After a terrible first play, the Missouri Tigers put on a show during their Homecoming victory over the Idaho Vandals. Here is what we learned:
1. Barry Odom isn’t the lame duck we thought
After getting smacked around by Purdue and Auburn on their home field, many people, myself included, thought Odom was as good as done. But his speech following the Auburn defeat may have meant something, after all. He made it clear he had not given up on the team, and in the three games since, the Tigers have turned in three inspired performances.
In the game at Kentucky, following the bye week, the Tigers could have won, if not for the officials wasting time on the Tigers’ final drive.
During the game at No. 4 Georgia, the Tigers were even with the Dawgs into the second quarter, before Georgia pulled away at the end of the second quarter. Then on Saturday, the Tigers crushed the Vandals behind a 34-point first quarter.
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I still think Odom may not return next season. He has five games to prove that he is able to lead the program to becoming SEC contenders.
A bowl game seems out of reach at the moment, but if the teams gets to five wins, that may be enough to keep him on the sidelines another year.
2. Larry Rountree is the future
With all due respect to running back Damarea Crockett, Rountree has cemented himself as the back of the future.
The freshman, from Raleigh, NC, is a bruising back (despite only being 5-10 and 185 pounds) with some get up and go. Rountree’s run at the end of the first quarter showed exactly that. But his good runs have not just been limited to the gimme teams on the schedule.
In the game against Auburn, he ripped off a 15-yard run which showed that he has the power and speed to be an impact runner. He scored a touchdown against Missouri State in the opener, as well. With Crockett still holding the top spot for now, his opportunities have been somewhat limited.
But Ish Witter will be graduating which means that Crockett will be a junior and Rountree a sophomore in 2018 and could be a dynamic duo in the backfield, for Missouri – the possibility is intriguing.