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Three and Out: Texas A&M

Three of the most important matchups to watch ahead of Missouri’s matchup with Texas A&M.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Each game has certain matchups within it that are oh so very important to the outcome. Matchups so important that they can be the difference between a win and a loss. For every game this season, I’ll be taking a look at the three most important matchups regarding an individual or even between position groups.

1st Down:

Missouri’s Secondary vs Zach Calzada

Calzada may be the backup at A&M, but he’s a quality player and showed last week that he’s capable of putting on a performance that can beat anyone in the country. If he can do it to Alabama, he can do it against Missouri.

The secondary, in particular, is going to need to clean up some of the technique issues that came up in the fourth quarter. Additionally, with the unfortunate loss of Ennis Rakestraw, Missouri’s going to need someone to step up and fill his role. The spotlight hasn’t been on the secondary very often this year, but it could be if they don’t come ready to play.

NCAA Football: Georgia at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

2nd Down:

Missouri’s DL/LBs vs Texas A&M’s OL/RB

This matchup is a good ole fashioned tag team match. We saw some positives from the Missouri defensive line and linebackers last week, and now we’re really going to find out if they’ve actually made adjustments or if they just played North Texas last week. Texas A&M hasn’t been great up front all year, but that’s primarily due to injuries and inexperience. That being said, it’s still a talented group. They’ll start a five star and a few four star prospects along that offensive line.

Missouri’s linebackers are going to have their hands full with the A&M two-back tandem of Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. Each averages right around 6 yards per carry and has some homerun hitting ability to them.

Missouri as a whole has to focus on making tackles this week, but the linebackers have to especially so. If they don’t, it’s going to be a long day.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

3rd Down:

Missouri’s Offensive line vs Texas A&M’s Defensive Line

Missouri, in order to compete in this game, is going to have to score a good amount of points. They’ll need to keep Bazelak upright.

For them to do that, the offensive line is going to have to bring their “A” game. This is a talented front for the Aggies who can absolutely wreck Missouri’s inside run game and make them one dimensional. They’ve got to get some vertical push to open lanes for Tyler Badie.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a fun stat:

In Missouri’s wins this year, Tyler Badie has 51 carries, 501 yards, and 5 rushing TDs. In Missouri’s losses, Tyler Badie has 53 carries, 174 yards and 3 TDs. It just so happens that in Missouri’s wins, the offensive line plays well and when they lose, they offensive line plays pretty poorly.

Getting Badie going is important, but that can’t happen unless the hogs upfront find a way to get some push upfront.

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