The Mizzou football team got refocused after the first three hours of its season when in the wrong direction.
Mizzou football could have given up before it ever had a chance to see how good it could be.
The Tigers were upset in Laramie, Wyoming, in Week 1 of the season. That lone August night could have set the tone for the Tigers. But coach Barry Odom wouldn’t let it. He said it following the loss when things looked bad and he’s saying it now when things are looking better.
Mizzou football was not defined by that moment.
On Tuesday, Odom said that Week 1 upset against Wyoming was a chance for the team to get refocused, reiterating what he said in his first press conference after the loss.
You gotta prepare like every game is the same and the focus and the determination and, you know, if you don’t, then you’re not going to win. And so, I wish it was a different way that you roll your helmet out there and you win the game because of who you are. But that ain’t us.”
That example will be best demonstrated this weekend when Mizzou takes on Vanderbilt.
The Commodores are one of the worst SEC teams this year with a 1-5 record. If Mizzou believes that it can get the win without putting in the work, the Tigers could get upset just as they did against the Cowboys. That Week 1 loss was about as big of an upset as there is so far this college football season.
It seems like it wasn’t — a road loss, two unranked teams. But given the way the Tigers have played since, Mizzou should have won that game by four touchdowns. But it didn’t.
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And instead, Mizzou used it as fuel to set fire for the past five victories, all at home, by an average score of 40-14.
The Tigers have burned through the first half of the season so fast, Week 1 seemed like a season ago.
Cale Garrett, Nick Bolton and Jordan Elliott all were named Pro Football Focus Midseason All-Americans on Tuesday. Garret a first-teamer, the other two second. Albert Okwuegbunam was named second-team Associated Press Midseason All-American as well. Yes, the Tigers are rolling.
People probably expected them to be 5-1 or even 6-0 at this point. It was possible given who was on the schedule. They just didn’t see a loss coming so early, and to who it was. Most would have expected a slip-up to come against South Carolina or Ole Miss, maybe West Virginia, at least before Wyoming.
For it not to sting, Mizzou football would have to make a run through the SEC. The Tigers are off to a good start.
Also on Tuesday, Mizzou football released its Week 8 depth chart. There aren’t as many changes as last week, but Jamal Brooks moved back to middle linebacker, and is listed as a co-starter with Cameron Wilkins. Brooks was the backup to Nick Bolton in last week’s game.
Cade Musser is the punt returner along with Richaud Floyd, who has a chance to play this weekend. Johnathon Johnson was the punt returner while Floyd was out last week.