Game Time - Broadcast:
Saturday, September 8th at 5:00 PM (Mountain) - ESPNU
Getting to Know the Missouri Tigers:
Barry Odom is going into Year 3 at Missouri. Prior to Odom, Gary Pinkel was coach at Missouri for 15 seasons. During that time, Missouri went 118-73 and had a very good program. Odom is still trying to build up his Missouri program. In his two seasons, Missouri went 4-8 in 2016 and 7-6 in 2017. Missouri started last season 1-5, but then finished the season strong with six wins before losing to Texas in their bowl game. While the strong finish was encouraging, it came against some easier competition. In fact, Missouri did not beat a team last season that finished with a winning record. Still, Missouri plays in the SEC, so I’m not saying that it was a cakewalk.
Much of the success that Missouri found last season came from their offense. At QB, Drew Lock put up huge yardage down the stretch and emerged as a top draft prospect. Lock is back this season to lead the Tigers offense. Unfortunately, the offensive coordinator from last season, Josh Heupel, is now gone. In to replace Heupel is Derek Dooley. Dooley had spent the previous five seasons as WR coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Luckily for Dooley, most of the offense returned along with Lock, so Missouri should still be pretty good this season on that side of the ball.
Missouri can throw the ball around. After watching Washington State find success throwing the ball against Wyoming last week, look for the Tigers to continue to attack the Cowboys through the air.
Missouri’s defense is not that great. That said, they are better against the run than the pass. Not ideal for Wyoming which is geared to run rather than throw the ball.
Missouri has a very good special teams unit that returned pretty much everyone from last season.
Wyoming played well for three quarters versus Washington State, but things got away from the Cowboys late. Nico Evans got banged up in that game, but should be back to face the Tigers. Still, Wyoming is on the road against an experienced offense and will probably need to continue to rely on their running game and defense. I’m not sure that the Wyoming defense will be able to generate multiple turnovers against this experienced offense at home. I’m also not sure whether the Cowboy rushing attack will be able to move the ball consistently against the Tigers defense. As such, I’ve got Missouri winning by double digits.
Wyoming 20, Missouri 31