Coach Barry Odom and the Missouri Tigers will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they host idaho for homecomng on Saturday in Columbia. (File)

By Spencer Gleason

With a win on Saturday, the Missouri Tigers would accomplish two things. They would snap a five-game losing streak and give head coach Barry Odom his first win as a head coach in the month of October.

As a 14-point favorite over the University of Idaho Vandals, Missouri enters the eighth week of the season with an overall record of 1-5 – the Tigers’ worst start to a season since they also were 1-5 in 1992. They are on the verge of losing six consecutive games for the first time since 1995.

“We’ve got a six-game stretch, here,” Odom said of the remaining schedule. “(We’ve got to) take them one at a time and take some of the momentum that we do have in spurts of the game and find a way to put that together for four quarters and play smart football together.”

Missouri will host Idaho (2-4, 1-2) for their 106th homecoming game Saturday in Columbia. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised on the SEC Network. It will be the Tigers’ first home game in nearly a month.

“I’m excited about playing at 11 a.m.,” Odom said. “The past two weeks, night games have been awesome environment. The night games have been great. But then, when you roll in at about 3 o’clock on Sunday morning from traveling, from away, the clock doesn’t stop. You have to get up and get ready for the next game. So we’re excited to have an 11 o’clock game here, in front of our crowd.”

Missouri returns home after scoring 28 points against an undefeated Georgia Bulldogs team that hadn’t allowed that many points all season. Despite back-to-back conference losses, at Kentucky and Georgia, the Tigers’ offense has shown life since the bye week and quarterback Drew Lock seems to have regained his footing.

Lock has connected on 56 percent of his throws, going 60-for-106 over the last three games, dating back to Sept. 23. He has tallied 824 yards and eight touchdowns in that span, with two of those three games against Top-10 opponents.

“He’s got a really quick release and he’s got a strong arm,” Idaho head coach Paul Petrino said of Lock. “He’s a good player. There’s times where he can throw those dimes right in there. He can throw all different levels of the field. He can definitely throw it deep down the field and he’s got a quick release to throw the quick game stuff.”

The aerial assault that the Tigers have been able to display in previous games may not be a guarantee Saturday. Idaho’s pass defense ranks No.1 in the Sun Belt Conference and is No. 6 nationally, allowing just 162.3 yards per game through the air. The Vandals have allowed only six touchdown passes all season.

That could mean more focus on Missouri’s ground game and Damarea Crockett, who averages 6.01 yards per carry.

On the flipside, the Tigers’ defense has been zeroing in on stopping the opposition on third downs during practice this week. Missouri allowed Georgia to convert 13-of-18 third downs and tally 24 first downs in their 53-28 loss last Saturday.

“We’ve got to find answers for that,” Odom said.

The Tigers’ will be battling one of Idaho’s top quarterbacks in the history of the program in Matt Linehan.

The senior quarterback is listed on the Vandals’ Top-5 for his career in several categories, including passing yards (9,991), completions (829), touchdown passes (55) and completion percentage (61.1). Senior running back Aaron Duckworth leads the Sun Belt Conference with 552 rushing yards.

He will be working a defensive unit that has allowed at least 31 points in all six games this season and twice has seen opponents roll up more than 50, Auburn and Georgia.

Saturday’s meeting is Missouri’s third game against Idaho. The last time the two teams squared off was 54 years ago, in 1963, and the Tigers won, 24-0.

Missouri has won 10 of their last 15 homecoming games – a tradition that began in 1911.