The Missouri Tigers were forced to accept another difficult loss. One that did not come without controversy.
In a slow-moving game throughout, things changed drastically in one play. In an instant, things changed again. Late in the 4th quarter, the Missouri Tigers thought they finally caught a break. For a moment they did.
A bad snap sent the ball soaring over the Kentucky Punter, Colin Goodfellow’s head. 40-ish yards later, after a full sprint, Goodfellow turned and punted the ball. He was immediately hit by Missouri Tigers, Special Teams player, Will Norris.
In what seemed like a completely rational football play, Norris was flagged for tackling Goodfellow. This play would give the Kentucky Wildcats an automatic first down and change the course of the game. The momentum was then on the side of Kentucky, as the Tigers now fought the Kentucky offense and the clock.
After a lengthy review, and much debate by the officiating crew, the Missouri defense which has been so solid all year had to about-face, and was thrust back on the field.
Eli Drinkwitz was not happy with the call, which is understandable. In a season where Mizzou can not catch a break, this was another hit to an already heavily bruised body.
In fairness to the officiating team, it is safe to assume they rarely supervise a situation like this. As noted above, rational thought is the ball would be live, making all things fair play within the realm of an offensive play. Like a quarterback giving himself up and deciding to run with the football.
The Missouri Tigers hosed, but to the letter of the rule, it is the correct call
However stupid the call may be, it is the right one. Despite the tough break. Mizzou had a chance to win the game. As we have seen for most of the season, Missouri was unable to close. I know it was not an easy task, and spirits were low after the sudden exhilaration of what looked like terrific field position for the offense, but they have to figure out how to close games.
With three games left, and one on the road against a Tennessee team that will be out for blood, after their loss to Georgia, it does not look like Mizzou is bowling this year. If they are, it is a gutter ball. The sad thing about this season is all of the individual talent on the squad. I would argue Missouri has as many talented players as anyone in the SEC.
Unfortunately, when the 2022 season wraps up, no one will remember the talented player’s individual contributions, or the effort the defense has given every game. All the Missouri Tigers can do at this point is win three games, at minimum two, and see where they land.
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