Mizzou-Toledo. 2:30 p.m. kickoff. Five things to watch for.
1. James Franklin could have a big day against Toledo. They have a young defense and while they put in a gutsy performance against Florida, many of these kids will be seeing a spread, wide open attacking offense for the first time. Toledo has 56 freshman and redshirt freshman on the roster.
2. E.J. Gaines vs. Bernard Reedy. I would expect defensive coordinator Dave Steckel to put his best corner on Toledo’s best pass catcher. Gaines had two interceptions vs. Murray State. The first came with the Tigers down 14-13 lead early in the 2nd quarter. Gaines jumped an out route and made a diving interception to give Mizzou the ball at the Racer 33-yardline. Three plays later, Mizzou converted with a touchdown for a 20-14 lead. Gaines’ last INT came in the 3rd quarter, and upped his career total to five.
3. Andrew Baggett. The Mizzou placekicker needs to show more consistency. While I don’t expect this to be a game where the kicker will decide the outcome, the Tigers need work in this area. Baggett has a big leg, accuracy must improve.
4. The heat…again it will be a factor. With both teams running a high tempo offense, expect the Tigers to wear down Toledo’s defense. The Tigers could play quite a few on defense to spell the starters a break or two. Toledo has to hope their offense can have success, to keep the Tigers’ D on the field and try to wear them down, otherwise this could get ugly real quick.
5. Henry Josey and Russell Hansbrough. The last time Mizzou had two running backs each gain over 100 yards on the ground was 1999. Its possible the Tigers could go back to back with two backs going over the century mark.
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