The Missouri Tigers bowl aspirations hit a roadblock on Saturday after a 19-15 loss to Vanderbilt. Here are three things that went wrong against the Commodores:
Injuries: The Tigers lost quarterback James Franklin in the first quarter to a sprained left knee. After talking for weeks about his shoulder, it was a lower body injury that took out the quarterback. Before the injury, Missouri put together two drives that ended in field goals. Back up Corbin Berkstresser has a future on the Tigers roster but isn’t seasoned enough to play important minutes. Second-string running back and punt return ace Marcus Murphy dislocated his right ring finger early in the contest and didn’t return.
Timeout management: Mizzou burned two second half timeouts that could’ve been useful when Vanderbilt was trying to ice the game. The first timeout came with 9:20 left in the fourth quarter when the Tigers were on defense. The next play Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers hit Chris Boyd for a 40 yard completion on 3rd and 13. If the coaching staff is going to waste a timeout, the defense needs to execute better on the ensuing play. The next timeout came with 2:58 left. Berkstresser led Mizzou to Vanderbilt’s 25-yard line. A second down play came in late and the Tigers had to stop the clock to avoid a penalty. Poor execution cost Missouri.
Special teams mistakes: Vanderbilt scored its first points of the game when Trey Barrow mishandled a punt that went out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Later, a bad snap on an extra point attempt prevented Mizzou from tying the game at 16..
The road won’t get easier as Mizzou welcomes No. 1 Alabama to Columbia on Saturday. Franklin has already been ruled out of the game.