With college football having fans in an offensive state of mind, perhaps it is difficult to give the Missouri Tigers their due credit. The Tigers strive off of winning the battles of special teams and field position and use their defense to shut down opponents.
That’s why I couldn’t believe when I saw the opening lines from Vegas list Missouri as three point underdogs at Tennessee. We’re seriously talking about the SEC East leader with eight win against a team in a rebuilding year with many freshman and sophomores in the starting lineup playing for bowl eligibility only because their last two wins have come against South Carolina and Kentucky. Prior to that, this team was 3-5.
This Tennessee team has talent, but their young. They’ll play hard and give Missouri everything they have. If Missouri is not focused (I mean like Indiana non-focused), they’ll be in for a surprise.
However, I’m not buying the concerns of Missouri traveling down to Knoxville. We saw how the Tigers could handle 100,000+ fans.
To talk more about the perception of Mizzou in the SEC, Seth Merenbloom of cfbroundtable.com
He helps me understand why the Tigers still have a ways to go when it comes to earning respect in the SEC.
On top of the already young roster, the Vols are going to be thin up the middle on both sides of the ball. According to Daniel Lewis of RockyTopInsider.com, the legal investigation and indefinite suspension of linebacker A.J. Johnson and cornerback Michael Williams leaves the Vols without their leader on defense (Johnson) and a key backup in the secondary (Williams).
Offensively, UT head coach Butch Jones downgraded center Mack Crowder to closer to doubtful earlier this week, meaning sophomore Dylan Wiesman will likely make his first career start there against Missouri.
Yet, Lewis is still wavering, while he says he slightly is leaning towards picking Missouri in this game.
You never know what can happen in college football, but be honest. If you are one of those people who thinks this game is going to be close, should Missouri lose, you’ll be the first to be shocked that they lost this game.
Mizzou is focused. Mizzou is running the football. UT is without their defensive quarterback. Mizzou is pressuring every quarterback they face. UT is without one of their leaders on the offensive line. In addition to having a more talented team, the Tigers are given an even bigger advantage with injuries and suspension. One team is playing for bowl eligibility. The other is playing for a trip to Atlanta. Mizzou is tough to beat in November. I’ve made my case for Missouri, but expect Tennessee to battle.