Well, the day has finally arrived. Missouri will finally get to take the field against the Furman Paladins at 1 PM today at Faurot Field. Sarcasm aside, this game has some of the markers of a trap game for the Tigers: facing a FCS opponent and a tough road game on the horizon. For the Tigers to do what's expected and win by 30 against Furman, here's what will have to happen.
Mizzou WRs vs. Furman CBs
Furman's defensive scheme is an interesting 4-2-5, so Mizzou will have an interesting defense to worry about at all times against the Paladins. Luckily, the Tigers wide receivers have about 5 inches and 50 pounds on the Furman cornerbacks. If Blaine Gabbert can use that to his advantage, then Jimmy Costello will have an extended period of time in the spotlight at Faurot Field.
Sean Weatherspoon vs. Tersoo Uhaa
Uhaa has gained 182 and reached the end zone 4 times for the Paladins in the first two weeks of the season, but he's got a tougher test this week, to say the least. Sean Weatherspoon anchors a defense that has impressed in the first two weeks of the season with his 23 tackles and consistently high energy. If Spoon can come out with the same intensity and get his fellow defenders pumped up, then Uhaa could be in for a long day.
Derrick Washington/offensive line vs. Furman front 6
If the Paladins aren't careful, Washington could break off a couple of big runs on the front 6. They better be ready to commit one of their safety/bandit/rover to float around near the line of scrimmage, or Dave Yost could take advantage and gain tons of yards on the ground. The two headed monster of Gabbert and Washington will cause headaches for the Paladins, as both could singlehandedly beat them.
So Furman comes in to town with hopes of pulling off a smaller version of the Appalachian State upset in the Big House, but, as all Tigers fans are hoping, that will not be the case. If any one of these three things go right for Mizzou, then they will most likely go home with their 3rd victory of the season.