Back during the 2009 season, the Missouri Tigers went through a stretch where they lost three games in a row starting at home against Nebraska (27-12), at Oklahoma (33-17) and wrapped up during Homecoming against Texas (41-7). The following Monday, Head Coach Gary Pinkel and the players all stated that nothing else mattered but the following Saturday at 2:30 (the kickoff time for the next game against Colorado). All of their focus was on that one game to save the season. The Tigers took it to the Buffs winning 36-17. In fact, Mizzou went on to win four of the last five regular season games. This year, the talk wasn’t necessarily about the 11 a.m. kick being their focus, but it’s clear after listening to Pinkel this week, the Tigers need to come off of the bye and win this week against Kentucky.
AUDIO Gary Pinkel’s press conference
The Wildcats come in 1-7 overall, 1-5 in the SEC, and have quarterback issues of their own. True freshman Jalen Whitlow started on Oct. 6 against Mississippi State. He was the third different quarterback to start in three consecutive games. Whitlow has started the last three games and against Georgia last week, he was 9 of 13 for 86 yards.
Corbin Berstresser will most likely start for the Tigers. He’s taking all of the reps with the number one offense while James Franklin has thrown some passes, but has been very limited in his movement from his knee sprain. Expect Kentucky to make Berstresser beat them. In the Wildcats 29-24 loss to Georgia, they shut down the Bulldogs running game holding them to a season low 77 yards on 32 carries. Georgia moved the ball through the air though, as Aaron Murray passed for 427 yards and four touchdowns against a young UK secondary. Their secondary has one senior, a sophomore and six true freshmen on their two-deep depth chart.
The Tigers are wrapping up a month long stay at home that includes three games and a bye week. Following this game with Kentucky, Mizzou will finish with three SEC road games (Florida, Tennessee and Texas A & M) with a home game against Syracuse squeezed in between.