Tigers stop the bleeding with win over Vanderbilt

To say that the Missouri Tigers were hungry for a victory on the gridiron would be like insinuating Hillary Clinton supporters might be having a bad week. And while things certainly did not come easy for Mizzou on Saturday, first-year head coach Barry Odom was able to notch his first conference win in a season filled with forgettable moments.

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Just as no starving man would turn away a spinach casserole, Tiger fans are not going to complain about ending a nightmarish 12-game conference losing streak despite the myriad of gaffes that kept Vanderbilt in the ballgame. In the end, it would be the consistency of sophomore quarterback Drew Lock and the shifty feet of freshman running back Damarea Crockett that would lift the offense while a fierce pass rush on defense produced six sacks on Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur.

Missouri’s defense may have yielded over 400 yards to the Commodores but looked much more agressive overall as they were able to force turnovers and turn them into points (including an Aarion Penton pick six in the first half).

Lock, who has struggled with consistency all season, played perhaps his best game of the conference season as he threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns (both to polarizing receiver J’Mon Moore who finished with 8 catches and 138 yards. Crockett, who has emerged as Missouri’s best overall offensive threat, finished with 120 yards on 20 carries.

It may have appeared that the Tigers were trying desperately to throw this game away as dropped passes, missed field goals (two extra points and a 21-yarder) and, unbelievably, two trips to the red zone yielded zero points. Despite these errors, it was simply a good sign to see a bad team overcome these mistakes against a program that, quite frankly, Missouri does not want to be compared to much longer.

I’m excited for them to have some success.” Odom explained following the game. “They’ve really done everything that I’ve laid out in front of them.

Success has been quite fleeting for a program that is only two years removed from a second straight SEC East crown, and it has been difficult for Tiger faithful to see any light at the end of a tunnel during year one of Odom’s tenure. Perhaps winning in the conference for the first time in 13 months will provide a consolation prize, but with games against Tennesse and Arkansas coming up, it’s still likely to be a long off-season in Columbia as the future of Missouri football remains very much in doubt.

Avatar of Clint Switzer
Full-time sports fan, part-time contributor to society. GASN Sports co-founder, podcast host, filmmaker and writer.

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