The Mizzou Tigers will play their homecoming game at 7 p.m. this Saturday against the third ranked Texas Longhorns.
Obviously, when you face the third ranked team in the nation you are going to have some serious match up problems. Let's take a look at what the Tigers will have problems with and what they can try to exploit on Saturday.
Texas sports the best rush defense in the FBS, allowing just 35 yards per game and a miniscule 1.28 yards per carry. The good thing for the Tigers in that aspect is that they haven't been relying on the run game at all this season even when it has shown promise early in games. Watch for the Tigers to run sparingly against the phenomenal front 4 of the Longhorns and instead look for the ball to be put into a healthier Blaine Gabbert's hands.
The pass defense of the Longhorns is actually worse than the Tigers, ranking 50th in the FBS while the Tigers hold down the 48th spot. With the good depth that Mizzou has at receiver, the Tigers could have success through the passing game on Saturday.
A lot of things will have to go right for the Tigers to win this Saturday, but this will not be an impossible mountain for them to climb, especially when their defense is on the field. Colt McCoy hasn't been spectacular this year and without Jordan Shipley, he would be a middle of the road QB. The pass defense of Mizzou has been much better than last year and will try and force McCoy into making mistakes tomorrow. He already has 7 interceptions in 6 games this year and hasn't been a real threat on the ground, only rushing for 91 yards and 1 touchdown.
Although the Horns don't have a go-to-guy in their rushing attack, they have 3 guys averaging over 5 yards per carry and that will give them a lot of versatility there. Mizzou did a great job up the middle against Oklahoma State, but this week will be a tougher task with the likes of Tre Newton, Vondrell McGee and Fozzy Whittaker switching in and out to give them problems. Still, the Horns want to find their every down back and 1 has yet to separate from the pack, so there is room for growth here.
This game will come down to which underperforming offense performs better. The Longhorns obviously have the edge on defense, but if the Tigers connect on some big plays, it could be a closer game than most think. Watch for Danario Alexander to have another huge game, but watch for Jordan Shipley to carry the Horns to a close win.