The Tigers are back in Columbia to play the Arkansas State Red Wolves in what should be a solid win for Mizzou. The two teams last met up in 2004 and 2005, with Missouri taking both meetings. Each game, Missouri got more than 500 yards of total offense, and lets hope today’s game is just like that! Here are some last minute players to watch before you settle in at home to watch the Tigers, or head into the stadium on Saturday night.
Four Quarters (Four things to watch)
Franklin has impressed a lot of media pundits with his fast start this season. He has a 146.48 passing efficiency rating so far this season, and has some nice stats as well. He has led the Tigers to eighth in the nation in scoring offense, with 47 points per game. I am interest to see in this game if Franklin keeps up the good work, or if he plays down to his competition and struggles. This is an important tune up game on Missouri’s schedule before SEC play, and really the last easy win on the schedule, so Franklin needs to be good tonight. I am looking at about 3 or 4 touchdowns for Franklin, and hopefully no interceptions as he continues to work on his decision making and accuracy.
Who steps up at running back
The Tigers are unique in that they have four rushers with over 181 yards already this season. Its good to have depth at a position like running back, but I’m looking to see who stands out in this game. Which Tiger back breaks off a long run, or has an impressive drive running the ball? When its the fourth quarter against Vanderbilt, Missouri will need one go to running back to lean on. This game will go a long way in solidifying who that running back is.
Sam is Missouri’s starting defensive end opposite of Kony Ealy. Ealy may have made all the highlights with his interception return last week, but Sam has also quietly put up a good start to the season. He leads the team with four sacks, and needs to continue that production against the Red Wolves. Sam is a redshirt senior leader of this team, and Mizzou will need him and Ealy to pressure the quarterback as SEC season rolls around. Lets hope Sam keeps his momentum rolling and has a good game Saturday.
As for Arkansas State’s defensive line, Carrethers is the only real threat to disrupt Mizzou’s offensive game plan. Carrethers is a monster, but his linemates are pretty average, and won’t put up much of a fight against the Missouri offensive lineman. Look for Hansbrough and Josey to run around and away from Carrethers, and have some pretty good success on the ground today.
Finally, here is a video to get your ready for the game. Go Tigers!