COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri football coach Barry Odom met with reporters for his weekly press conference on Monday afternoon and shared some of the reaction to his team’s disappointing 28-27 loss against visiting Georgia on Saturday night.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys that like to win,” Odom said of the mood in the locker room. “Give credit to our opponent, they did a good job on making enough plays to win it. So there were frustrations, there was anger, there was sadness, there were all the things that go along with pouring your soul into something and coming away on the wrong end of things. That hurts. And that’s OK.
“We’re not in it to participate. We’re in it to win things. I’ll stand by that every day of the week. That’s the way my program’s going to be built. There’s a winner and a loser in everything we do — academically, socially and on the football field. That’s the approach we’re going to take. There will be a winner and loser tomorrow in practice in the drills we do. That’s something I want our kids to know every day of the week, that that’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Odom said there were a lot of emotions in the locker room afterward, but he wasn’t worry about that carrying over in a negative way going forward.
The first-year head coach said he spent a lot of time on Sunday with his players and they were anxious to get back to work and focus on the Tigers’ next opponent, Delaware State.
“I like our team and I like our staff,” Odom said. “We challenged each other a little bit last night that this will make us a better program, this will make us have a little more toughness. Trying times do that. Again, when you pour your soul into something and it doesn’t work out the way you want it to, it’s frustrating. But also you learn, from a coaching staff you learn, from a student-athlete standpoint you learn. You make corrections, you build on the positives and you get better.”
Odom also opened up about how hard that loss was on him personally.
“I hate losing,” Odom said. “I hate losing more than I like winning. That’s the way I was brought up. For me, I want to put my guys in position to be successful. That’s my job to do it. I’ve got to do a better job in every aspect to give them the resources and the knowledge and everything that we need to win a football game. I celebrate wins like nobody’s business and I live in misery with losses. That’s the way I have to function. That’s me. I’d like to give you a bunch of coach talk, but that’s who I am.”
The Tigers were without senior running back Alex Ross (ankle) and redshirt sophomore wide receiver Keyon Dilosa (concussion) against Georgia but it sounds like both players will be back this Saturday.
“(Ross) had a decent practice on Thursday,” Odom said. “Really on Wednesday did some things. On Thursday was a little bit better. I thought we’d get him out there. He didn’t feel like he could be productive enough — as well as the medical staff — pre-game on Saturday. He said he felt pretty good last night, which was good.”
Odom said he expected Dilosa back against Delaware State.
“Terez should practice tomorrow, the way it sounds,” Odom said. “I saw him. He was moving around pretty good. Logan Cheadle will be limited tomorrow but anticipate him being more close to full speed on Wednesday.”
Starting center Samson Bailey, a redshirt sophomore, left Saturday’s game twice. Odom said he suffered an ankle injury but should be OK.
Odom said freshman defensive back Christian Holmes was good after taking a hard hit late as part of the punt return team.
“Holmes is good,” Odom said. “Went out with, got a shot there in the side of the head on a punt return. He was fine after the game. They had to go through the (concussion) protocol, but it seemed like everything checked out pretty clear, even immediately after the game, so that’s promising.”
HARRIS BREAKS OUT
Redshirt junior defensive end Charles Harris, held without a sack in the first two games, broke out with three sacks and four tackles for loss against Georgia.
“He’s practiced really well,” Odom said. “He practiced really well last week. He’s got tremendous ability. He’s got a great first step. I think he countered a couple times on his pass rush that — I think he had three sacks — but there were a couple other times that he was really close and they felt the pressure. He’s going to continue to play at a high level. I have no doubts.”
Harris was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference honoree a year after after leading the league with 18.5 tackles for loss and tying for the Tigers lead with seven sacks.
Through three games this season, Harris has 12 tackles — which ranks sixth on the team — to go along with four tackles for loss, three sacks and one pass break-up.
PRAISE FOR SCHERER
Asked about Michael Scherer during his press conference, Odom offered perhaps the ultimate praise for the Tigers’ redshirt senior middle linebacker from St. Louis.
“I’ve got two sons and if they grow up and they are like Michael Scherer, then I know that I did something right as a dad,” Odom said. “He’s unbelievable. As are a bunch of our kids on our team. Such an unbelievable kid, ambassador for our program, ambassador for the state of Missouri. He’s a St. Louis kid that could have gone a lot of different places, chose to come here, and he’s going to be able to write his own script and do everything he wanted to as a student-athlete at Mizzou. Unbelievable competitor. I really like him.”
Scherer, in his third year as the Tigers’ starter, is tied with safety Thomas Wilson for the team lead with 25 tackles. He also has two tackles for loss and two pass break-ups.
“He’s playing really well,” Odom said. “Really solid. I was talking to Sam Pittman before the game, Georgia’s offensive line coach, I’ve known Sam a long time, and he said, ‘I wish you’d hurry up and graduate (No.) 30.’ He’s been at different places — not at Georgia the whole time — and he said, ‘Are you sure you and Scherer didn’t play together?’ When you’re a good player and you’ve played for as long as Mike has, on that level, you get some recognition and he deserves everything he gets.”
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