Every week I will try to do a quick Q&A session with a beat writer from the opposing team. Last week it Jack Carle, sports editor of the Sentinel-Tribune who covers Bowling Green. This week It's J.P. Rock, the site publisher of Scout's Missouri site
Here's the result of that Q&A:
Hutchens: 1. Just how good is this Missouri team compared to others that you have covered in the past
Rock: " This could be Gary Pinkel's most athletic and talented team overall. There is probably more depth at each position since he has been here, however, much of it is young. If they can stay healthy they should return to their winning ways and a bowl game.''
Hutchens: 2. Talk a little bit about James Franklin and what makes him such an effective quarterback and field general?
Rock: "James is a very cool customer and smooth QB. He doesn't get rattled and plays with a lot of poise. In years past he has led more by example, but he has become a more vocal leader this year. He is a smart guy who reads defenses well, and makes good decision more times than not.''
Hutchens: 3. Do you think it's a big deal for Missouri to playing a Big Ten school? They're making a big deal about it here about facing a team from the SEC. IU-Missouri seems like a natural rivalry but the teams haven't met in more than 20 years. What are your thoughts on Missouri playing Indiana?
Rock: "It's a big game for Missouri since it is their first road game and will be against a quality team from a major conference. With the SEC schedule being a meat grinder, it is really important for the Tigers to take care of business in the non-conference portion of their schedule. Missouri has also started recruiting Indiana pretty heavily as of late, so getting up there and being seen, plus coming away with a win would be helpful in that regard.''
Hutchens: 4. What do you see as the most intriguing matchup on either side of the ball heading into Saturday's IU-Missouri game?
Rock:Most intriguing will be the defenses against the offenses. Who can step up and stop the other teams' offense? The Hoosiers will be a big test for the Tigers defense. I think the Tigers will be able to score enough, but the first team to be able to stop the others offense late in the game will probably win."
Hutchens:5. What do you think will be the final score Saturday and what do you think will be Missouri's final record for the 2013 season?
Rock:"Final score prediction is Missouri 48 Indiana 35. I have the Tigers finishing 8-4 overall."
Hutchens:Well after going back and forth on it, I've decided to pick Indiana 41, Missouri 38. I think I picked the opposite on your radio show this week but I think IU is just a little better than the Tigers tonight. Thanks for doing this.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch.