a lot of bad football over the past couple of years, from their 5-7 campaign in Gary Pinkel’s final season in 2015 to a disappointing 4-8 record last year.
However, Saturday’s 35-3 blowout loss to Purdue at Faurot Field was, without question, the lowest of the low for the Tigers. From the scoreboard to the fan turnout (or lack thereof), it was an all-around embarrassment for Mizzou.
With apologies to P Corey Fatony (and a little bit to DT Terry Beckner Jr.), who had an absolutely incredible day, no one on the Mizzou roster looked like a Division I college football player against the Boilermakers.
In a very important game for coach Barry Odom, the Tigers fell flat in every aspect of the game — not exactly a ringing endorsement for the second-year head coach.
Here are a few quick reactions to Saturday’s performance by the Tigers:
Another terrible start
After watching the Boilermakers march down the field for a touchdown to start Saturday’s game, the Mizzou offense followed with a quick three-and-out, taking less than two minutes off the clock.
Those are the exact situations this offense needs to avoid, as quick possessions that end without points put extra pressure on the defense.
To that point, the Boilermakers scored again on the ensuing possession to take an early 14-0 lead.
Though a long touchdown by Purdue RB Terry Wright was called back due to a holding penalty, it doesn’t excuse the absolutely awful tackling on the play.
The only Tiger who even had a shot at Wright simply bumped into him with a shoulder, never even attempting to wrap the runner up, leaving his arms hanging at his side as Wright bounced away and sprinted to the end zone.
That play was called back, but even more big plays helped Purdue march down the field for a touchdown anyway.
Absolutely terrible on third downs
It’s probably safe to say Purdue wouldn’t have minded having every down be third down, as the Tigers couldn’t stop the Boilermakers from converting.
Most of the time, they didn’t even need three downs to get a first, but when they did face third down, they converted seemingly every single time.
Corey Fatony: MVP
Though Mizzou’s defense couldn’t stop the Boilermakers in the first half, at least P Corey Fatony gave them every possible opportunity to get a big stop, frequently booming huge punts that pinned Purdue deep in their own territory.
He also showed off some hops and some impressive receiving abilities, leaping into the air to make a one-handed catch on a terrible snap in the second quarter.
Naturally, he recovered and launched another beauty of a punt, pinning the Boilermakers inside their own 30-yard line.
More special teams mistakes
Fatony’s excellence aside, Mizzou’s other special-teams units struggled on Saturday, with a near-fumble on a kickoff return and a muffed punt.
Fortunately, neither mistake came back to hurt the Tigers, but those are the sorts of things that make winning difficult, and the Tigers already struggle enough with that even without the costly mistakes.
Call the timeout!
Mizzou finally got something going after a Thomas Wilson interception late in the second quarter.
Driving down the field, a catch was made to bring the Tigers within the 15-yard line. With two timeouts remaining and 12 seconds on the clock, calling a timeout is a no-brainer, right?
Apparently not for Odom, who didn’t use a timeout and watched as four seconds ran off the clock before the next play, which was an incompletion. So, instead of having time for another play (and still with one timeout), the Tigers had to settle for a field goal.
What Odom was thinking in that situation, we’ll never know, but it certainly seems like a huge blunder for a coach who can’t afford too many more.
Drew Lock has taken a major step back
Big things were expected from Lock as a junior, and he looked ready to deliver after a record-setting Week 1 performance against Missouri State.
However, against South Carolina and Purdue, he has absolutely imploded, taking a major step back from last season.
With a cast of offensive players that is largely the same as 2016, Lock can’t blame new receivers or his offensive line for his struggles.
It’s either on him or the play-calling of OC Josh Heupel, and right now, it looks like it’s a lot of both.
Source: Saturday Down South