So Fresh and So Clean, Clean
I like featuring gold a lot more as they’ve done the past few weeks, but I’m not sure how to feel about no black.
What the “experts” are saying
- Early in the week, Pete looked at why a Mizzou upset is very, very unlikely.
- Jack examined why Tua is a new kind of challenge for the Tigers, and why the Tide defense is elite — but not as elite as they usually are.
- Our sister site, Roll Bama Roll, highlighted all the ways the Tigers could make Saturday’s game interesting.
- AL.com thinks Mizzou could test the Tide’s secondary.
- Saturday Down South points out that, despite his “just another game” attitude, Saturday’s tilt could have bigger implications for Drew Lock.
- No one at CBS Sports is picking Missouri to win, but they’re pretty optimistic about their chances against the spread!
Let’s be honest: things aren’t great. Mizzou had every opportunity to take home a “signature” win against South Carolina last week, but couldn’t get out of its own way. But all hope isn’t lost while there are games left to be played. What about this team makes you hopeful they can turn things around?
Jack Parodi, Football Beat Writer: Drew Lock has played awful these last two games, yet Missouri came within two scores of beating No. 2 Georgia and was a last-second field goal away from taking down South Carolina on the road. If/when Lock turns it back around into the quarterback we all know he can be, I truly think Missouri could upset Kentucky or Florida. This season is far from a lost cause.
Ryan Herrera, Football Beat Writer: The biggest thing that gives me hope for this team is the resurgence of the running back unit. The trio had impressive showings against Georgia and South Carolina, which are really the only times we’ve seen all three backs have success on the ground. I’m not expecting a win Saturday, but if the running backs can all put together quality performances against Alabama, then that will provide some comfort for Missouri fans as the Tigers head into the second half of the season.
Josh Matejka, Editor: It’s hard to be optimistic about getting the next level from Drew Lock when he’s about 90 percent of the way through his Missouri career and he still hasn’t shown it. But he’s still got all the physical tools to become a game-changer. The running game has been unstoppable these past two games, and looks like it might be the real strength of the offense. As long as you have an offense that is capable of blowing things up, you’re never really out of a game.
Alabama has been on an unprecedented run of success ever since Nick Saban took over, and this looks like his best team yet. Do you enjoy watching Alabama dominate year in and year out or is it about time they got upended?
Jack Parodi: I can’t stand it. Now, I’m a Warriors fan — I should be a fan of dynasties. But I’m not. It’s so annoying seeing Alabama in the playoff every single year. Nick Saban hardly even celebrates anymore! It’s about time those Bama fans learn what it’s like to lose. Not much would make me happier than seeing them lose 10 games next season.
Ryan Herrera: I actually enjoy watching the Crimson Tide roll through their opponents every year, if only because it sends shockwaves throughout the college football world whenever they do drop a game. Can you imagine this Alabama squad losing this year? If a team like Auburn beats them later on in the season, it will send the whole nation into a frenzy. And let’s not even begin to talk about what a Missouri win Saturday would do...
Josh Matejka: I’m a fan of the Alabama dynasty for the same reason I’ve been a fan of Lebron James since his NBA introduction: I want to see greatness. I want to be able to tell people in the future, “Man, I remember when.” There’s something special about watching dynastic runs in sports — the Bulls three-peats in the 90s, the Warriors run now, Tiger Woods dominating golf in the early aughts — and Alabama is another. I won’t be crushed when they fall, but I’m going to enjoy the inevitable while I can.
Almost no one is going to give Mizzou much of a chance in this one, but they still have to go out and play. In your wildest imagination, what would it take for Mizzou to shock the sports universe and walk out of Tuscaloosa with a W?
Jack Parodi: The offense will have to play a perfect game (Lock throwing no picks, completing 70+ percent of his passes, and running at will) and the secondary has to at the very least slow down Tua. That could start with the defensive line creating havoc in the backfield and in the passing game, but sheesh; the secondary has to show the hell up Saturday night.
Ryan Herrera: For Missouri to somehow pull off the win against the Tide, Drew Lock is going to need to play the best game of his entire career. He had some poor performances against the Bulldogs and Gamecocks, and both resulted in losses. Now, whether that truly correlates is not important, because it will take at least a Herculean performance from Lock to help turn a blowout loss into the upset of the year. Alabama corner Trevon Diggs’ foot injury could help with that, but if we know the Tide, there won’t be much of a loss on the defensive side of the ball.
Josh Matejka: The easy answer would be, “The offense has to have a perfect game.” And, yeah, for the Tigers to win, the offense will need to be spotless. But I think we’re forgetting that Alabama’s offense is better. If Missouri wants to win they’re going to need a defensive performance we haven’t seen from them in years. They have to slow Tua Tagovailoa for this game to resemble anything close to an upset. That’ll take mammoth efforts from the secondary, pass rush and linebacking corps.
PICK ‘EM! Let’s have a score prediction and the player you think will have the best game against the Crimson Tide
Jack Parodi: 56-41, Alabama. Larry Rountree III will show out for 100+ yards carrying and a touchdown or two.
Ryan Herrera: Alabama’s offense dominates on Saturday, but Missouri’s offense manages to keep up for a while and the final score is 56-33. Lock looks like the quarterback scouts and Tiger fans want him to be, throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns.
Josh Matejka: 50-31, Alabama. I think Lock will have a serviceable game (maybe somewhere around 250 yards, two touchdowns and a pick), which would be enough for me to think he’s bouncing back after two rough outings.