Ah ha! Welcome back, noble warriors! We have survived the long dark of the bye week and emerge exhilarated, ready for the quest at hand!
Before we get started, we have A SCOREBOARD UPDATE!
The mighty Ryan Herrera has been felled by Mitch Hill, who came just a bit closer on his score prediction against South Carolina. Mitch will try and defend his title this week against resident college football watcher and columnist Ryan Faller (seriously, so many Ryans!) and myself.
So with that being said: ARM YOURSELVES, BROTHERS AND SISTERS! SAY YOUR PRAYERS AND COVER YOUR HEELS (especially you, Achilles) FOR TOMORROW WE DINE IN COLUMBIA! LET US PREGAME THE SACKING OF TROY!
I. Am. The. Hype.
So Fresh and So Clean, Clean
Not too much change from South Carolina, with the exception of the matte black helmet and the all-gold oval Tiger. I don’t love it as much as the South Carolina uniform, but it’s still a solid look.
Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: Who will win at football?
- Thomas Gleaton at The Trojan Wall isn’t feeling super confident about Troy’s chances.
This game could be a shootout. If it is, bear in mind Troy is 0-2 in those so far.
- The Saturday Down South boys are both picking Missouri by 20+, though Chris is certainly not holding back his shots from that Wyoming loss.
- Dave Matter has Missouri walking away victorious, but has a lower score than you’ll see elsewhere.
- PowerMizzou subscribers can dig into PFF numbers that highlight some of the big match ups this week.
It’s been nearly two weeks since the Tigers extended their win streak to 3 by pounding rival South Carolina. After having this much time to consider it, what about that game was most encouraging to you?
Josh Matejka, Deputy Manager: It was really nice to see Missouri beat a good team when it didn’t have its A-game. The Tiger defense was excellent the whole time, but the offense sputtered enough to make it a close game into the early second half. However, the end result wasn’t in doubt after the middle of the third quarter. The Tigers have three strong units that can pick each other up and offer the whole team a greater margin for error within each game.
In addition, it was nice to get confirmation that South Carolina is, indeed, a good team. They responded to their spanking by going out and pounding Kentucky into the dirt last week, which confirms (in my mind, at least) that Cocks are probably the third best team the Tigers will play this year. A 9-3 record should almost be assumed at this point.
Mitch Hill, Podcast Producer: Before I start, I would like to relish in the victory because a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while!
Alright, let’s ride: I just think the most encouraging part of it had to be the way Mizzou handled their business even after the offense got off to a lackluster start. To be a good team, you have to be able to overcome some bad play here and there, and Mizzou did just that. When you go for it on 4th down and you do not convert, that could spell doom for some. BUT, Mizzou didn’t get rattled and ended up dominating that ballgame the whole time.
Ryan Faller, Columnist: Well, just about everything against South Carolina was positive, save for a few errant throws by Bryant and a running game that sputtered a little bit, but that’s picking nits. This game scared me going back to the preseason, but to dominate the way the Tigers did, it was awfully impressive.
The bye week gave us a lot of free time that would normally be occupied on a Saturday. How did you spend your time without Mizzou? Catching up on sleep? Checking out other college football games?
Josh Matejka: I haven’t been to the movie theater much lately — babies don’t exactly cooperate all the time, you know? — but my wife and I got a chance to go see Ad Astra, which ruled. I’ve seen 80 movies to be released in 2019 this year, and it’s high on my list. I’d recommend everyone go see it if you haven’t already. Luckily, I got home in time to see the Brewers squander another chance to catch the Cardinals in the NL Central race.
Goodbye, Brewers, and goodbye, Josh Hader. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Mitch Hill: I was at a wedding, so that is where I spent my day, but as far as Football goes, I was locked in on a few games. I loved Mack Brown going for 2, because what if it works? Clemson would probably be shut out of the CFP, which would have been such a fascinating story line.
Ryan Faller: I typically use Fridays to cut the grass, but Oktoberfest at Urban Chestnut called, so I moved it back got Saturday.... only to find out that the new trimmer I had just bought wasn’t worth the box it came in. Don’t buy lawn care products from Black & Decker.
Troy certainly isn’t the most intimidating foe Missouri will see this season (they sit behind Kansas in SP+!), but their reputation is as a giant killer. What (if anything) worries you about the Trojans as they come to town?
Josh Matejka: It seems unlikely we’re going to see anything out of Troy that we haven’t seen yet — four games is a fair sample size with which to judge a team. In that sense, the worry is that either the Missouri defense isn’t as good or the Trojan defense isn’t as bad as they’ve shown thus far. Missouri should be able to boat race the Trojans, what with Troy’s porous secondary and all. However, if Missouri’s defense falters against the best offense it’s seen thus far — or if the Trojan defense plays its best game of the year — we could be closer to a repeat of 2004 than we realize.
Mitch Hill: The history of Odom and Co coming off of a Bye Week or 2+ weeks in between opponents scares me. Can Mizzou put that narrative to rest? If so, then all will be right. But if Mizzou is kind of slow out of the gates and lets Troy hang around, then I will start to get a little nervous.
Ryan Faller: Troy, having scored at least 35 points in every game this season, is ranked 16th nationally in total offense with 40.8 points per game, but none of the FBS teams they’ve faced — Southern Miss, Akron, and Arkansas State — currently ranks better than 97th nationally in total defense. And they still lost two of those games. Their other win was against Campbell of the FCS.
On the flip side, Troy allows 29.5 points per game (88th nationally), despite the fact that none of the offenses it has faced ranks better than 51st in the country. Given these numbers, it’s incredible how Troy has managed to break .500 at 2-2.
To answer the question, no, nothing scares me about the Troy Trojans. At least not this year’s squad. I still have nightmares about that 2004 team, though.
PICK ‘EM! Score, over/under (66.5) and MVP prediction.
Josh Matejka: This is a weird game to pick because Troy’s offense is legitimately good, but it also might stutter against Missouri’s defense. Still, with the weakness of Troy’s D, it’s hard not to see the Tigers and Trojans engaging in a minor shootout. I’ll say Missouri puts up 51 to Troy’s 31. Kelly Bryant logs his second MVP performance of the season with four touchdowns passing and one rushing.
Mitch Hill: I think the MVP will either be JJ or Nance. Let’s go with Nance just because. Troy does not have a great secondary, so I think he has a huge day and the passing attack wows many. I am, however, going to say under 66.5 just because I don’t think Troy can score enough. Final Score is Mizzou 38 Troy 13
Ryan Faller: I’ll take the Tigers, 49-13, in the under. Larry Rountree III (editor’s note: his NAME is Larry Three-Sticks, right Mitch?) is due for a near-200-yard game; let him pound the rock most of the day.