(Photo by L.G. Patterson/The Associated Press)
Team Records: Missouri 4-3 (1-3 in SEC). Vanderbilt 2-4 (0-3 in SEC)
Last Meeting: Missouri defeated Vanderbilt 24-14 on October 25th, 2014.
Commodores RB Ralph Webb vs Tigers LB Kentrell Brothers. It’s fair to say that Brothers has won every matchup that comes his way this season, and his nation-leading 91 tackles is evidenced by that. Vanderbilt is pretty one-dimensional on offense and there’s a chance they will be breaking in a new quarterback on Saturday. Webb has 495 yards on 124 carries (4.0 YPC) and also has caught two touchdowns.
Tigers WRs J’Mon Moore and Emanuel Hall vs Commodores CB Torren McGaster. Both of these receivers will play extensively on Saturday as they are listed as “OR” starters with each other. Moore has shown flashes of explosiveness, but was held catchless last week, while Hall has looked impressive in the limited time he’s been on the field. One of these guys has to make a play sometime this week. McGaster faced LaQuon Treadwell and didn’t do that terrible against him. There is not a Treadwell on this Missouri roster so McGaster has faced his toughest feat this season. He will cause problems for whoever lines up across from him.
Tigers OL vs Commodors DL. Obviously the biggest matchup of the game, and whoever wins this matchup in my opinion will win the game. Vanderbilt doesn’t do a great job of generating pressure on quarterbacks, but that hasn’t been Missouri’s biggest problem on the o-line. We talked about how in order for the Tigers offense to start turning the corner last night, and if they can it’ll need to start up front. Though the depth chart doesn’t indicate any changes on the line, position coach A.J. Ricker alluded that changes are in the offing. This would be the time to come together and produce some push in the run game and control the clock.
Why Missouri Will Win: The changes on offense, whatever they may be, will work against Vanderbilt. They protect their freshman quarterback, the offensive gameplan is simple and easy for Drew Lock, and they find their way into the end zone at least twice. The defense plays lights out again, and doesn’t let the Commodores into the end zone more than once.
Why Vanderbilt Will Win: They’re due for an SEC win, and happen to get one of their worst offenses on their homecoming when their defense is playing pretty well. The quarterback change works for them and opens up their offense. The Tigers continue to fall apart on offense and their defense’s back breaks from carrying the load the entire season.
Prediction: Missouri has to win this game, right? Tiger fans may not want to here this but these two teams are awfully similar. Strong defense, very little help from the offense, new quarterbacks, the only difference is their record so far. However I just find it hard to believe that Missouri can’t figure something out to give their defense some slack. If they do make some changes on offense, I’m going to say that the fresh faces will provide some sort of a spark and they’ll get into the end zone. Plus, they have to win this game if they want to play that 13th game at the end of the year.
Missouri- 24 Vanderbilt- 6