Missouri made it back to a bowl game in 2017 after a two-year absence from the postseason. In order to make that happen, the Tigers rallied back from a horrific 1-5 start.

This season, coach Barry Odom would prefer not to have to do that. On Wednesday in the SEC teleconference, Odom explained his biggest concern was avoiding another slow start in games and to the season.

  • The opportunity to start fast is important, on both sides of the ball. We travel with 25-30 players that we haven’t done that with… How do these guys respond to adversity?

Missouri made a tremendous recovery last season behind an improved offense. In the final six regular season games, Missouri averaged 51.3 points and scored at least 45 points in every game.

Quarterback Drew Lock was the main reason behind that scoring output. In the last six games, he recorded 328.6 passing yards per game, 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions. He is back for his senior season and is arguably the best quarterback in the SEC entering the season.

Missouri faces UT Martin on Saturday, Sept. 1 in Week 1. The Tigers first SEC game won’t be until Week 4 against Georgia.

Odom on the momentum of his program and the expected crowd:

  • Our academic calendar started weeks ago… I expect a crowd, don’t know specifics… we have reached out to be the flagship of the state and ensure we do things the right way.

Odom on Tyler Bailey

  • We started recruiting him early out of Memphis, which has become a good area for us. I lived there for three years, knew about Tyler early on. Just on high school tape, he was a difference maker on returns and with the ball in his hands… he’s picked up pass protection, all the details of playing that position (at this level)… I think he’s got an opportunity to help us in a number of ways this weekend.