LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — There are 14 million reasons that Bobby Petrino remains a pick-to-click sports topic in the Louisville area. Until further notice, this reason will remain atop the list:
Nobody has fallen faster and further while being flattened more frequently than Petrino.
The trip from Power Five/NFL hotshot coach to taking a beating for a guarantee check became official Saturday night in Norman, Oklahoma.
In his first game for Missouri State after Petrino sat out the 2019 season in the aftermath of his firing by Louisville, Petrino took a 48-0 pummeling from No. 5 Oklahoma.
Petrino’s team was outgained 236-to-1 in the first quarter and 608-136 for the game. Spencer Rattler, the Sooners' redshirt, completed 14 of 17 passes for four touchdowns in the first two quarters and spent the second half polishing his helmet. Missouri State averaged 2.93 yards per play, was penalized 9 times for 73 yards and finished with more punts (9) than first downs (7).
“First and foremost, Oklahoma’s a really good football team,” Petrino said. “Obviously, one of the best teams in the country. We got a little overwhelmed up front on the offensive side of the ball.”
The Missouri State Bears take the field for the first time under Bobby Petrino pic.twitter.com/erfftqAR1u— Wyatt Wheeler (@WyattWheeler_NL) September 12, 2020
Remember the 2018 Louisville-Clemson game? It was something like that — and this was after a report earlier Saturday that Oklahoma would be seriously short-handed for the game because of positive tests for the novel corona virus, contact tracing, injuries and suspensions. According to one report, the Sooners dressed only 69 players and were without a top running back, offensive lineman and kicker.
In fact, Missouri State president Clif Smart told Wyatt D. Wheeler of the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader that at some point in recent days the game was in “serious jeopardy.”
Well, it wasn’t in any jeopardy after the game began.
Petrino’s team was behind by seven points after 3 1/2 minutes, by 14 after 5 minutes, by 21 after 9 minutes, by 28 after 10 1/2 minutes and by 31 after the first quarter.
Even the crowd, listed at 22,700, seemed overwhelming.
“I was surprised,” Petrino said. “They had a lot of fans. I didn’t know there would be that many people in the stands.
"I watched some other games earlier in the day and Thursday night, and it didn’t seem like anybody had as many fans as they had at the game. It surprised me a little bit. It was a little bit louder than we thought it was going to be.”
If you’re scoring at home, that’s seven straight losses by Petrino — and the fourth in a row by at least three touchdowns.
Over the last seven games, Petrino’s teams have been outscored by an average of 32.3 points — 375-to-149.
Hey, the Sooners were supposed to win by more than 50 points, according to Jeff Sagarin’s computer power numbers. Missouri State went 1-10 last season. They were one of the worst teams in the FCS Division.
Missouri State earned a check of $600,000 to take the beatdown. Maybe some of that will go toward Petrino’s $850,000 salary, which he will earn in addition to the $14 million buyout that Louisville started paying him after Vince Tyra fired Petrino Nov. 11, 2018.
HalftimeMSU $600kOU 41 pic.twitter.com/8ZDoT81a0e— Wyatt Wheeler (@WyattWheeler_NL) September 13, 2020
There won’t be a Bobby Petrino update next week. The pandemic has shortened Missouri State’s season to three games.
The Bears will return to play Central Arkansas Sept. 26 — and then play their only home game against Central Arkansas (no typo) on Oct. 17.
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