Larry Smith had a chance to beat a better team on Saturday. Those chances don’t come along very often, and Smith should know that, considering that as Missouri’s coach he is 1-24 against ranked opponents. But Saturday, the Tigers led Michigan State 10-3 at halftime. Missouri had used four receivers and crazy formations in the first half, moved the ball, managed ten points, and had the lead. But instead of continuing to attack the Spartans in the second half, Smith went into a shell. The crazy formations disappeared, replaced by handoffs out of the “I”. Mizzou didn’t score again. With 2:37 to go, facing 4th and 2, Smith made a bad decision. He punted. He can defend that call any way he wants, but it was wrong, and took away his team’s final chance to knock off a better team. Larry Smith’s players did everything they could Saturday. They outgained the Spartans 356-297. But while they played well enough to beat Michigan State, they couldn’t beat their own coach. Smith was upset that fans were booing his team after such a valiant effort. Well, Larry, the fans weren’t booing your players. Those boos were for you, and you earned them.
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