Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Odds: Missouri (-24) // 42.5 O/U // -1600 Money Line (5Dimes)
Missouri rebounded off of an abysmal performance against Georgia last week with a dominant defensive outing against Florida inside the trenches of "The Swamp," to the tune of a 42-13. This week, the Tigers will remain at home in Columbia for Homecoming, as they welcome the lowly Vanderbilt Commodores. It goes without saying that Mizzou has had some memorable homecoming moments in the last few years -- the highlight being their upset victory of No. 1 Oklahoma in 2010, and they will look to recreate that magic on this upcoming Saturday afternoon.
With this being the fifth home game already for Missouri this season, and a treacherous month of November approaching, it's almost imperative that the Tigers make good on this opportunity that lies in front of them. It's fair to say that the SEC East has been astonishingly average this year, and with the Georgia Bulldogs still set to play Auburn later on this season, the division is still ripe to be taken, and any chance to continue staying pace is important to take. It's no secret that the Tigers defense has been facing fewer question marks as the weeks go by, but the other side of the ball is more a mystery by the minute.
It was never going to be easy to replace Dorial Green-Beckham, Marcus Lucas and L'Damian Washington. And Bud Sasser and Jimmie Hunt did look terrific to start the year. But as conference play began, so to it did the slippery slope that the offensive unit began to take. This Missouri mudslide has persisted almost over the course of a month, and if they truly do want to play in Atlanta this December, the Tigers simply have to do better in this facet of the game. Maty Mauk was raved for his time in relief a year ago of then-quarterback James Franklin, but perhaps those who dug deeper to find his meager completion percentage of 51.1 percent feel vindicated at this juncture.
Vanderbilt had been on the up and up in recent years, but in the offseason James Franklin fled Nashville for Happy Valley, taking an opportunity to leave the Southeastern Conference for the Big Ten and Penn State, an astoundingly good coaching job for a man who did about as well as he could at a school like Vanderbilt. The Commodores are struggling since his departure, with a record of just 2-5, with an 0-4 record in conference play thus far. The closest they have come to an SEC opponent was in a 48-34 loss against South Carolina last month, and even that was a two touchdown margin.
The program's three-year run at making the postseason is in serious jeopardy with games against current No. 1 Mississippi State and in-state rival Tennessee remaining on the schedule, as well as this confrontation with Mizzou. One of the main issues with this Commodores team has been quarterback play. A staggering four signal callers have been behind center through the 'Dores' seven games played this season, with Johnny McCrary, a redshirt freshman, being the man to hold steady last week against Charleston Southern to help lead Vandy to their second victory of the season.
Seeking stability at the quarterback position in the last quarter of the season is an obvious, large problem that continues to persist as we approach the month of November. And unfortunately for McCrary, he will be going against the likes of Shane Ray and Markus Golden -- a feared pass rushing duo, with the former's draft stock ascending by the moment. The Missouri defense feasted on a Florida offensive line that was one of the best in the conference. It could be a long afternoon for McCrary and the Commodore offense if they cannot sustain him upright in the pocket.
|F/+ Rank||Off. F/+ Rank||Def. F/+ Rank||ST F/+ Rank|
Missouri 41.3-7.3 (Chance of Winning: 98.6%)