Columbia, Mo. — The shock of losing at home to Baylor, and the frustration of losing four of the last five games, is weighing on Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.
“It’s just one big ball of frustration,” Pinkel said. “It’s not a great feeling. It’s not fun losing and our fans have a better expectation level than what they’re seeing.”
After an impressive win over Colorado on Oct. 31, Missouri (5-4, 1-4 Big 12) was a 14-point favorite to beat Baylor. Instead, Missouri blew an 11-point halftime lead and lost 40-32. For the Bears, it was just the third win in their last 55 Big 12 road games and the first in Columbia since 1972.
“I was just shocked,” senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said. “So shocked.”
The loss knocked Missouri out of the running for its third straight Big 12 North title, a goal that both players and fans had considered achievable despite losing the first three conference games. The hardest part of the schedule is over, with only games at Kansas State today, a home game against Iowa State and a game against rival Kansas in Kansas City remaining.
Now, the Tigers have to focus on winning at least one of the remaining games to become bowl-eligible.
“Obviously, the goal now is to finish out the season winning,” center Tim Barnes said. “We want to win every game that’s left, and if we obtain that goal we can go to a good bowl game.”
One issue Missouri has to work out is the second-half performance. In Big 12 play, Missouri has yet to score a second-half touchdown and has been outscored 80-11 after halftime.
“We can’t let these things continue to happen,” quarterback Blaine Gabbert said. “They’ve happened more than once this year and we have to come out with a renewed focus to make sure they don’t happen again.”
Pinkel discounted the notion that he and his staff were not making the proper halftime adjustments.
“I’ve always said that if you’re waiting until halftime to make adjustments, you’re not a very good coach,” Pinkel said.