Missouri Football Team Starting Slow, Winning Anyway
COLUMBIA - Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel walked off Faurot Field Saturday with the second most victories in Tiger history.
He now trails only the name in front of the field, Don Faurot. The Tigers beat the Arkansas State Red Wolves the same way they have beaten all their competition this season - with a late game flurry of points. Tiger coaches said the game plan was no different in the second half, so the difference was just players making plays.
"We didn't come in at halftime and say we don't have enough people to block them...We just didn't execute some of those plays we had called, so I think we just need to execute better," Offensive Coordinator Josh Henson said.
The Tigers trailed 16-14 before rallying in their 41-19 beat down of Arkansas State. This is nothing new for the Tigers. They trailed Murray State, an FCS school, 13-14 before eventually dominating that game 58-14. Missouri now has a 4-0 record going into conference play.
Missouri has absolutely dismantled their opposition later in games behind a high-powered offense teams simply haven't been able to keep up with. The Tigers are ninth in the NCAA in points-per-game at 45.5.
Although the Tigers pulled away against an underdog, players know there will be tougher sledding ahead. Running back Marcus Murphy said now that the "preseason" is over, it's time to jump out of the gate quicker against SEC teams.
"We had a slow start," Murphy said. "A lot of people have those games, you know. We just can't come out and continue to do this against SEC schools."
Missouri will face nothing but SEC opponents for the rest of the regular season, and five of their eight remaining games are against teams currently in the Associated Press top 25 poll. So while the team has enjoyed success early in the year, it will need to hit the field with the same intensity it has in the second half from now on if they want to keep a goose egg in the loss column.