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Pregamin’ South Carolina

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MIZZOU’S UNDEFEATED AND HERE COME THE FIGHTIN’ MUSCHAMPS, Y’ALL

“Your photoshops are bad, and you should feel bad,” said everyone looking at this picture.

Game Day Schedule:

Another week, another dope hype video:

SEC Nation will be on the Francis Quad:

Leave your best sign ideas in the comments.

Duds of Choice:

What the “experts” are saying:

  • During his weekly presser, Will Muschamp talked Mizzou’s offense and how it could give them trouble.

And now for the Pièce De Résistance...

1. The reaction to last week's win vs. Missouri State was... mixed at best. Giving up more than 40 points against an in-state rummy seems to offset records falling left and right. Now that you've had a few days to mull it over, how far are you cranking the panic dial on a scale of 1-10? Why?

AlaTiger - It's about a 5. I really hope the old saw about the biggest leap in performance occurs between the first and second game is true for the defense. Boneheaded mistakes can be fixed, but I worry about the tackling.

Josh Matejka - My in-game tweets won't reflect this, but I’m going with a 4. I don’t think a glorified practice game should make or break anyone’s prognosis on a whole season, but it’s difficult when it’s the only thing we have to point to. I’m more skeptical about the defense than I was before, but I’m also more excited about the offense. So it about evens out.

Oscar Gamble - I'm at a 6, which doubles as my new expected number of wins for Mizzou this year. The sliding scale of optimism took a hit from my original prediction of 8 wins due to an obscene inability to tackle by the Tiger defense.

Mitch Hill - About a 5. The only reason it's not higher is because the offense is bound to break 100 at some point, right? But the whole kicking the ball thing still scares me.

Chris Bohkay - I'm at a 7. I know they got better in the second half, but the first half did happen and what a nightmare that was. They're going to have to show they can handle the fundamentals, like tackling before I'm back on the sunshine pumping wagon. Until then it's all gloom and doom and focused on November 10th.

dcrockett17 - I'm at a solid 6. The game was odd in that you wouldn't expect an FCS opponent to tell you more about your floor than your ceiling. (Western Illinois introduced us all to Henry Josey, for instance.) That said, I can't be shocked that people ran wide open in the secondary. The specific set of mistakes seems correctable; bad angles, high pad levels, horrible eye discipline. So I get Odom's post game sunshine pumping to some extent. What's most troubling though is that guys in the back seven seemed like they were already freelancing in the first half. I feel confident the group can play better. I'm less confident that the level of buy-in on defense you need to develop the trust you need will develop. After what by most accounts was a productive off-season, buy-in seems, to my non-expert eyes, woefully, hilariously missing.

switzy227 - I'm only at a 4. Second half cured a lot of ills in my mind, but also my expectations were not skyrocketing to begin with. I expected 7 wins anyway...who cares if they come via shootout instead of through trench warfare?

jaeger - Mizzou once won the SEC East after losing to Indiana. If I had a panic dial, it has been broken for some time. All I've ever wanted from this season is a bowl game; to paraphrase Bill on Twitter, if we have to become Texas Tech to do that, I can live with it.

Sam Snelling - I'm at about a 3.5 because no matter what happens this football season, I'm still going to get to watch Michael Porter Jr. play basketball come November. But truthfully because I didn't have huge expectations this year. The offense appears good enough to keep them in a lot of games and hopefully good enough to win at least half of them.

2. Mizzou and South Carolina like to affectionately refer to each others' college town as "the other Columbia." Naturally, we must defend our Columbia's honor. With the 6 p.m. start time, give me your ideal Columbia pregamin' day - tailgate spots and games, brunch, bars, even coffee shops if you like to keep it low-key.

AlaTiger - I'm the boring guy who gets to my seats early.

Matejka - Breakfast at 44 Canteen, stock up on Longboat Mamoot for some tailgating near the alumni center or outside the North End Zone.

Oscar - I'll be in out of town this weekend in the mountain time zone and as such I'll be watching the game an hour ahead of y'all, tweeting out spoilers and so forth. Typically, I enjoy the game at home but when I tailgate in Columbia it's at a whatever tailgate is closest to Faurot or we'll head to the Deuce to watch the game there.

Mitch - Back in the days where I didn't work, a day would normally start at Shiloh or Harpos. Then get to the tailgating lots around 3 or so. Enjoy some pregame fuel and head into the stadium about 20 minutes before kickoff. Can't miss any of the festivities.

Bohkay - A good tailgating day would start with a morning walk around CoMO, probably buy something I don't need (singing bottle opener anyone?) then head to Booches for lunch, a drink or two at Harpo's then into Lot A for a very planned and scheduled tailgate for good food and good beers.

switzy227 - On the exceptionally rare occasion I'm in CoMo on gameday, I like to tailgate wherever someone invites me to. Or hit up Flatbranch or Murrys for food, maybe grab some Trops.

jaeger - Breakfast is Harold's Doughnuts and some coffee to get things started. Lunch at the tailgate. Drinking beers and eating all afternoon with maximum belligerence reached at time of kickoff. After the game, head to the Berg for more drinks and some assortment of highly unhealthy and delicious fried things.

Sam Snelling - Most of my experience going to Mizzou for football games involved late rushes after a basketball practice with very little time to enjoy the town. So I'm punting.

3. Obviously, the defense gave us all quite a few reasons to be nervous about this season moving forward. But if they can show up against the Gamecocks Saturday, all will probably be forgiven. Which defensive unit - or players - are you looking to step up and right the ship that nearly sunk last week?

AlaTiger - The whole back seven needs improvement, but let's go with the secondary.

Matejka - The line showed the most promise and still has a lot of potential. If guys like Marcell Frazier, Terry Beckner, Jr. and Rashad Brandon can get some pressure on Bentley, things might fall cleanly into place for the rest of the defense.

Oscar - The secondary has to bounce back. It was primarily a breakdown by one cornerback so hopefully Co-Defensive Coordinator Ryan Walters can get him up to speed.

Mitch - The secondary. I had high hopes for DeMarkus Acy and Logan Cheadle, so I look for a bounce back in that area. I enjoyed what I saw from Adam Sparks, for what it's worth.

Bohkay - I'm going to say the linebackers. They didn't seem able to wrap up or stop every counter from getting into the secondary and that's got me a little down on this whole thing.

dcrockett17 - I'd say it's gonna be the front four, which was low key very good on Saturday. The group had breakdowns aplenty but got that kind of consistent interior pressure that wears offenses down. On any one play you might be saying, "He's got all day!" (And the announcers kept saying that, even on plays where Mizzou got disruptive pressure.) But the front guys were getting consistent hits on the QB, even in the first half. In the second half, we saw a lot of throws with less conviction that were short and off-target. For Mizzou to handle business at home, this group has to win match ups, but just as importantly it's gotta play with gap discipline.

switzy227 - Has to be the secondary. Tackle people, people.

jaeger - It's gotta be the DBs. There were some issues with confusion in the defensive backfield, but I think this defense goes from bad to at least mediocre if the DBs just wrap up.

Sam Snelling - The Tigers need more push from the defensive line and production from the D-Ends. They need better tackling from the Linebackers and the secondary to tackle and cover. None of these things happened against an FCS school so I don't have a lot of hope for them happening against SC. Give me Marcell Frazier, Kaleb Prewitt, Terez Hall and Ronnell Perkins to do enough against the Gamecocks.

4. PICK 'EM

AlaTiger - Mizzou 49, South Carolina 35

Matejka - 45-38, Columbia west

Oscar - Missouri 40-34 South Carolina

Mitch - Mizzou 41, South Carolina 35

Bohkay - As much as I hate to do it and hope I'm wrong, SC 45 - Mizzou 44, a missed PAT sinks our boys.

dcrockett17 - Gonna pass on picking a winner and score, but I'll say that I think it'll be high scoring.

switzy227 - I'm optimisticish. Mizzou 42, SC 31.

jaeger - Mizzou 43, SC 29.

Sam Snelling - Homer pick: Mizzou 58, SC 56 (this is the same score I'll pick when the basketball team travels to the other Columbia to open SEC play)