Last Saturday at Faurot Field, the Missouri Tigers were able to get back on track with a 65-33 win over Memphis. The offense woke up, defense won the turnover battle, and Odom’s gutsy fourth down conversion deep in Mizzou territory highlighted the much-needed victory.
Next up on the season-redeeming path is a home bout with the #12 team in the country, the Kentucky Wildcats. No expert foresaw the Wildcats in the top-15 this late into October, but wins over Florida, Mississippi State, and South Carolina have catapulted a perennial SEC doormat to becoming legitimate SEC East contenders.
Despite the success, Kentucky is still a touchdown underdog to Missouri. The Vegas experts seem to all believe that the Tigers match up well on paper with the Wildcats.
Mizzou’s main weakness is pass defense, which ranks dead last in the SEC. However, Kentucky has the worst passing offense in the SEC with a mere 127 yards a game, which is 44 yards behind the lowest team, Mississippi State.
Kentucky’s main strength is running the football. Led by senior Benny Snell Jr., the Wildcats are second in the SEC in total rushing at 231.6 yards per game. Missouri will have to limit them on the ground if they are going to beat their first ranked opponent since 2014, which was a late comeback 21-20 upset at South Carolina.
The series between these two schools is knotted up at 3-3 since Missouri joined the SEC with Kentucky winning the last three meetings.
Barry Odom is impressed with how Kentucky’s sixth year head coach Mike Stoops has turned the program around. “He was given time to do it and he’s done it the way he’s wanted.” Odom said. “They are six and one for a reason.”
“Turnaround” is the infamous term Odom shouted last season after a dreadful 1-5 start. He backed his words up finishing the season 7-6.
If Missouri can beat Kentucky this Saturday in Columbia, Odom could very well have another turnaround to add to his resume. This time, the turnaround could be one that would help him remain as the head coach of Missouri for years to come.