This weekend, the Missouri Tigers host West Virginia, in their first of five consecutive home games of 2019. What will the weather hold for Mizzou?
Last weekend, while the game did not go as we had expected, the weather was really nice. This week, the Tigers host the West Virginia Mountaineers, and look to earn their first win of the 2019 season.
There is stormy weather expected later in the evening, but that shouldn’t have any impact on the Tigers’ 11:00 AM (CST) kickoff. Saturday’s high is projected to reach 81 degrees, and a low of 65 degrees.
Expect the temperature at kickoff to be 74 degrees, with a real feel of 80 degrees, as humidity hovers at 69 percent. Winds will be out of the east at six miles per hour, with gusts of seven miles per hour.
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On Saturday, many tailgaters will rise before the sun, which should appear at 6:43 AM. Tailgate lots open at 8:00 AM, so you’ll have a small window of time for any last-minute preparations.
My thoughts on this week’s game aren’t as openly optimistic as they were last week; however, there is always some upside to find after a loss to what many felt was a lesser opponent.
In any given season, any good team has its game that catches them off-guard — the “trap game.” The hope is Wyoming was “that game.” Time will tell, but that game was a good litmus test of where the Tigers need to adjust performance.
Former quarterback Will Grier was drafted into the NFL during the offseason, so the Tigers won’t have to prepare for as seasoned a quarterback. That’s not to say Mizzou can cast all preparation aside, though. In last week’s loss, the defense looked slow, sloppy, and unprepared more than I had expected, and the offense had major problems protecting the ball. Similarly, the Mountaineers also have a transfer in former Sooners quarterback Austin Kendall, and both teams seem evenly matched.
Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant has another week of practice and preparation under his belt. Last weekend, there were times where Bryant’s performance left more to be desired, but there was also some plays where his talent was showcased.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers’ will again try to rely upon running backs Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie, while Bryant continues finding a rhythm with his receivers. The Tigers must do more to protect the ball, also. There were far too many fumbles and takeaways last week. I would also love to see tight end Albert Okwuegbunam targeted a lot more than he was a week ago.
The Tigers’ defense was already called into question last week, as the secondary looked lost and sluggish, throughout their appearance in Laramie. The defensive front worked hard to limit the Cowboys on the ground, while Wyoming took advantage of the Tigers’ many errors.
If the Tigers can improve in some areas where they made critical mistakes last week, then I think Missouri will sneak out a win over West Virginia. It won’t be easy, though. The Mountaineers are a talented opponent, and will try to cause trouble for Mizzou.