Missouri vs. UT Martin fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 4:00 pm ET
Venue: Faurot Field, Columbia, MO
Network: SEC Network
Missouri (0-0) vs. UT Martin (0-0) Game Preview
It was one of the wildest and wackiest games of the season.
Missouri State turned out to be awful, but it managed to hang 43 points on the board in the 2017 opener. Unfortunately for the Bears, Missouri cranked up 815 yards and 72 points.
Don’t expect that from Mizzou against the Skyhawks.
UT Martin might have struggled offensively last season, but it put up a huge year defensively, finishing fourth in the FCS in scoring D. and sixth in total defense. Meanwhile, Missouri – under new offensive coordinator Derek Dooley – is going to test out a more controlled, measured attack that doesn’t go so fast.
With Wyoming’s nasty defense up next, and then dates with Purdue and Georgia to follow, Mizzou needs this.
One Reason Why UT Martin Will Win
The UTM linebacking corps has to be a rock from the start.
Missouri has a great offensive line, and it’s going to try to balance things out, while also getting star QB Drew Lock into a groove right away. However, running on the Skyhawk defense might be an issue with James Gilleylen, Kevin Prather and Garrett Wall all outstanding veterans with the size and tackling ability to hold up.
If the UTM passing game can kick it in at all, the Mizzou secondary might be just a wee bit of a weak link early on. The deep shots have to come, but controlling the clock and letting the defense do the work is the goal. However …
One Reason Why Missouri Will Win
The UTM offense is going to be in for a bad day.
Seven starters return, but the Skyhawks are coming off a year averaging under 300 yards and 20 points per game. The Tiger defensive tackles aren’t going to allow the good UTM backs from doing much of anything, and the linebackers are going to be every bit as productive as the veterans on the other side.
And then there’s Lock. And there’s Dooley.
The spotlight will be on to see if the offense can still produce at a high level despite the tweaks, and it’s going to want to make a point to be ready for the nasty teams up next.
What’s Going To Happen
Don’t get into a twist when Lock doesn’t throw for 400 yards.
UTM has the defense to be able to keep this from becoming a brutal blowout, but it won’t have the offense to keep up after Mizzou gets out to an early lead.
It’ll be an entertaining game for about a half, but the Tiger lines will be too much for the FCSers.