Rainy day at the Liberty Bowl? MU’s Odom is prepared

The Tigers kick off against Oklahoma State on Monday at 2:30 p.m. CST.
Missouri coach Barry Odom speaks with members of the media at the Embassy Suites in Memphis, Tenn. on Sunday, Dec. 30 2018.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Spectators will be wishing that the rain, rain goes away in Memphis ahead of the Liberty Bowl between Missouri (8-4) and Oklahoma State (6-6) on Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m. CST.

But the weather concerns have also unearthed Missouri coach Barry Odom’s inner meteorologist – a part of his inner Oklahoman.

The Missouri coach and Oklahoma native said Sunday he has been closely watching the forecast ahead of the game and preparing the Tigers for any conditions. Rain is expected the latter half of Sunday and into gameday.

“I think it’s going to rain most of pregame and around 2 p.m. the winds will pick up a little bit and move it on out of here,” Odom said. “It’ll be dry for kick and that’s good for all the fans. It’ll be a great day for college football.”

Odom said he can’t help but monitor weather due to his Oklahoma upbringing in a tornado-heavy part of the country. He is also familiar with the Liberty Bowl host city’s weather trends, having coached at Memphis before MU.

“The weather here is a little bit different depending which way the weather is coming into town, which way it’s approaching,” Odom said. “Once it hits the river, is it going to continue or dissipate? There’s been a lot of study and a lot of hours put into that.”

Under Justin Fuente at Memphis, Odom helped administer wet-ball drills every Thursday at practice with five-gallon buckets of water.

“It’s paid off; it’s something I’ve continued,” Odom said.

He learned conditions are an important part of the game to be prepared for. He might have been reminded of that again this season, when Missouri unraveled and lost a 10-point lead at South Carolina in a monsoon.

“It was raining sideways,” Odom said. “Hopefully we won’t get that amount. We didn’t finish the game very well. That’ll stick with me forever.”

Odom has higher hopes for results in potential rain this time. The game will be televised on ESPN Monday.

Edited by Adam Cole | acole@themaneater.com

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