Missouri Football Focus: Southeast Missouri St.

With football season fast approaching (Only 2 months away!) it’s time to look at Missouri football’s Week 3 opponent.

Sep 14, 2019; Columbia, MO, USA; Southeast Missouri State Redhawks running back Mark Robinson (23) runs against the Missouri Tigers during the first half at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Southeast Missouri St. Redhawks

The Redhawks are coming off of an unconventional season that saw them play one game in October and the rest of their 8 games in the spring. The team finished 4-4, winning each of their last 3 games.

Missouri and SEMO last matched up in 2019, a 50-0 win for the Tigers including a 71 yard punt return from Richaud Floyd. The score was 37-0 at halftime. Expect similar results this time around.

The Tigers are simply a higher-quality team, and as long as they keep their focus they will have no problems. On top of that, the week before they travel to Columbia the Redhawks will travel to Texas to play reigning FCS National Champion Sam Houston State.

Let’s give the Redhawks some credit, they have good players, and the Tigers will need to be on their guard. Especially against senior wide receiver Aaron Alston.

 

COLUMBIA, MO – SEPTEMBER 14: Wide receiver Aaron Alston #85 of the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks in action against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Alston was one of the top receivers for the Redhawks last season, snagging 18 catches in 6 games. He’s a big yardage-getter, leading the team in yards-per-catch last season with 14.2.

All three of the Redhawks’ top receivers are returning this season, which means that the Missouri secondary will need to be tuned in. SEMO’s starting quarterback from last year, Andrew Bunch, will not be returning, so the Tigers have a chance to exploit inexperience.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Redhawks will be looking to fill the hole left by linebacker Bryant Pirtle, who graduated and left the program after last season. If last season’s trends hold, it will be senior linebacker Brandon Mincey who steps up.

Mincey racked up 4 TFLs last season and was a terror to opposing quarterbacks. Connor Bazelak and the Missouri offensive line will need to be on the lookout for Mincey as he has the ability to really throw off the rhythm of the passing game.

So what does Missouri need to do to win?

Put simply, they need to execute. The Tigers have a deeper lineup with more talent and a recipe for success. Not to discredit the hard work that the the Redhawks put in, but the Tigers are simply better.

If Missouri can keep their focus and execute head coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s plan, they’ll be well on their way to a win.