On a warm fall day in Columbia, the Tigers of Auburn play their first game at Memorial Stadium. The parking lots look sparse which would indicate another sub par attendance figure from Mizzou fans. At 1-2, a loss to Auburn would leave fans feeling like the season can’t be salvaged.
A loss today would make it difficult for Barry Odom to win over the fan base. Get a win today, and the fans approach the next stretch of games with guarded optimism.
Two things Odom has told us:
1. He’s surprised by his team’s inability to transfer how they look in practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday over to Saturday.
2. His team has zero room for error.
Again, I’ll give Odom and Mizzou a pass and expect to see better team play when this kicks off at 6:30 p.m. tonight. Here’s what I think needs to happen in order for the underdog Tigers to take down Auburn.
The front four needs to put some pressure on their QB Jarrett Stidham. When he has time to throw, like most quarterbacks, he’s deadly accurate. He has a strong arm. If he’s given time to pick apart the Tigers’ secondary, it will be long day for the Mizzou defense. They must TACKLE and they need to create a couple of turnovers. I expect Auburn to get yards, but Missouri can’t turn a 11 yard play into a 60 yard touchdown. Take your lumps for that play but don’t get scorched for a backbreaker.
Offensively, Mizzou needs a healthy Damarea Crockett. He’s been bothered by a bruised tailbone and was not effective against Purdue. Missouri can’t rely on Ish Witter to be a threat against Auburn. Drew Lock has to outplay Stidham. If Crockett is not 100%, it puts more pressure on Lock, but I still believe he has the arm and ability to get the ball to a talented receivers group.
On special teams, punt returns need to be cleaned up. Missouri doesn’t need a big play to turn the momentum, just don’t botch coverage or a return that could swing momentum in favor of Auburn.
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