Mizzou football got another win on the year, and this one came in part due to the strong performance by their defense early.
After a loss to Wyoming, Mizzou football has been looking to change the narrative on their season. So far, they have been successful in doing so, going undefeated since the opening loss. That includes a big win against Ole Miss this Saturday.
Missouri was favored against Ole Miss, but the win didn’t look as clean as one would hope. The offense got working by the end of the game, but early struggles limited the Tigers early. So, how did they pull out the victory despite early struggles?
Mizzou should be thankful for its defense in this one. Allowing 27 points is not perfect, but they played well early to keep it close. The first Ole Miss drive turned into a punt, but a fumble gave the Rebels good field position early. After a touchdown from that drive, the Tigers were able to clamp down. They forced a three-and-out early, and they then forced a fumble on the next drive. They forced another punt and a turnover on downs on a goal line stand to finish the half, allowing only seven points in the first two quarters.
The Tigers bent a lot, but they did not break. They were put in bad situations outside of their control with the early muffed punt, but they didn’t let that affect their game plan the rest of the game. The fumble was huge, and it kept the Tigers in the game when their offense wasn’t really working. Giving the Tigers shorter fields and momentum made up for other errors.
One thing that is often forgotten is the fact that Missouri still completely controls its own destiny. Many thought they had a favorable enough schedule to go into November as a top-10 team. The first loss of the season took that away, but they still don’t have a loss in the SEC. Are they the best team in the East? Probably not. However, it just takes a win against Georgia and for Florida to lose one game (whether it’s against Missouri or not). I’ve heard of worse odds. After all, the Gamecocks beat Georgia on Saturday, so anything can happen.
If the Tigers somehow continue this run, it will take a big effort by this defense, including more complete performances.