For Barry Odom to get his first win over Mark Stoops, the former Missouri linebacker will have to get his first road win of the 2019 season.
The Tigers opened the season as 17.5-point favorites at Wyoming, ultimately falling 37-31 to the Cowboys. Last week they were 21-point favorites at Vanderbilt. They left Nashville with a 21-14 loss. Odom has tried to keep the game-week consistent, even though the schedule has been imbalanced.
“Once we get to the hotel on Friday, to the minute everything looks identical, whether it’s home or away. We didn’t play our best game. We didn’t execute,” Odom said on the SEC Teleconference.
“The urgency for us doesn’t matter. As a mature competitor you’ve always got to focus. It doesn’t matter where you play the game. We gotta be so mentally dialed in to carry out our assignments, and have an opportunity to use ‘distraction control.’ There’s a lot of things that happen, home or away games — more on away games with travel and all those things — that there’s things that happen out of your control and you can’t do anything about that. Focus on the things that we can control.”
To get refocused in the middle of a three-game road trip, Odom has put an extra emphasis on preparation.
“We know that we will need to prepare really well this week and find a way to go execute for four quarters. Our team has learned a lot about itself. We’ve made steps moving into this last week, in a number of ways, moving our program forward. Had a setback and we’ve learned from our experiences and understand that the task at hand is so important to stay dialed in and focused and understand the urgency for us to continue to do the habits and showcase those on Saturday when given the opportunity.”
Odom has seen his team respond in practice. Will they be ready to play this Saturday? We’ll find out in the middle of a rainy night under the lights at Kroger Field.
“Our team has bounced back in a great way so far this week in practice,” said Odom. “I look forward to an opportunity to go play a better game on the way that our approach is going to Kentucky.”