Missouri Football: Tigers fight in fourth quarter

Missouri should be successful in its first three quarters of the 2018 football season. The last three games could go either way for the Tigers.

So far, Missouri is predicted to lose to the teams that are almost certain to beat the Tigers, barring an upset, because “any given Sunday Saturday” is just as reasonable a possibility.

With three games remaining, the Tigers have little room for error, and can only reasonably “afford” to lose one game. Mizzou’s remaining opponents include Vanderbilt, Tennessee, and Arkansas.

In 2017, the Tigers beat all three, by a combined 143-79. Of the three opponents, the Razorbacks gave the Tigers their best fight (48-45). One year later, and two teams are with new coaches.

Nov. 10, 2018; vs. Vanderbilt

Missouri had Vandy’s number in 2017. This year will likely be no different, as the Tigers remain stacked on offense; with the defense having another year under its belt, it will hopefully execute more efficiently.

Hopefully by this point in the season, the defense will have its kinks worked out, and will play more inspired than it did for more than half of the 2017 season.

The offense will be a beast imposing its will on most defenses, as long as continuity remains with play-calling and the play-caller.

Nov. 17, 2018; at Tennessee

This will be Missouri’s last home game of the season. After the Volunteers’ departure from Butch Jones, some may have thought – initially – that the job was Brady Hoke’s to lose. Well, he lost it. In 2018, the Vols’ new head coach, Jeremy Pruitt, hails from the Nick Saban coaching tree.

At Alabama, Pruitt was the defensive coordinator for the Tide. He also held cosaching stints elsewhere, and is mostly infamous for not discovering asparagus, until he was 31 years old, in 2005.

What remains to be seen, is how the Vols will fair under their new head coach. This could play heavily into Missouri’s favor, and I think it should translate to a win for the Tigers.

Nov. 23, 2018; vs. Arkansas

This game has been circled by the media for the last couple years, since imposing a “border war” between the two schools. After Mizzou left the Big 12 conference and that team to the west, the Tigers have been without a classic rival.

Being a newer fan of Missouri and follower of the conference, I have bought in to the rival game. Every team should have a rival, but that’s one opinion. I could go on about that team to the west, but they’re as obsolete as my old Motorola Razr.

Last year, Arkansas seemed to have an answer at every turn for Missouri, and even held the lead for a short while. This year, I hate to say, could be when the Razorbacks steal the “W” from the Tigers. It will be a close loss for Mizzou.

Even with a loss to end its season, Missouri will slide into bowl eligibility. The season had its low points, but also had a good mix of close, exciting wins, and blowout victories.