Wyoming Cowboys 37, Mizzou Tigers 31
Well, that wasn’t supposed to happen.
It’s going to take a couple of days to get over that one, but the Mizzou Tigers are going to have to do that. They have the West Virginia Mountaineers coming to town next Saturday.
The Mizzou Tigers lost Saturday night at Wyoming because the defense gave up to gigantic runs and the offense couldn’t get a single point on two trips that went inside the Wyoming 2-yard line. That pretty much sums it up.
Sure, they had the first turnover by quarterback Kelly Bryant, where he didn’t hold the ball with two hands and Jonathan Nance didn’t make a tackle that gave Wyoming momentum when trailing by 11. But the Mizzou football team had many chances to grab momentum after that, and the Tigers failed.
Instead, the Cowboys went on what would be a 34-3 run that gave them a 34-17 lead in the fourth quarter.
Larry Rountree III fumbled inside the 3 that pretty much made it a 10-point swing just before half, marking the score 27-17 Wyoming instead of 24-all at halftime.
Albert Okwuegbunam was called for a pass interference that moved the Tigers back to the 17 instead of staying near the goal line on the first drive of the next half, and Bryant threw a desperation interception on the next play.
The negatives are simple: Bryant wants to throw and Mizzou couldn’t get outside as Wyoming had a faster defense than anticipated. Bryant isn’t comfortable with his wide receivers yet, and offensive coordinator Derek Dooley doesn’t appear confident in Bryant’s downfield throws yet. Hopefully that will come.
As for the defense, it had a rough couple of quarters and looked to wait too much to locate the football rather than getting in the backfield and attacking. When it did, the Tigers missed some tackles. That must get fixed this week.
The positives are that despite giving up that huge 31-point run, the Mizzou Tigers had enough confidence to get back into the ball game.
Bryant led two drives for scores that took less than 3 minutes combined and punt returner Richaud Floyd had a huge return when the Tigers needed a burst.
And the defense showed up when it needed to, holding the Cowboys to a field goal despite a first-and-goal and then forcing the Cowboys to punt to give the offense one last shot at the win.
Missouri was supposed to win, it didn’t. But there still is a lot of football to be played, and hopefully the Tigers jell together quickly so they can improve as they are supposed to.