WELCOME TO MIZZOU FOOTBALL SATURDAY
In the final matchup of a four-game homestand to begin the season for Mizzou football, we get a date with Auburn, projected to be one of Alabama’s top challengers for the SEC West crown. This would be a great game to help propel Mizzou into the national spotlight with a win, except last Saturday’s much-covered, much-critiqued 35-3 walloping at Faurot Field by Purdue kind of negates that.
Auburn’s two wins were through a blowout against Georgia Southern and a shaky output against Mercer last week, while traveling to defending National Champions Clemson and losing 14-6 in week two.
Unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to paint a positive picture for Mizzou. Fans were fed up by halftime of last week’s debacle and left in droves, and Missouri comes into this week as an 18.5 point Vegas underdog against the nation’s #15-ranked team.
Though Mizzou certainly has its problems, Auburn isn’t squeaky-clean, either. Turnovers kept Mercer within a touchdown of the Tigers in the fourth quarter last week, before Auburn’s Kamryn Pettway (who scored all three Auburn touchdowns) ran in a short touchdown to seal the game late.
Plus, the negative publicity surrounding Mizzou football at the moment post-Purdue could add a “fuel to the fire” factor heading into the Auburn game. Still, Auburn remains a very good football team who will capitalize quickly if Mizzou continues to be shambolic. Bill C. explained it best at the beginning of the week:
This is probably going to be the toughest week of practice Mizzou Football has seen in quite a while. I’m guessing that means one of two things for Saturday’s game against Auburn: an accelerated free fall or a rebound. My guess is the latter.
I would expect to see a pretty angry, focused Mizzou team take the field this coming Saturday evening (in front of, like, 30,000 fans). And hell, with Auburn’s own fragility at the moment — Gus Malzahn’s Tigers are super talented, and that defense is really tough to move, but they fumbled five times and let Mercer hang around on Saturday — that could mean good things.
It’s impossible, of course, to think of the team we’ve seen over the last seven quarters or so sustaining the effort it would take to beat what is indeed a very talented Auburn team. But my guess is that Mizzou puts on a pretty good effort. The alternative is still very much on the table, though.
After tonight, we will likely get a better understanding of the direction of the program. If Mizzou (somehow) wins or shows more determination to win against Auburn than they did against Purdue, tonight could be the spark in rejuvenating the season. If a similar effort to last week is upon us instead, welp.
WHO ARE WE PLAYING?: Auburn (2-1)
WHEN’S KICKOFF?: 6:30 p.m. CT
WHERE’S IT AT?: Faurot Field (71,186)
WHAT DOES VEGAS SAY?: Auburn -18.5
WHAT DOES S&P+ SAY?: Auburn by 19
WHERE TO WATCH/LISTEN:
- TV: ESPNU (Mark Neely, Ray Bentley)
- RADIO: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, Howard Richards, Chris Gervino)
Television: ESPNU - Channel Finder
Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199
Facebook: Mizzou Football