By Doran Grieshaber, Sports Writer
Last Saturday, the Mizzou football team faced off against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. It was a high scoring, back-and-forth game but in the end Middle Tennessee came out on top 51-45. To add insult to injury, Mizzou lost this game on their Homecoming. The offense had a productive day, but sloppy play kept the tigers from getting the victory. The Tigers football program has had a long fall from the top of the Southeastern Conference and it doesn’t seem like they’re on their way back anytime soon.
The 51-45 loss set a record for Mizzou, as it is the most points the team has ever scored in a loss. The two teams traded scores left and right, as the game had seven lead changes. Most of Mizzou’s offense came from freshman running back Damarea Crockett who had 156 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Crockett’s four touchdowns are the most by a freshman in school history. Mizzou quarterback Drew Locke also threw for two touchdowns and 281 yards. Mizzou had 629 total yards, their highest mark of the season. On the Blue Raiders’ side, quarterback Brent Bockstill threw for four touchdowns and 280 yards. I’Tavius Mathers rushed for 215 yards and a touchdown and also had a touchdown reception.
Mizzou’s offense may not have been the problem, but miscues and penalties are certainly what killed the team on Saturday. A poor snap on a punt attempt in the second quarter caused the Tigers to turn the ball over on their own seven yard line, which was followed immediately with a Middle Tennessee touchdown. The team drew penalties 13 times for a total of 125 yards. The team also had two turnovers while not forcing any turnovers against the Blue Raiders. If Mizzou hopes to turn things around sloppy play like this game cannot happen.
Mizzou football has been on a steady decline as of late. After winning the SEC East in both of their first two seasons, the team went 5-7 last year including 1-7 in SEC matchups. They are 2-3 after Saturday’s loss and are 0-3 in the SEC. The team is dead last in the SEC East and doesn’t look like they will be bowl eligible this season. Next week, they play against Kentucky at home. Kentucky is 3-2 in the conference and 4-2 overall. At the rate things are going, Mizzou fans may need to find a safe space until next year.