Missouri seeks first win of season against No. 17 LSU

NCAA Football

LSU improved significantly from its first game to its second game.

Missouri didn’t.

Both sets of Tigers will look for progress when No. 17 LSU (1-1) visits Missouri (0-2) in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday afternoon. The game was scheduled to be played in Baton Rouge, La., but was moved Wednesday as Hurricane Delta bears down on the Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to make landfall on Friday in Louisiana.

Defending national champion LSU opened the season with a 44-34 home loss to Mississippi State two weeks ago. Then LSU went on the road and routed Vanderbilt 41-7.

“We made tremendous improvement from Week 1 to Week 2,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. “Now we’ve got to continue to make that improvement, and we cannot make the mistakes that we make and play the elite teams in the SEC and expect to win.”

Myles Brennan is the first player in LSU history to pass for more than 300 yards in each of his first two starts. He was inconsistent in the opener and many of his yards came in a vain attempt to make up a fourth-quarter deficit, but he was more poised and consistent against the Commodores.

“Myles maneuvering in the pocket with pocket presence, being patient and stepping up is something that we worked very hard last week on him doing it, allowing the routes to become open,” Orgeron said. “Then when they become open, let ‘er rip, throw it. Make a decision and let’s go, and he did that. I thought he did that very well this week.”

Starting running back Chris Curry missed last week’s game because of an undisclosed injury, but he’s expected back this week. In his absence, John Emery II had his first 100-yard game and a touchdown, though Tyrion Davis-Price started.

“I feel good about all three backs right now,” Orgeron said. “All three are equal in my mind.”

Missouri first-year coach Eliah Drinkwitz was hired after a very successful tenure at Appalachian State that was fueled by a highly productive offense. However, his current offense has struggled in losses to Alabama and Tennessee, scoring a total of 31 points.

Drinkwitz has played two quarterbacks in both games, starting Shawn Robinson and bringing Connor Bazelak off the bench. Bazelak gave the offense a slight lift against Tennessee.

The coach hasn’t announced his starter for this week, but he indicated both might continue to play.

“We have to put points on the board in the red zone,” Bazelak said. “Three points isn’t enough down in the red zone. We have to score touchdowns, and we can’t turn the ball over.”

Both quarterbacks have been hampered by dropped passes from the receivers.

“We’ve got to address (the drops),” Drinkwitz said. “Four big drops, two on third downs, one for an explosive play that would have been big for us. … We can’t drop the football.”

This is the third consecutive game against a Top 25 team for Missouri. No. 2 Alabama beat Missouri 38-19, and Tennessee was ranked No. 21 when it prevailed 35-12.

“We can’t win a game until we stop beating ourselves and execute at a high level,” Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton said. “Until we start doing that, it’s going to be hard to win football games, especially in this conference.”

–Field Level Media

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