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Sully Says: Up and down regular season ends with thud

Bret Bielema leaves the field after the Hogs lose at Missouri (KATV Photo)

It was Bielema ball at its best.

138 yards rushing and 198 yards passing. The Hogs controlled the ball and the game for one-half of Saturday's Battle Line Rivalry. The result was a commanding 24-7 halftime lead. There was nothing that happened in the first 30 minutes or in Missouri's SEC resume that would have had even the most die-hard Mizzou fan thinking comeback.

The second half was a disaster.

They got outscored 21-0 by the worst team in the SEC.

Missouri turned up the heat on both sides of the ball and the Hogs couldn't handle it. They stopped the run. They got after Austin Allen. They scored touchdowns.

The Missouri offense looked like the Pulaski Academy offense in the second half. Drew Lock had completions of 48, 49 and 67 yards in the final 30 minutes. It could have been worse. There was a bad throw and a drop on two more plays that could have gone 30, 40 or 50 yards.

The most disappointing part of the game for me. The Hogs couldn't punch it in on a first and goal situation from the Missouri four-yard line with under five minutes to go. This is when Coach B's good teams are at their physical best.

It was an ugly four downs. Rawleigh Williams for three yards to the one. Williams stacked up for a loss of one. A curious call on third down. A designed run by Austin Allen didn't fool anyone. Allen lost 3 yards on the play. Just like that, first and goal from the four was now fourth and goal from the five. That's not Bielema ball.

It would seem with two NFL-caliber offensive linemen in Frank Ragnow and Dan Skipper that the Hogs could muscle their way into the end zone. Second and goal from the one and they couldn't get it done. Coach B always talks about "straining." I would imagine that's a must in short yardage situations.

This isn't like the other four losses.. Those came against good teams. A second half meltdown against a 3-8 Missouri team is hard to digest.

In a season that's been marked by inconsistent play, the Hogs looked like two different teams on Saturday. That team that drubbed Florida had Missouri down by 17, but those guys that got drilled by Auburn couldn't hold the lead.

Each game in the SEC is like a new season, and this was a step back. I agree with Coach. It sucks.





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