Missouri Football: Tigers seeking success in ‘third quarter’

COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 11: Running back Larry Rountree III
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 11: Running back Larry Rountree III /

To this point, the Missouri Tigers are projected to sit at .500 going into the third quarter of the season. Will Mizzou secure enough wins to become bowl eligible?

In 2017, Missouri’s first half ended with one win – an opening domination over Missouri State, but the Tigers’ success quickly soured until their return for a homecoming win over the Idaho Vandals.

Mizzou went undefeated (6-0) in its second half of the regular season, before losing a heart breaker to the Texas Longhorns in the Texas Bowl.

With a 3-3 record to kickoff the second half of their season, the Tigers are at the midway point to being bowl eligible. Let’s see how their third quarter might fare.

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

Oct. 20, 2018, vs. Memphis Tigers (Homecoming)

Homecoming went well for Mizzou in 2017. It proved the turning point of the Tigers’ season, regardless of the bereft technicalities of their opponents.

This year, Memphis should prove a more daunting opponent. Mizzou will face an opponent that only lost two key players in the offseason, while returning everyone else.

Historically, the two teams have only seen each other on the field three times. Mizzou holds a one-win advantage over Memphis. The last time these teams played each other, in 1999, Missouri took a 10-point win over Memphis.

The only win Memphis had over Mizzou was book-ended between Missouri wins. In this matchup, Mizzou will not walk all over Memphis, although I always welcome to be proven wrong at game time. However, I think both teams are fairly evenly matched offensively, and both defenses struggled in 2017.

Missouri will maintain its win streak on homecoming weekend, which will push the Tigers to within three games of bowl eligibility.

Oct. 27, 2018, vs. Kentucky

Missouri will be riding high coming off a close win over Memphis, but they will be faced with the stark reality of conference play resuming the following week.

In 2017, Kentucky took the Tigers on a wild ride, as we watched Mizzou succumb to a 40-34 finish. That was probably one of, if not the most, bitter defeat the Tigers withstood in 2017.

I’m feeling like this game will have revenge written all over it for Mizzou. The Tigers were conceivably robbed by the officials in the closing seconds of the game, in which the Tigers were making a major drive toward the endzone.

This will be a close game, regardless of the outcome. Last year, it was in Kentucky’s house; this year, it will be in Columbia. I will give Mizzou the benefit of the doubt, as the Tigers earn a solid win over the Wildcats.

Nov. 3, 2018, Florida

Last year, the Tigers beat the Gators. Granted, Florida was playing musical quarterbacks and former head coach Jim McElwain was sitting in one of the hotter coaching seats, but the Tigers thumped the Gators, 45-16.

Under new head coach Dan Mullen, it remains to be seen how the Gators will transform their abysmal 2017 season to success in 2018. I would think that by this point in the season, Mullen will have his Gators prepared for a little payback after such an embarrassing loss on the road.

This is another game where there are many unknowns, and I don’t think either team will create a blowout scenario. This game will finish closer than it appears on paper. I think the Gators will take this one, though.

Next. Predicting Missouri's 2018 season. dark

There’s one quarter of play left for Mizzou, and the Tigers only need two wins to become bowl eligible. Drew Lock and Barry Odom will have to devise a game plan that wins Missouri its next two-of-three games.