Missouri opens up the season against in-state opponent, Missouri State. While the Bears aren’t an SEC team, they are still talented, and should create a good matchup for Missouri for at least the first half of the game.
Missouri State has former Tigers defensive coordinator Dave Steckel at the helm, and that will play a little advantage for the Bears, as they try to impress future opponents over beating an SEC team.
Mizzou has something the Bears don’t, however. On offense, the Tigers have quarterback Drew Lock, who was the best signal caller in the SEC East in 2016, and totaled 3,399 passing yards with a spotty offense.
In 2017, Missouri’s offense is another year experienced. Lock’s reads and completion percentage should improve, which will make the Tigers’ receiving game even more dangerous.
The Tigers also feature a one-two punch in Damarea Crockett and Ish Witter in the backfield. In 2016, Crockett exceeded 1,000 yards on the ground, while Witter complemented the Arkansas product with 750 yards on 162 carries.
While much isn’t known (yet) about the state of Missouri’s defense, it should be experienced enough to contain Missouri State’s offense in the second half of the game.
Missouri will open its season with a win at home, which will give the Tigers a great start to a four game home stretch before their first road game on October 7.