Special teams not so special for MU right now

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel applauds his team after a score during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Columbia, Mo.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel applauds his team after a score during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. Photo by The Associated Press.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The fourth quarter of games was a strength for Missouri last year.

It’s been anything but this season.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel was blunt in his assessment of the Tigers’ fourth-quarter woes this season: the kicking game must improve. After winning the fourth quarter 143-59 last year, the Tigers have been outscored 37-14 in the final frame this year.

The Tigers blew a 17-9 third-quarter lead against Georgia, and nearly squandered a 24-7 lead Saturday against Arizona State.

While it’s been a mix of issues that has included turnovers, Pinkel made it clear the Tigers must get a grip on the situation at kicker to see an improvement in fourth quarter scoring.

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