By: Ben Krakow
Missouri Football held a media day on Monday, October 10th as they look to put their 42-7 loss at LSU in the past with a victory in Gainesville against Florida this Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers and Gators are each coming off bye weeks. Florida was originally scheduled to play LSU at home, but had the game postponed due to Hurricane Matthew. Missouri Head Coach Barry Odom said he thought that Florida having a bye week instead of playing LSU would have little impact on this week’s game.
Odom said the bye week for the Tigers “absolutely happened at the right time” for the team. Odom went on to say that the team got more reps than in a normal week during the bye week. Several players said that the extra reps allowed them to have more time to work on things like their footwork and technique which they often do not have much time for because they are preparing for a certain opponent each week.
Everyone around the Tiger football team was eager to move on from the blowout loss to LSU. Odom shouldered part of the blame for the loss commenting that he and the rest of the coaching staff need to a better job coaching and said, “I have a long ways to go to be a really good head coach.” He also mentioned that he expects more out of quarterback Drew Lock and the rest of the offense around him. Lock said that he needs to remain calm and confident in order to repeat some of the success he had earlier in the season, specifically in the first half of the close loss at home to Georgia on September 17th. Wide Receiver Chris Black said that the LSU game was a “wake up call” for the Missouri wide receivers.
On the defense and special teams play, Odom said that while linebacker Joey Burkett has made significant strides in the last five weeks, he is still looking for more production from the starting linebacker. The head coach also talked about his disappointment in the struggles of the kick return team while saying that both punter Corey Fatony and the punt return team have had solid seasons through five games.
Missouri will play Florida at 3:00 pm on Saturday on the SEC Network. Odom said that the offensive scheme Florida is running this year under new quarterback Luke Del Rio is similar to the scheme they ran last year that made them successful. Del Rio is expected to return from injury and start against the Tigers on Saturday.
On the injury front, Odom said that wide receiver Nate Brown who has been out all season with an ankle injury, started running a week and a half ago and is ahead of schedule. However, he will not play this week. Odom also mentioned that defensive back Logan Cheadle may or may not play this week depending on how he practices as he recovers from an injury. The Missouri head coach said that he expects all other players who have been dealing with injuries to play. This includes wide receiver Jonathon Johnson, running back and kick returner Alex Ross, linebacker Terez Hall, and all of the starting offensive lineman.
(Featured Image: Ben Krakow)