Missouri’s football players spent the week leading up to Saturday’s Auburn game detailing the need for improved energy in both practice and games. That liveliness didn’t exactly show up on the field as the Tigers lost 51-14.
But it sure arrived afterward. In a postgame clip that made the rounds over the weekend, coach Barry Odom emphatically insisted he will win during his tenure at Missouri, that the state of the program was fine, but a “turnaround,” as he labeled it, would take time.
On Wednesday, his first session with the media since the rant, Odom detailed the response the speech has received.
“If you go from a day-to-day standpoint in the meetings that I have with my staff or with administration, they’ve all been really, really positive,” Odom said during the weekly SEC teleconference with reporters.
After four days to think about his comments Saturday, Odom also added: “The other night was a carryover from the locker room. Everything I do, either privately or publicly, is for my team or for my staff.”
After three straight losses, Missouri is in the midst of a off-week before playing at Kentucky on Oct. 7, its first road game of the season.
And it’s a much-needed break, in many aspects. With the additional time between games, Missouri plans to spend the bulk of its time working to correct its own mistakes, delaying the full game preparation for Kentucky until Sunday.
“As the bye week falls, you don’t know if it’s gonna be the right time or maybe if you wish you had a different one. For us, this year, it’s the perfect time,” Odom said. “We’ve been able to spend a lot of time on self-evaluation, really on all three aspects of the game. We’ve been able to get some guys healed up that have been banged up the last couple of weeks.”
That starts on the defensive line. After the Auburn game, Odom said the team finished with “two and a half” healthy defensive tackles.
“All those guys are back active,” Odom said Wednesday. “Not 100 percent, but I feel like here over the next couple of days (and) Sunday night, all of them will be active and ready to go.”