Missouri Football: Georgia upends Tigers’ hopes for upset

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Barry Odom of the Missouri Tigers talks with Brandon Lee
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Barry Odom of the Missouri Tigers talks with Brandon Lee /

On Saturday, the Missouri Tigers fell to the Georgia Bulldogs, 43-19. At times, the game was much closer than the final score indicated.

If the Missouri Tigers were seeking a moral victory, then it shouldn’t come from Saturday’s loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. At least, that’s what head coach Barry Odom had to say in his post-game presser.

For Missouri, there were plenty of mistakes to be shared among everyone, but the defense looked especially ill-prepared. It doesn’t help matters that the Tigers were also playing against the No. 2 team in the country; the ‘Dawgs offense wore the defense down, and Mizzou also had to play the officials.

Probably one of my biggest pet peeves is blaming officiating on the outcome of a game, and I was reluctant to consider it a possibility, but there were at least three situations where the officials’ calls seemed blatantly slanted against the Tigers.

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At the end of the day, the Tigers have to play well to win their games. If that means playing as perfect of a 60 minutes of football possible, then that’s what they have to do. This team can control what it does, but it can’t control the officials.

Back a few months ago, I predicted this game to be close, but a loss. Unfortunately, my prediction was correct. However, following their first loss is no reason to press the panic button.

The Tigers head into the Bye this week, and prepare to play South Carolina in a couple of weeks. This portion of Mizzou’s schedule, three-game home stand, is book-ended by the No. 1 and No. 2 teams, respectively. The Tigers took their lumps against Georgia, and will definitely take the same against Alabama, but the litmus test for Missouri will be South Carolina.

If Missouri can come out of the second half of their season with a 3-3 record, I would consider their first half a success. That means Mizzou has to beat South Carolina, a team that decimated the Tigers’ suspect defense, 31-13.

Odom has two weeks to prepare his Tigers for the Gamecocks. The schedule makers did the Tigers a favor giving them a Bye after Georgia, and setting up the rematch against South Carolina before hosting Alabama.

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Returning from their Bye last year, Missouri played on the road at Kentucky, and was seemingly jobbed by the officials, again. The Tigers need to shake the post-Bye monkey off their back, and play better football that doesn’t allow the officials to potentially dictate the outcome of the game.