By Jordan Milewczik
On Saturday the Missouri Tigers took their first trip down to Starkville, Mississippi. They looked to rebound from a poor showing last week against Georgia to finish their regular season with a winning record. Instead, the Tigers left licking their wounds and with more questions than answers. Mississippi State handed the Tigers their second straight loss and their seventh game of 35 allowed points this season in a 51-25 route.
The Tigers were once again hindered by injuries going into this game. Kobie Whitesdie returned to the team to bolster a defensive line that was giving reps to the backup center, but the ultimate downfall for Missouri was in their secondary. The depth was so thin due to injury that the Tigers started former starting quarterback Shawn Robinson at safety.
“This moment was really cool,” Shawn Robinson said. “I haven’t even really felt it yet, just all of the emotions going on.”
Robinson seemed to be one of the only highlights in a rough day for a Missouri defense that allowed 51 points, 151 rushing yards, and 295 passing yards. The Tigers struggled to contain the air raid scheme that the Bulldogs utilize.
The poor defensive outing this week coupled with the rest of the season has now called into question defensive coordinator Ryan Walters capability and job safety.
“Defensively, we just couldn’t get it done,” head coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “They tried to give us a chance with the two interceptions, but offensively gave it back to them.
Offensive struggles continued this week for Missouri as they seemed to be missing a beat the entire game. However, this week was the opposite of this week. Larry Rountree had a big game sporting 121 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Those two touchdowns put him above Corby Jones for third all-time in rushing touchdowns for the team.
Bazelak continued his struggles this week even with the running game showing life. Bazelak was only able to muster 225 passing yards coupled with two touchdowns. However, his play was hindered by interceptions as he threw three interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, to match his season total.
“Mistakes get you beat,” Larry Rountree said. “You can’t make mistakes in the SEC, and you got to bring your A-game every week.”
Head coach Eliah Drinkwitz still plans to take this team on the road to participate in a bowl game in the coming weeks. He has been a major key in the rebound of this team from a bad game this season and looks to do the same before bowl season.
The Tigers finish their first year under Drinkwitz at (5-5) and look to their bowl game to earn their first winning season since 2018. Missouri finished their regular season in third place in the SEC East. The Tigers will hear their bowl game matchup on Sunday while the Bulldogs season has come to a close. They finish the season (3-7) and 6th in the SEC West.
“We’ve earned ourselves respect and a chance to go to a bowl game,” Drinkwitz said. “We’ll come back tomorrow and find out where we are going, we’ll break for the holidays, and then we’ll finish this season right.”
Edited by Emma Moloney