The Missouri Tigers and Memphis Tigers will meet for the first time since three matchups in the 1990’s as the University of Missouri celebrates the 107th Homecoming. The birthplace of Homecoming has been fairly successful for the Tigers who are 61-40-5 all-time. Mizzou is hoping to snap a three-game losing streak in SEC play after going through a difficult opening stretch of conference games against then #2 Georgia, at South Carolina and at #1 Alabama.
What to watch for this Saturday:
1. Darrell Henderson. The Memphis running back is averaging an FBS-best 10.3 yards per carry and is the only back with over 1,000 rushing yards (1,133). His 15 touchdowns also leads the nation.
2. Drew Lock to Jalen Knox. Lock who threw a nation’s best 44 touchdowns last year has just 12 halfway through the season. Part of the reason has been his favorite target Emanuel Hall has been healthy in just two games. He missed significant time at Purdue, was a non-factor while playing hurt against Georgia and sat out the last two games. Hall will not play again this weekend. Lock is trying to get the ball to the outside by targeting the freshman, Knox. Lock and Knox connected for a 23-yard touchdown in the first quarter at Alabama. Knox has 280 receiving yards through the first six games.
3. Mizzou’s run game. To help take some of the pressure off Lock, the Tigers need to continue to focus on their run game. Damarea Crockett, Larry Rountree and Tyler Badie have combined for a 4.9 yards per carry average.
4. Mizzou’s defense needs to step up. The Tigers are dead last in the SEC in interceptions (2), and QB sacks (8) and 12th in the league in passes defended with just 19. Memphis has produced 11 touchdowns in under one minute in time of possession. Mizzou needs to slow the Memphis run game, put pressure on QB Brady White and win the turnover battle.