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Pregamin’ Wyoming

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GET YER SIX SHOOTERS LOADED AND LET’S MEET AT HIGH NOON, THE TIGERS ARE HEADED WEST TO FACE THE COWBOYS

WELCOME, MY FRIENDS, TO THE OLD SALOON

YEEHAW, HOWDY PARDNERS, IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER SEASON OF PREGAMIN’ OUR UNOFFICIAL PREVIEW OF THIS WEEK’S TIGER MATCHUP

One note before we begin: Do you want to join in on the Pregamin’ fun? Go ahead and answer the questions along with us and maybe you could end up on one of our Pregamin’ posts at some point!

Also, if there are any specific Photoshops (for future opponents) you want to see, either submit them in the comments or send them to us! If we get any we love, we’ll use them on our weekly post!

Point Me to the Nearest Brick Wall to Run Through

Where To Watch

So Fresh and So Clean, Clean

Hell yeah.

The classic stripe down the middle does WONDERS for the helmet, and the all-whites are always going to get me. With the perfectly contrasting black helmet, this look is a clear winner for Week One.

If You’re So Smart, Tell Me What’s Gonna Happen!

  • Dave Matter points out that Missouri only has one Group of Five loss under Barry Odom, and thinks the Tigers will handle the Cowboys just fine.
  • PowerMizzou has some of the Pro Football Focus numbers for tomorrow’s match ups, which say Missouri returns quite a bit more than Wyoming.
  • Mountain West Wire is pretty confident in Wyoming’s chances to make this a game, but says in the end Missouri has “too much talent.”
  • The good people at Saturday Down South think Missouri takes a W away from Laramie and they think Albert O will have a big day in the process.

It’s finally game week, y’all! We’ve been waiting for what feels like forever, but tomorrow we’ll finally have the opportunity to settle in and watch Missouri football. Since the Tigers are on the road to start, will you be celebrating game day in any special way or staying low-key?

Josh Matejka, Deputy Manager: Being outside of Missouri makes every game day a little less special [single tear rolls down my cheek], but I always like to do some special stuff for week one. I always save my first pumpkin beer for week one, and I’ll probably make my wife and I something special to eat.

Also I have a little boy now and this will be my first game watching with him so that’s something [several more tears roll down my cheeks]

Brandon Kiley, Lead Football Writer: Oh, it’s going to be special. I’m headed to the Lake of the Ozarks for a Bachelor party with one of my best friends since high school. To say I’m pumped to watch Mizzou (finally) take the field against Wyoming is an understatement. I’m fully planning to celebrate what I expect to be at least an 18-point victory on the road at Wyoming. It’s going to be one heck of a weekend.

Mitch Hill, Social Media Editor: I will be at the lake given that it is the final long weekend of the year and lake season kind of ends after Labor Day Weekend. So, I plan on being around plenty of Mizzou fans as we settle in for Game 1 of what can, and should be, a pretty fun and special season for Mizzou.

Nate Edwards, Staff Football Analyst: Ten years ago, I would have bought a case of Beer 30, only the finest game day beverage in the land contained in purple cans and adorned with knock-off logos from all other beer brands out there. I would have taken that case, plopped down in my recliner, ordered two large pizzas and pokey sticks from Gumby’s, and then proceeded to be a lazy sack of crap all day as I watch every shift of the game from Gameday to College Football Final. Now? I’ll keep it low-key, probably take the kid to the zoo, watch a few games while she takes a nap, then jump in on the Mizzou game once bedtime is complete. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the finest invention in my lifetime was the DVR.

Tim Bussen, Staff Football Analyst: I’ll be running my daughters around to soccer and volleyball games during game time, so I’ll watch the replay tomorrow night, by myself, in the dark, in my underwear, eating ice cream out of the container. It’ll be more pathetic than low-key.

Ryan Herrera, Lead Football Beat Writer: Well, considering I’ll be in charge of game day coverage once again, I’ll be celebrating the game while on the job. This time around, I’m kicking off the regular season in San Antonio, though, so I’m ready to get a little rowdy once Missouri finishes off Wyoming.

Ryan Faller, Football Columnist: Luckily, it’s a late kick, so I’ll use that as an excuse to watch 40 games on 15 different channels all day from the comfort of my couch, and it starts with College Gameday, which I watch for no reason other than to hear Lee Corso (and apparently wait for Desmond Howard to curse). I may leave the house for Chick-Fil-A, but that’s about it. I guess you could call this low-key; I just call it special.

Sean MacKinnon, Football Beat Writer: I’ll be leaving Columbia at 5 am Saturday morning so that by plane, car and foot, I make it to Laramie in time for kickoff. You’ll find me in section B row 12 of War Memorial Stadium, where, at 7,220 feet above sea level, it’s the highest in NCAA D-1 football. I’ll be right alongside our Tigers — in the stands not dealing out any bone-jarring hits — but nonetheless, I’ll be there.

We’ve been starved of college football for a long time, and week one allows us the opportunity to gorge ourselves. Will you be watching any other games, and if so, which ones?

Josh Matejka: To be honest, probably not. I’m more of a score checker than anything. I generally don’t start watching other games until later in the year when the games start to mean a lot. I’ll definitely be checking up on that Auburn-Oregon game, though, and I’ll definitely be watching to see if ole Les can drop his first game as a Jayhawk.

Brandon Kiley: Well, as I said, I’m going to be sober all weekend at a bachelor party. Or something like that. So I’ll most likely be watching whatever is available at the local watering hole, but there are a few matchups I’ll certainly keep an eye on.

Auburn vs. Oregon in Dallas: Auburn has one of the most talented defensive lines in the country. Oregon has arguably the best QB prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft. Something’s gotta give. This one should be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

Ole Miss @ Memphis: Mizzou gets Ole Miss & Arkansas out of the SEC West this year. I’m not sure you could ask for a better draw given the requirement of playing two cross-division teams in the SEC. I don’t anticipate the Rebels will be particularly good this year. But I want to see just how bad they might be.

Indiana State @ Kansas: Okay, listen, I’m not here to tell you that you should be watching this game... But you might want to pay attention to the final score. Some Vegas sportsbooks have kU as a 3-point favorite. At home. Against Indiana State. Yeah, that’s something I’ll be watching.

Mitch Hill: Yes. I plan on catching as much college football as possible. The 3 games I am really interested in are: Ole Miss @ Memphis— I think Memphis can realistically win this game (also lots of points scored if you are into that sort of thing). Next, South Carolina vs. North Carolina— I want to see what SCAR looks like this year as well as what a new Mack Brown team looks like. And finally, outside of the Mizzou game, I want to Watch Auburn Vs. Oregon because it is a Top 25 match-up and Justin Herbert has a lot of hype around him at QB... so let’s see what that is about. I know that one conflicts with the Mizzou game, but that is why two screens exist!

Nate Edwards: UCLA-Cincinnati is super intriguing because the Bearcats are in contention for best G5 team and UCLA is, to put it politely, rebuilding. BYU-Utah for the inevitable fight that will break out. Memphis-Ole Miss for the same reason. Boise State-Florida State should be interesting since I think FSU still has not recovered from falling down and going boom. And, of course, Auburn-Oregon will be a tremendous match up that will, probably, knock a Playoff contender and Heisman candidate out of the running. BUT WHICH ONE??????

Tim Bussen: Naw. Just the Tigers for me.

Ryan Herrera: I’ll be checking out as many SEC games as I can throughout the day, but if San Antonio doesn’t have a steady stream of college football games on at its bars, I’ll be pretty disappointed. The one game I want to keep an eye on (in between snaps during the Tigers/Cowboys game) is definitely Oregon versus Auburn. It’s not every day you get a matchup between two Top-20 teams to open the season, so I’m flipping that game on whenever I can.

Ryan Faller: I promised Sam Snelling that I would produce a college football recap piece on Sundays, so my duties mandate that I digest as much football as possible (waaaah!). Seriously, though, the Week 1 slate this Saturday is good, but it’s not 2016 good. Look at the games that were played on opening weekend that year: Alabama/USC, Ole Miss/Florida State, Notre Dame/Texas, UCLA/Texas A&M, LSU/Wisconsin, and Clemson/Auburn.

Besides Auburn/Oregon — which is the most attractive matchup on paper — I’m most looking forward to Houston and Oklahoma on Sunday night. The last time Dana Holgorsen faced OU, his offense rolled up 56 points and 700-plus yards on the Sooners … and he lost. I don’t know how you do that, but I don’t care. I just want him to put up those type of numbers again. Win or lose. The first team that scores 70 points may win this game.

Sean MacKinnon: During my flight, I’ll be tuning into Ole Miss at Memphis and while my Dad and I drive through the Cowboy State, Northwestern at Stanford. I see the winner of each game being decided in the fourth quarter and best of all, both matchups take the field well before Mizzou.

The Tigers are heavy favorites against Wyoming, but you can never let your guard down if you want to be the best. What do you need to see against Wyoming to make you feel comfortable heading into week two?

Josh Matejka: It’s kind of a flighty response, but it would be nice to never feel like the game is out of control. Missouri is more talented and has more than enough motivation to show up in Laramie and FILL ‘EM WITH LEAD, as it goes in the parlance of Cowboys. Of course, there are smaller things I’d like to see (the pass rush, a few turnovers, Bryant making connections with his receivers), but as long as the game never feels out of control, I’ll be happy.

Brandon Kiley: Honestly, I just want to see a convincing win. Wyoming’s win total in Vegas is listed at 5.5. They aren’t very good. But neither is West Virginia (O/U 5 wins in Vegas) or SEMO. Mizzou’s season shouldn’t really start until week four against South Carolina.

These first three weeks should all be about figuring out which players should get the majority of the playing time by week four. One of my frustrations in the past under Odom has been the inability to find the best players to put on the field before it’s too late. I think the most vivid example of this was in 2016 when Emanuel Hall couldn’t seem to stay on the field despite clearly making the team better when he was in the lineup. If they’re able to identify the team’s best players while winning (and covering), this week has been a success.

Mitch Hill: A fast start and don’t let up. Score early and create some turnovers on Defense. While I think Wyoming is going to be more of a running team, some pressure from the D Line would be awesome to see as well just because I want to know who is going to step up there this year. I would prefer all doubt to be taken out of this game early and if that is the case, that will make me feel comfortable about heading into week 2.

Nate Edwards: I’m never comfortable and therefore there’s nothing they could do to make me feel good about anything. Although, a 28 point lead by the time we get halfway through the second quarter would be incredibly tasty.

Tim Bussen: Last year, the Cowboys’ Carl Granderson and Andrew Wingard made running the ball difficult for Mizzou in the first half, causing concern amongst the Tiger fan base. Granderson and Wingard are now NFL players, so I expect an indication that the Tiger ground attack will be as potent as expected. Reckless prediction: Mizzou rushes for over 300 yards.

Ryan Herrera: I need to see a steady pass rush and any semblance of a return game. Those were two of the most glaring holes in Missouri’s game last season, but against a team like Wyoming — which is much less of a challenge than the teams the SEC has to offer — the Tigers need to show that they can put pressure on the quarterback and can give the offense good field position when given the opportunity. That’ll come down to what guys like Jordan Elliott and Richaud Floyd can bring to the defense and special teams, respectively, but the hope is that Missouri can bring it in those areas against an opponent the Tigers are favored against by a wide margin.

Ryan Faller: I suspect we may see Kelly Bryant and the offense struggle a little the first few drives, but that’s more a combination of nerves and playing on the road in front of a jacked-up crowd than anything else. Offensively, I want to see that Bryant is capable of dictating the pace and direction of this offense with his feet and arm. Defensively, a repeat of last season’s performance against the Cowboys would be just fine. In that game, Mizzou held Wyoming to 88 rushing yards, 160 passing yards, and a 21 percent conversion percentage on third down.

Sean MacKinnon: I want to see that Kelly Bryant as the dual-threat quarterback he’s branded to be. I don’t need Lamar Jackson-esque acrobatics, but a high completion percentage and breaking just one Cowboy’s ankles would be nice.

PICK ‘EM. Give us an over/under (53.5), score and MVP prediction.

Josh Matejka: I’d usually have a little more room to flip-flop, but I made my prediction on Before the Box Score this week, and I am nothing without my integrity. 41-17 Good Guys with Albert Okwuegbunam scoring two TDs and racking up 110 yards receiving.

Brandon Kiley: I’ll take the under on 53.5. I think this has the potential to be a game where Mizzou keeps the ball on the ground, they limit possessions and win 35-13. Give me Larry Rountree III as the MVP for week one. Like I said, I think the game plan is going to be fairly vanilla. Mizzou has one of the better running games in the country. The offensive line, Rountree, and Tyler Badie should control this game from start to finish. No need to ask Kelly Bryant to take more hits than he needs to in the first week against an inferior opponent.

Get the win, run the clock, and get ready for the home opener. It’s football time, baby!

Mitch Hill: Life is too short for the under. So it is going over. 38-17 Mizzou and Larry Rountree III is the MVP.

Nate Edwards: I’ll go under, simply because I don’t think Wyoming will score anything past 17 and I don’t think we’ll try and run up the score once we hit 35. I’ll say 34-10 with Rountree, literally, running away with the MVP.

Tim Bussen: OVER, Mizzou 41, Wyoming 13, MVP: Larry Rountree III

Ryan Herrera: Over 53.5, Missouri wins 37-17 and Larry Rountree III leads all rushers to take home MVP.

Ryan Faller: Over/Under (53.5): Over

Prediction: Mizzou, 45-13

MVP: Kelly Bryant

Derek Dooley whips out the vanilla playbook, but Bryant runs for a score and throws for two more to give future defenses just enough of a taste.

Sean MacKinnon: I’m taking the over on 53.5. Mizzou wins the season opener on the road, final score: Mizzou 37 Wyoming 17

MVP: Kelly Bryant