I’ll admit it. I fell asleep.
Lying on my couch (err, futon), my mind and body would not let me continue to watch as Missouri sleepwalked through a humiliating 35-3 defeat against Purdue on Saturday at Faurot Field.
I only dozed off a couple minutes during the third quarter, but when I awoke—hopeful it had all been a bad dream—I realized the nightmare that is the Mizzou football team is more real than anyone could have imagined.
Nobody thought the Tigers would be great this year. Some thought the team would be good. I’m not sure anyone thought things would be this bad, especially this early into the season.
After the opening game, fans and pundits alike thought Missouri (1-2) would be similar to last year with every game a shootout. The defense looked atrocious against Missouri State, but Drew Lock and the offense made things appear insanely easy.
The narrative changed the following week against South Carolina. The defense didn’t improve much but—in some regards—got a pass due to the errors made by the special teams unit.
After Saturday’s pathetic display, it’s clear this team has no direction.
Barry Odom relieved defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross after the 31-13 loss to the Gamecocks. In previewing this week’s game, I said the buck stops with Odom now when it comes to the defense.
I admittedly missed the point. The performance of the entire team—not just the defense—reflects on Odom and his utter lack of control.
His team quit on Saturday. There’s no other way to slice it.
Purdue (2-1) scored touchdowns on its first three possessions. All were long drives, where the Boilermakers repeatedly gashed an already disinterested Tigers defense.
Missouri, meanwhile, punted on its first five possessions before kicking a field goal in the final seconds of the first half for its only points. The Tigers ran a total of 25 plays in the first half, and it wasn’t due to quick scoring drives. Even the lone possession that ended in points, which was set up by Thomas Wilson’s interception, showed the complete dysfunction on this team at the moment.
In the closing seconds of the half, Lock completed a pass to Dimetrios Mason along the sideline. Mason, who led the Tigers with six catches on the day, easily picked up the first down, but, instead of stepping out of bounds, he fought to gain an extra yard.
More inexplicably than that, Odom chose not to use one of his two remaining timeouts. It cost Missouri eight seconds and a chance to run another play after Lock and Mason couldn’t connect in the end zone on the following pass attempt. That led to Tucker McCann coming on to make the score 28-3, while Odom took a timeout to the locker room.
According to the line score, Purdue only outscored Missouri 7-0 in the second half. That’s as close to a positive as you will find from this embarrassing effort.
The Boilermakers had not one but two quarterbacks outperform Lock (12 of 28, 133 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs). Tario Fuller rushed for 20 more yards than the entire Missouri stable of backs (90-70). Twelve different Purdue players caught passes; Mizzou completed 12 total passes (to three different receivers).
Stats can be misleading, but this Missouri team fails every eye-test.
- Offense? F
- Defense? F
- Special teams? D+ (And that’s only because Corey Fatony is a god.)
- Coaching? F-
There is no discernible explanation as to why this team should be so bad. Programs, even those in the powerful SEC, can be saddled with bad offenses (don’t watch the first three quarters of the Tennessee-Florida game when it gets replayed) and bad defenses (Texas A&M somehow).
But to see Missouri get dominated in all facets of the game by a program that went 3-9 in 2016 is unacceptable. Purdue played well, and Jeff Brohm is doing some great things there.
If only the Tigers had looked to hire him when he was excelling at Western Kentucky, maybe things would be different. Perhaps, Missouri will look to give him a call when their coaching vacancy opens up (after this year, the way things are going).
If Brohm is smart (and I gather that he is), he won’t take it. The best coaches in the world would struggle to succeed in an environment as toxic as the one in which Missouri football currently resides.
Puts me to sleep just thinking about it.