COLUMBIA — To forget or not forget? That seems to be the question as Missouri attempts to rebound from its first shutout in nearly 12 years.
Coach Gary Pinkel clearly has an answer for how to handle the 34-0 shellacking Missouri received Saturday at the hands of Georgia.
You have “to have amnesia, forget about it,” he said. “It’s done. It’s over.”
The bitter taste hasn’t left everyone’s mouth, however.
“I’m still mad about it,” co-captain and receiver Bud Sasser said, “and I think a lot of guys should have a little anger about this one, because that should never happen to this offense.”
Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the middle.
“You don’t want to be lingering onto it at all,” Sasser said, “but you do just use it as motivation as you go through practice when you feel yourself getting tired and understanding, you know, there are people out there working just as hard if not harder than you are right now.”
The Tigers will need all the motivation they can find after losing by more points than any Missouri team since 2009.
“I’ve had better Saturdays than Saturday,” Pinkel said.
The loss was Missouri’s second in three games. And though the Tigers pulled off a comeback upset in South Carolina, the Missouri offense looked feckless for more than three quarters. Pinkel said Missouri isn’t pretending all is well.
“To sit there and say, ‘Well, I’m sleeping great, and everything’s fine. Everything’s good.’ Well, no it’s not,” he said. “We’re capable of being better than what we are.”
Missouri didn’t waste any time trying to learn from the loss. Quarterback Maty Mauk and his receivers met after the game once family had left to spend a few hours discussing the Tigers’ day, which included five turnovers and a 0-for-7 performance on third-down conversions.
“Man, just being upset, really, and just trying to realize what just happened, because we were just in shock,” Sasser said, when asked what happened at the post-game get-together. “It was really like, ‘Man, that was the worst game I’ve ever been a part of.’ We’re just trying to figure out what’s going on and really, all we can do is make sure we’re ready for this week. Because that won’t happen again.”
Mauk said players also discussed the game Sunday night until 2 a.m.
Linebacker Kentrell Brothers, who set a career-high mark with 12 tackles Saturday, said he was embarrassed by the loss.
“I didn’t want to stay in the locker room,” he said. “I didn’t even shower after the game. I went straight home, talked to my mom for a little bit, went straight home and didn’t come back out for the rest of the day. It’s a tough game to lose, especially at home, and it was hard to recover from, but once we got up here Sunday and started practice, I got it all out of my system.”
Mauk said he saw criticism directed at him on Twitter after the game but didn’t let it get to him. He reiterated Monday the offense failed to execute against Georgia, but he believes Missouri can recover.
“We’re going to have to come out and, not start over, but get our mojo, or whatever you want to call it, back,” he said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
The Tigers will need a quick recovery, as they head to The Swamp to face the Florida Gators.
“They’re like most teams in this league,” Pinkel said. “They’ve got good defensive players, and they pass rush well, and this is not anything we haven’t seen before, and they’re very very talented. Last week’s guys were talented, too. Welcome to the SEC.”