May 27, 2024

Power Five teams thriving after season-opening losses

Missouri Football

Missouri players exit the stadium after a 38-27 win over Ole Miss Saturday October 12, 2019 at Faurot Field. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

There are three Power Five teams that opened up this season on a sour note, but has since then successfully responded and are currently riding a four-game win streak.

There’s nothing like having everyone jump off your bandwagon after a loss just to try to get back on after the wins start piling up.

All three of these teams have stuck together during adversity and rallied behind their coaches. In return the results have been positive and all three teams look to keep the momentum going this week.

Arizona: After losing on the road to Hawaii in week zero Arizona has quietly went on a great run. The Wildcats have won four-straight games for the first time since 2017, including three-straight over Power Five competition. Kevin Sumlin seems to have figured out the Pac-12 style of play and it’s showing on the field and in the win column. Quarterback Khalil Tate has been balling out of his mind as of late and put on a great performance in the comeback win on the road at Colorado. The Wildcats’ are averaging 37.2 points per game and will need to keep up the offensive production as the schedule gets more challenging in the next three games. Hosting Washington Saturday and back-to-back road dates at USC and Stanford will reveal if Arizona is legit. Still, the Wildcats are undefeated in conference play and have improved on both sides of the ball.

Missouri: The Tigers are a team that has gone under the radar ever since the season-opening loss at Wyoming. It also doesn’t help that the team is under NCAA sanctions and ineligible for post season play. However, Missouri is making the most out of the 2019 season. The Tigers are averaging 39 points per game and have scored 31 or more in all five contests this season. Quarterback Kelly Bryant has had a huge impact on the offense and been playing to the level everyone expected him to. However, Bryant suffered a leg injury last Saturday from a dirty play by a Troy defender and is questionable against Ole Miss. On defense Missouri has played lights out and been one of the best units in the SEC. The Tigers are allowing just 13.6 points per game, which is the ninth-best in the nation. The rest of the October slate is very favorable and Missouri could potentially enter November with seven wins.

Oregon: The season-opening loss to Auburn was a low blow. Not just because it was the SEC over the Pac-12 again, but also the way the Ducks should’ve won that game. Oregon has responded well and won four-straight. The Ducks are 2-0 in conference play with both victories over Pac-12 North foes. Senior quarterback Justin Herbert has been phenomenal, with 1,341 yards through the air, 15 touchdowns and one interception. However, it’s the Ducks’ defense that has been the most impressive. The unit has the No. 6 scoring defense in the nation, allowing a mere 9.8 points per game. At No. 13 Oregon is also the highest-ranked team from the Pac-12. The Ducks still have a lot to play, but are reaching the meat-grinder of their conference schedule and everything will become more challenging. Either way Oregon has looked like the best Pac-12 team through five games and could potentially reach the top-10 for the first time this season with a win over Colorado this weekend.