Missouri has steadily improved during Odom’s tenure

Editor’s note: The following is the second in a series of previews of West Virginia’s football opponents for the 2019 season.

Coming off an eight-win season in 2018, Missouri looks to continue its upward spiral under Barry Odom.

In Odom’s first season at the helm in 2016, the Tigers won just four games. They increased that number to seven the following season and eight last season.

With the arrival of Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) at quarterback, Missouri has appeared in the top 25 in several preseason publications.

Bryant helped lead Clemson to a 12-2 record and spot in the College Football Playoffs in 2017.

He steps in for four-year starter Drew Lock, who was selected by Denver in the second round of the NFL draft.

Junior running back Larry Rountree III is back after rushing for 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018. He is the second-leading returning rusher returning in the SEC this season.

Talented tight end Albert Okwuegbunam (6-5, 255) is also back after catching 43 passes for 466 yards and nine scores last season.

Sophomore receivers Jalen Knox and Kam Scott, along with senior slot man Johnathon Johnson are also key returnees.

Johnson led the squad with 737 receiving yards last season.

Another transfer, Jonathan Nance, was Arkansas’ leading receiver in 2017.

Defensively, the Tigers will rely on a veteran secondary and linebacker Cale Garrett, who has 264 combined tackles in his career.

Up front, Texas transfer Jordan Elliott is a name to watch for at tackle.

Missouri’s bowl outlook, however, is uncertain. The Tigers were banned from 2019 postseason play by the NCAA in January for rules infractions

The school has appealed the decision and is still waiting to hear back from the NCAA.