Mizzou football hopes to get better version of Albert O

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 21: Albert Okwuegbunam
COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 21: Albert Okwuegbunam /

Mizzou football brings Albert O back to CoMo for the first time since last October.

On the final attempt for the Mizzou football team to win Saturday, quarterback Kelly Bryant chose to throw the ball to receiver Johnathon Johnson down the middle.

The pass fell incomplete, and Mizzou tight end Albert Okwuegbunam was visibly upset. He appeared to be more open than Johnson.

On Tuesday, Mizzou football coach Barry Odom said he expects more out of their star tight end moving forward.

"“We need consistency out of Albert and all the all the guys at that position. But Albert hadn’t practiced a lot. You know, he didn’t practice all spring really and very little in fall camp. So we didn’t know what we’d get out of him. And we want you to practice well today. And I think we’ll get a better version (of him).”"

Part of the reason Bryant might have chosen to deliver the pass to Johnson on fourth down was his belief in the guy who has been with him in practice. He’ll want to become more familiar with Okwuegbunam, who had a great chance to score the game-winning touchdown last Saturday. Mizzou is going to need that connection starting this week.

If they were able to hook up more last weekend, perhaps Mizzou wouldn’t be in the 0-1 hole the Tigers sit in. The first-round hopeful caught three passes for 72 yards last weekend, but it took him a while to get going.

On his first catch attempt, he dropped a short pass over the middle, which was reviewed for a fumble. In the second half, he was flagged for offensive pass interference on a touchdown that would have cut the deficit to 3, but instead the Tigers moved back to the 17-yard line, and Bryant threw a pick on the next play.

Now, how will Mizzou’s top target be used this weekend? Odom is keeping it hush, obviously. He said if he gave up those plans, then West Virginia would have them.

Saturday will be Okwuegbunam’s first game at Faurot Field since Oct. 27, 2018. Hopefully it’s a good “homecoming” to open up Faurot for Okwuegbunam and the Tigers.

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