SEMO was a Playoff-caliber team last year in the FCS ranks. So far this year, they’re 1-1 with a win over Southern Illinois and a hefty loss against #13 Montana State in Bozeman last week. Again, this is an FCS team; no matter how good they are, Missouri has an economic, athletic, and depth advantage over the Redhawks and should be able to flex on SEMO for 60 minutes. Let’s see what the defense is going up against this week:
Daniel Santacaterina – R-SR: 27-52 (51.9%)/362 yards/2 TDs/2 INT
The matchup: Daniel Santacaterina vs. an SEC Defense
Our friend Santacaterina had a rough outing against the Bobcats last week, only mustering 114 yards through the air on 29 attempts while adding 24 yards on the ground. Acy, Ware, Gillespie, Oliver, Bledsoe, and Sparks are all a notch above the Montana State secondary and should be able to hang with the Redhawk receivers and erase the threat of the passing game.
Geno Hess – R-FR: 26 rushes/169 yards/1 TD
Kristian Wilkerson – R-SR: 12 recs/223 yards/2 TDs
Zack Smith – JR: 2 recs/1 yard/0 TDs
Aaron Alston – SO: 8 recs/117 yards/0 TDs
Bud Hilburn – R-SR: x
The matchup: Redhawk skill position players vs. Garrett/Bolton/Oliver
No matter the talent advantage, any underdog team can find success if the favored team is blowing coverages and missing tackles. We saw how damaging two missed tackles could be in the Wyoming game and the Tigers can’t afford to give SEMO any semblance of hope in this game. Solid tackling, some havoc plays, and quick movement to the ball to limit highlight yards/yards after catch will be key to ending this quickly.
Ja’Chai Baker – JR
Elijah Swehla – JR
Dane Nelson – JR
Tyler Ford – R-SR
Nate Korte – R-FR
The matchup: one game vs. season sacks total
Yes, I might be overlooking this game, but if it is close in any aspect, then we have bigger things to worry about. The last we saw of the Tiger defensive line, it was absolutely imploding the five Mountaineer starters, causing horrific running numbers and logging two sacks with 13 tackles for loss. That should be the expectation for this game, as well. Now, SEMO will probably be better than WVU from a stat production standpoint, but if the Tigers do their jobs well enough, they should be able to bench the starters the entire second half. But, no matter who is in there, I want to see at least two more sacks added to our season total against an offensive line that should be outclassed in every way imaginable.
Go get ‘em, boys.