Football handling social media criticism

Murphy said the team is sticking together following the loss to Indiana.
Indiana Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman (6) breaks away from Missouri's defense on Sept. 20 at Memorial Stadium. Missouri lost to Indiana 31-27.

Following Missouri’s stunning loss at home to unranked Indiana, shots were being fired all over social media.

“Hey but no actually you guys are f---ing garbage. Give Maty a chance,” one user tweeted at Mizzou junior center Evan Boehm, whose errant snaps were a storyline in the game.

The same user followed his original tweet up with “Season’s over.”

The majority of the comments over social media were directed at Boehm. Other tweets called for the team to be kicked out of the Southeastern Conference.

However, the players maintained that the team is poised to handle the adversity and remains close together.

“We still have each other’s backs no matter what happens,” junior offensive lineman Connor McGovern said. “We’ve been through it enough with each other that no matter what is thrown at us, we can deal with it.”

Senior wide receiver Bud Sasser said the harsh criticism comes with the territory of playing on a big stage.

“You just need to expect that stuff as a student-athlete,” he said. “Fans are going to love you when you’re doing good and hate you when you’re doing bad. That’s what fans do.”

Mizzou is beginning preparations for its biggest game of the season to date. The Tigers travel to to Williams-Brice Stadium to play the South Carolina Gamecocks. ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be recording its show from Columbia, South Carolina.

Coming off the loss to Indiana, the team is hoping to find a new mentality in practice this week. Offensive lineman Mitch Morse called last week’s game the Tigers’ “coming-to-Jesus moment.”

“If you’re a competitor and you lose, I don’t think you care who you’re playing,” head coach Gary Pinkel said. “We understand we’re in the SEC and it’s a great opportunity. If you’re a competitor, you love it, so here we go.”

Running back Marcus Murphy, who was held to a season-low 11 yards on 11 carries, said the team is more focused and as close-knit as ever.

“We focus on family and have to stick together through hard times,” Murphy said. “We’ve been sticking together like brothers and we’re ready to go to battle.”

For kicker Andrew Baggett, criticism is nothing new.

Last season, Baggett missed a chip shot 24-yard field goal in a 27-24 loss to the Gamecocks. He received vulgar comments over social media, including death threats, after the game. As for the comments the team received after falling to the Hoosiers, he said the Tigers aren’t reading them.

“We take shots even in games that we win,” Baggett said.

Pinkel maintained a positive attitude as conference play rolls around.

“Nobody likes to lose,” he said, “but half the teams in the country lose every week.”

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