CAT FIGHT! It’s the Cougars vs the Tigers. Will the Cougars claw their way to victory or will the Missouri Tigers pounce on the BYU Cougars? On November 14th BYU will take on the Missouri Tigers at what people think is a neutral site in Kansas City. As Robert Anae said. “It’s not really neutral if one fan base and comfortably drive to the stadium.”
BYU and Missouri have only played each other once. In 1983 the then 9th ranked Cougars lead by Steve Young beat the Tigers in the Holiday Bowl 21-17. The game ended this way:
This will be the first time BYU has traveled to Missouri because, well, you know… that whole extermination thing. All water under the bridge now. I’ve always joked that if Boggs hadn’t driven the Mormon settlers out of Missouri BYU and Utah would have been in Missouri’s shoes.
Last years Missouri team overachieved and won the SEC East for the second year in a row. They lost to Alabama in the SEC title game 13-42 and beat Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl 33-17. They finished the year a very successful 11-3 and finished the year ranked 14th in the AP poll and 11th in the Coaches poll.
Missouri is returning 6 offensive starters from last year. They averaged 27.8 points per game and only 367 yards per game. The offense didn’t jump off the screen and tell you that it is awesome.
One of the returning starters in Quarterback Maty Mauk. Mauk had a lot of hype entering 2014 and seemed disappointing the first part of the season, but especially against Georgia in the second game in league play. in a 34-0 loss to the Bulldogs he passed for 97 yards and four interceptions. He turned it around later in the season and finished SEC play averaging 255 yard per game the last four SEC games (including the title game against Alabama). He also ran for 379 yards last year. Last year Missouri was great when he was good and very beatable when he played bad.
Returning starter Russell Hansbrough looks to have a strong Sr season this year. He shared the backfield with Marcus Murphy, who was drafted by the Saints. He had four 100 plus yard games and finished the year with 1084 yards on the season and 10 touchdowns.
They lose their top 3 receivers from last year. This is a situation that Missouri has faced before and they always seem to recover. We will know more of what to expect from the receiving corps after the season starts.
They have six returning starters on the defensive end from last year. Recently they have been known for quality defensive line play but this year they are only returning one starter from last year. They have been good developing talent on the line though and expect new impact players. Another strength looks to be the defensive backfield this year. They are returning all but one starters and they are fast. Fast defensive backs always seem to give BYU fits.
Too Early Prediction
According to Phil Steele’s power poll Missouri is ranked number 31, one spot behind Boise St. BYU is number 44. So they should lose right? This is going to be a very good game. We will watch Taysom Hill and rest of the Cougars fight hard, but come up short. Because this game is as neutral as when the BYU basketball team plays at the ESA. BYU has a fighting chance, but BYU will lose this one 41-38. GO COUGARS