The Missouri Tigers have lots to think about during a needed bye week after a respectable 38-28 loss to Oklahoma, the Big 12 favorite. Taking the 37-30 loss to Arizona State--a team pummeled USC last night--also into consideration, the Tigers are not that far away from from where they want to be, and yet it is early in the season to have already collected their second loss. Here is a look at both the bad and the good, going forward.
Close, But No Cigar
With Mizzou's impressive performance out of the gate, its 14-3 lead in the first quarter against Oklahoma was probably more significant than you thought. Yes, both the offensive and defensive units seemed well-prepared going in, but that 11-point leads was the first time the Sooners had trailed at home since Baylor did in 2007. That the lead quickly disappeared on the way to a 28-0 run for the Sooners probably says as much about coaching staffs as it does about players. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops does not lose very often and for good reason.
The Game Ball Goes To
Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe. Against a very good Oklahoma defense, he caught 7 passes for 119 yards. It was his most catches and yards of the season, as he continues to establish himself as Tiger quarterback James Franklin's favorite target. Running back Henry Josey also turned in a deserving effort against the Sooners, carrying the ball 14 times for 133 yards, as Missouri barely dipped out of the nation's top ten rushing teams.
On Oklahoma's second possession, Missouri safety Kenji Jackson made an athletic play to garner his fifth career interception, which leads the secondary. It was his first pick of the 2011 season.
1-8. That is Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel's record against Oklahoma. Even though he has certainly shown the preparation aptitude in the last couple years for competing against Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, the correct answer is that he is no Bob Stoops. Maybe that is an obvious conclusion, but it's still a painful one for the Missouri faithful to to feel once a season.
"We thought we could beat them," Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe said.
Missouri is idle this week but will resume conference play on October 8 at Kansas State. The task does not get much easier against the undefeated Wildcats who are coming off a win over Miami (FL).