At his weekly press conference, head coach Barry Odom praised his young freshman talent and showed faith in his team to get to bowl eligibility.
After a dominant win over Tennessee, Missouri’s head coach Barry Odom looked relieved to be able to walk up to the podium after yet another victory for his Tigers. In his opening statement, Odom was quick to praise the performance of the run game and just as quick to recognize the missed opportunities in the passing game.
Odom acknowledged that the Tigers “left a lot of things out there in the passing game.” He went on to say the offense will “need to be better in that area down the stretch.”
As for the defense, the former defensive coordinator praised his defense’s effort as they only allowed ten points in the game. One thing that stuck out on Saturday was the increased usage of freshman players on defense, especially on third down.
When asked about his decision to use a large number of freshmen on defense, Odom simply replied, “We want to put the best eleven players on the field…they give us the best chance.”
However, Odom also wanted to make it very clear that this goes way beyond himself and the talent of his players. Odom told the media, “I like our staff. They’ve worked extremely hard. [They] also understand that we are judged by results and, we have another chance to see where we are at this week.”
The next opponent for the Tigers is the Commodores of Vanderbilt in a game that is looking like it will be the fifth straight win for Mizzou, if they keep focus. In the opening odds, the Tigers are favored by 9.5 points, and ESPN’s Football Power Index matchup predictor gives Missouri a 68.5% chance of coming out on top in Nashville.
As mentioned before, a win in Nashville means bowl eligibility for the Tigers for the first time since Mizzou claimed the SEC East title back in the 2014-2015 season. However, bowl eligibility will mean a lot more to a certain group of players than anyone else, the senior class.
When asked about the senior class’s mission for a bowl game, coach Odom replied, “They’ve been through a lot, and that was one of our goals that we talked about. Everyone knows that we get to 1-0 this week and that opens up a whole world of opportunities for us… We’ll get there.”
It will be a night game in Nashville on Saturday as Barry Odom’s Tigers look to keep giving the athletic department in Columbia more reasons as to why Odom is the right man for the job. And, even if the Tigers can’t put together a victory in the Music City, there is always the season finale against a struggling Arkansas football team.