University of Missouri Tigers
School History: Established in 1839, in Columbia, MO. First public university west of the Mississppi River.
Students: 34,225 (26,821)
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel (12 season 84-54 record)
Record vs. USC: Missouri leads the series 2-0 in 2 bowls games, the last being the Independance bowl in 2005
2012 record: 2-1 overall (0-1 SEC)
Famous alumni: Brad Pitt, Sheryl Crow, and WalMart founder Sam Walton
Missouri fun fact: The University of Missouri claims to have invented the tradition of “Homecoming” in 1911.
Saturday will be Missouri’s first SEC road game and it should be a good one as they face USC. “The Battle of Columbia” will showoff two injured starting quarterbacks and bring with it a great overall game. UM’s James Franklin has said he will play but there has not been an official announcement yet regarding that. As for USC’s Connor Shaw, Spurrier announced earlier in the week, that he would be the starter for the Gamecocks.
Missouri Offense: On the season, the Tigers have scored on average 35.3 point per game and produced 380 yards of offense. The Tigers are led by junior James Franklin under center, who has passed for over 3,300 yards in his career at Missouri. So far this season, Franklin has passed for 400 yards and three touchdowns and has also rushed for 64 yards. Missouri’s top receiver is TJ Moe, the senior wide out has 17 receptions and 159 yards with one touchdown. The Tiger’s top running back is Kendial Lawrence who has 224 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
Look for the Tiger’s to spread the USC defense out and try to take advantage of USC’s secondary. TJ Gurley will be starting in place of DJ Swearinger at Safety and i am sure will be tested early and often.
Missouri Defense: The Tigers are led by linebacker Andrew Wilson, who has 18 tackles and three forced fumbles on the season. Besides Wilson, the Tigers defense sack attack is led by Brad Madison, who has recorded three on the season. In the secondary, look for EJ Gaines to be matched up with Ace Sanders. Gaines has 11 tackles and four pass break ups on the season so USC must respect him. UM safety Kenronte Walker was the SEC defensive player of the week after his performance against ASU last week, and will cause problems this week for the Gamecocks.
What might happen: This game will be hyped up as who is going to play better between the quarterbacks – James Franklin or Connor Shaw. This game will come down Marcus Lattimore vs. Missouri’s defense. Look for Spurrier to run the ball first before testing Shaw’s hurt shoulder. Franklin will play as well but for how long is the question. A couple good shots to the shoulder by Clowney or Taylor and look for Franklin to be back on the bench. Lattimore will get back in his groove and rush for over 120 yards with at least two touchdowns. Look for the USC tight ends to play a big part in the game as well. It took a Justice Cunningham catch against Vandy to turn that game around and that could be the spark in this game as it could be tight early. Missouri is no cupcake and USC will have to come ready to play from the opening whistle. USC’s defense is the key to this game.
Prediction: USC 24 Missouri 17