On the heels of a humbling SEC-opening loss to South Carolina and the firing of defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross, Mizzou football head coach Barry Odom remained positive when addressing the media Tuesday morning.
Odom expressed satisfaction with the way practice has gone the last two days in wake of the 31-13 defeat to the Gamecocks at Faurot Field. The Tigers (1-1) struggled defensively against Missouri State in a 72-43 week one win, but it was the offense and special teams that proved detrimental in the SEC opener.
“We also need to realize the urgency of getting those things fixed,” Odom said following his praise of the team’s work in practice.
The Tigers this week will host a 1-1 Purdue team that’s been offensively sound in its non-conference games against Louisville and Ohio.
“We need all hands on deck,” Odom said on the upcoming matchup.
Two of those hands belong to freshman running back Damarea Crockett; after suffering a tailbone injury, it seems Mizzou will have good news in regard to his availability this week, as Odom expects the freshman standout will be cleared for practice Tuesday. Crockett has already compiled 299 yards across two games this season, averaging 8.3 yards per carry.
Freshman offensive tackle Yasir Durant, dealing with an ankle tweak, was also cleared to practice, Odom said.
Mizzou is shaking up its coaching staff roles this week also. The biggest point of intrigue in Saturday’s clash with Purdue will be the Tiger defense, which will be solely under Odom’s leadership for the first time following Cross’s dismissal on Sunday.
Odom said Tuesday he is confident in his staff as a whole, but that practice routines may be changed up as a result of the coaching transition.
For the offense, this week will be a revealing one as well. Questions were raised of junior quarterback Drew Lock’s legitimacy after he threw two interceptions and only got Mizzou into the end zone once last Saturday. He’ll be up against a battle-tested Boilermaker defense that took on and stayed within a touchdown of former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson this season.
“He’s probably upstairs watching film right now,” Odom said on his quarterback. “He’s anxious to get back out there.”
Mizzou will host Purdue will be Saturday at 3 p.m. CDT on Faurot Field, airing on KCOU 88.1 FM.