Missouri Tigers: Is Barry Odom in Over His Head?

The Missouri Tigers have been a bit of an anomaly since entering the SEC. They played for the SEC Championship two out of the first three years they were in the conference. However, they just never seem to have fit in. They achieved the success under former head coach Gary Pinkel. Pinkel retired due to health reasons. Barry Odom was a popular defensive coordinator and was promoted to head coach to keep the ship afloat. Odom went 4-8 in his first season at the helm and 7-6 last year. Mizzou started 2017 1-5 before finishing strong, winning their final six in the regular season. OC Josh Heupel left to take over the UCF job and he was replaced by failed Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley. I just question whether Barry Odom is in over his head. Let’s find out if that will be the case in 2018.

MISSOURI TIGERS OFFENSE

Missouri is led by a three-year starter at quarterback, Drew Lock. Lock is considered by many to be a first-round prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft. I am taking a more conservative approach. Lock puts up huge numbers. However, when he faces stiffer competition, he tends to struggle. Lock should be able to count on a solid pair of running backs to ease the burden. Larry Roundtree III and Damarea Crockett combined for 1100 yards a year ago. Unfortunately for Missouri, 1000-yard rusher Ish Whitter has graduated. My favorite player to watch on this Tiger squad is tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. At 6’5” 260-pounds, he is an absolute stud. Okwuegbunam runs like a gazelle. Emanuel Hall and Johnathon Johnson will have to combine to replace the talented J’Mon Moore at wide receiver.

MISSOURI TIGERS DEFENSE

While Marcell Frazier has moved on the other half of their interior duo returns. Terry Beckner recorded 7 sacks and 11 TFL in 2017. He is an athletic rusher from the inside. MIKE LB Cale Garrett returns after a team-leading 99-tackle campaign. They must replace Anthony Sherrills, however. The secondary wasn’t great a year ago and I don’t expect much from it in 2019.

SEASON PROJECTION:

6-6 OVERALL, 4-4 SEC (4TH IN SEC EAST)

PROJECTED WINS: UT-Martin, Wyoming, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, @Tennessee, Arkansas

PROJECTED LOSSES: @Purdue, Georgia, @South Carolina, @Alabama, Memphis, @Florida

The Missouri Tigers are always a tough team to project. It seems like whenever you think they might be good, they disappoint. When you count them out they have success. I think the Mizzou offense can compete with any team in the SEC. The Tigers defense, not so much. In 2018, I think Missouri will score enough points to win the winnable games. I just think they will make enough mistakes along the way to have another average season.

What do you think of the Missouri Tigers in 2018? Let us know in the comments!

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Brian Bosarge

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