COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Tigers’ junior offensive tackle was back in action Saturday night after missing a month on the gridiron.
Larry Borom looked like he never left and was back to his normal self as Missouri dominated Vanderbilt in the trenches. The Tigers’ 41-0 pounding over the Commodores was their third-straight year of having a shutout victory. Xavier Delgado also returned to the lineup and for the first time in a while everyone was healthy up front.
The big boys mauled Vanderilt’s defensive line and Missouri’s offense racked up a season-high, 603 total yards. The entire unit was in sync and Borom enjoyed every snap along the way. He was impressed with the performance by the offense and was able to knock off some rust along the way.
“For me it was the confidence, trying to get my legs back underneath myself,” Borom said. “As soon as I got to hitting after that first series I realized I can do this again.”
The Detroit native is a firm believer that the game is both physical and mental. Borom knows first hand that it’s different vibe watching from the sidelines versus being inside the huddle. He’s proud the Tigers have a winning record for the first time this season and they’ve won four of their past five games.
The offensive line continues to make strides despite allowing three sacks over the past two games. Quarterback Connor Bazelak looked comfortable in the pocket with the protection he had, threw for 318 yards and completed 30 of his 37 passes.
“Everyone did a great job this week protecting me, keeping me off the ground,” Bazelak said. “Just having confidence in my guys, trusting them that they’ll be in the places that they need to be and executing for us.”
The Tigers balanced attack continues to be effective and they controlled the time of possession. The ground game steamrolled for 223 yards, including 160 and two touchdowns by Larry Roundtree. Not to mention Tyler Badie added another rushing score and finished with 102 receiving yards. Badie was thankful for the holes the offensive line opened up for the running backs and know they’re vital when it comes to balance.
Borom loves the opportunities the players get with Coach Eliah Drinkwitz. The six-foot-six, 332-pounder even motioned out as a wide receiver on a play. However, he believes the Tigers’ are at their best when they can pound the ball with their talented rushers.
“You get those guys running down hill you have to respect it,” he said. “Pass protection is easier and doing certain run plays is easier.”
Missouri (4-3) is now bowl eligible in Drinkwitz’ first season, which speaks volumes of the job he’s doing in Columbia. Still, the team has no time to be complacent with two games left on their schedule. Regardless of the matter both matchups will be against teams with a losing record and Missouri has an opportunity to win six conference games for the first time since 2014.
“It’s a big deal, it’s a winning record, we need that,” Borom said. “It’s good energy, it’s positive energy and at the end of the day we take it one game at a time.”