Mizzou football opens up at home against the Mountaineers.
It’s Week 2, and the home opener for the Mizzou football team.
Mizzou football is coming off a shocking upset to Wyoming last week to begin the season, and the Tigers will look to get back on track early in the season as they welcome the West Virginia Mountaineers.
West Virginia held off an upset of its own, defeating James Madison 20-13. This week begins five-straight home games for the Tigers, so a win to start things off could get the ball rolling through Faurot Field.
Here’s a look at the Mountaineers, who are under first-year coach Neal Brown, who takes over for Dana Holgorsen.
Like Missouri, West Virginia has a transfer quarterback under center.
Austin Kendall transferred in from Oklahoma and tossed two touchdowns on 27 of 42 passing in last week’s win. Kendall takes over for QB Will Grier, who was a third-round draft pick.
Also like the Tigers, the Mountaineers struggled on the ground in Week 1. West Virginia only had 34 yards on 24 carries against the Dukes.
West Virginia has talent on the outside, and that should present more of a challenge to the Tigers than the Cowboys did.
The Mountaineers have a pair of juniors in Tevin Bush and T.J. Simmons as well as transfers George Campbell and Sean Ryan. Freshman Sam James was a top target last week, hauling in six receptions. Perhaps this week, Mizzou’s 4-2-5 defense will work better than it did against Wyoming.
If the road team has success on the ground, it will start with last year’s leading rusher in Kennedy McKoy. But the tailback had just 11 yards on 11 carries last week for the Mountaineers. They will probably want to see that number rise tremendously this weekend, and they are working to have an improved offensive line as they head to Columbia.
On the defense, the Mountaineers are led by tackler Josh Chandler. He led the Big 12 in tackles in Week 1 with 14 in what was his first career start. His 14 tackles and nine solo stops match his freshman production in 2018.
West Virginia sort of mimics the defensive formation the Tigers use, but the Mountaineers run a 3-3-5. Their top two corners are seniors Keith Washington and Hakeem Bailey.
They are looking for help outside of that, but Josh Norwood moves over from corner to safety and could be the guy who follows Mizzou’s top target Albert Okwuegbunam.
At nose tackle, Darius Stills is the top guy on the defensive line for West Virginia. He recorded a sack with six tackles in last week’s win. He also had a blocked field goal in the win.
West Virginia received preseason votes in both the Associated Press and coaches polls. Those went away in Week 2 as the Mountaineers escaped what Mizzou could not last week.