The Missouri Tigers hope to get back into the win column when they travel to Stillwater to play the #16 Oklahoma State Cowboys Saturday at 8:15 p.m. Missouri (4-1) suffered a heart breaking loss Thursday night at Faurot Field. The Tigers had a 12-0 lead after three quarters only to see Nebraska score 27 unanswered points to give the Huskers their first win in Columbia since 2001.
Sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter. However, the response to the turnovers were more of Coach Gary Pinkel's concern as he says good teams find a way to get through the adversity.
"Bad things are going to happen sometimes," Pinkel said. "That's the way it is. I'd like to say okay, no turnovers, let's not have any penalties. It doesn't work that way but how are you going to respond? How are you going to respond as a football team when this adversity hits and I'm responsible for that. That's what I was disappointed in."
One thing that could help Missouri Saturday against Oklahoma State is further establishing the run. The Tigers have struggled with the ground game all year and ran for just 105 yards against Nebraska.
"We want to be able to run the football better and we're going to keep working, working hard. We're not changing the design of what we're doing," Pinkel said. "I would also give Nebraska a little bit of credit, defensive tackle, (Ndamukong) Suh's probably one of the best I've ever seen."
Missouri had 100 yards in penalties against Nebraska and Gabbert will be looking to change that for Saturday.
"It really comes down to individual accountability," Gabbert said. "We had a few too many penalties that really stalled a lot of drives and really eliminated points for us because we were in the red zone more than once. We didn't come away with any points. You can't be in second and 25, third and 18, first and 20, those are hard to convert on."
Oklahoma State was upset by Houston in Week 2 at home 45-35 but has rebounded for three straight wins to improve their record to 4-1. The Cowboys defeated Rice 41-24, Grambling State 56-6, and won their first conference game at Texas A&M 36-31.
This could be a perfect time for Missouri to reverse the trend that started when Oklahoma State came to Columbia last season and beat the Tigers 28-23. That loss severely damaged of Missouri's national championship aspirations in 2008 and this week is the perfect time to avenge that loss.
Senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon knows what they need to adjust for a better result against the Cowboys this year.
"This year, you got to focus on communicating, you got to leverage the football, you got to tackle man, stay on top of the deep ball, we'll be fine," he said.
"We've all got to do a good job of going out there, not thinking about it and concentrate because we've got an excellent opportunity ahead of us to go down and play and hope to beat a good team and if we do that, we're back right in the position where we not really wanna be but where we should be to go out there and contend for another championship," Junior Tim Barnes said.
INJURY NOTES: Cornerback Munir Prince who had a sprain in his hamstring will be back on the field against Oklahoma State. Linebacker Will Ebner had surgery but he just needed a small repair in his meniscus and it is very possible that he will be back October 24 against Texas. Gabbert and defensive back Carl Gettis, who both have ankle sprains, are probable for Saturday's game.
After taking on Oklahoma State on Saturday, Missouri will come home to play the Texas Longhorns for their annual homecoming game. It was announced that the game will either be at 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. The final game time will be announced on Sunday.