It’s been three years since the Missouri Tigers played in a bowl game. In that span, Missouri has a new athletic director, head coach and quarterback.
The beginning of the 2017 season looked promising for Missouri, at least on paper. In the midst of a five-game losing streak to practically start the season, many, if not most fans had given up mush hope for the Tigers playing in a bowl game this year.
When the Tigers returned from their bye week, they seemed a slightly changed team. I saw a little more effort and a better sense of direction from the coaching staff and from the team.
In times of adversity, leaders take charge. From what we saw to start the season, no single person stepped forward to assume a leadership role, but after the Tigers’ bye week, an important, much-needed transition occurred.
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The Tigers began to trust each other more, made a more concerted effort to make plays and made better use of their skills. From the sidelines, former offensive coordinator Josh Heupel began making better use of the team’s tight ends and running backs.
Missouri became an exciting team to watch, as the season progressed. The Tigers averaged 51.3 points per game after losing a tough contest to Georgia. Most will attest that the Tigers’ slate of opponents in the second half of the season were in a state of disarray, or were “cupcake” opponents.
Those assessments can be taken any way you want, but Missouri still had to prepare for, and win those games. Idaho and UConn aside, Mizzou played well against four teams on its SEC slate. The Tigers did what they needed to do, and are where they are, tonight.
Missouri’s all-time record against Texas, is 6-17. The Longhorns lead the Tigers by a large margin, and will look to increase its win total tonight.
Texas will be missing a few key players. One of the bigger names expected to miss the game for the Longhorns is linebacker Malik Jefferson.
Missouri should matchup well against Texas. For the most part, Mizzou has been more of a second half offense, so if the Tigers keep it close or are slightly behind in the first half, I completely expect them to pull ahead.
Texas will look to keep it close and steal a win away from the Tigers. I don’t think this game will be the blowout that we’ve become accustomed to seeing from Mizzou, but I think the pieces are there for Missouri to take the W from the Longhorns. Mizzou wins, 34-27. The game can be seen on ESPN at 8:00, ct.