Mizzou is the only SEC team with a loss in the conference defeats column after going down to Kentucky in a battle of SEC East spoilers last weekend. The Tigers need to rebound against Southeast Missouri State and get the season back on track. Here are the three keys to a Mizzou win:
By Steve Wright
1 – Feed Tyler Badie
The passing game hasn’t been what it needs to be at times but Tyler Badie and the Mizzou running game is more than good enough to get this one done on the ground. Badie has rushed for 264 yards and a touchdown, but it is his work as a pass-catcher out of the backfield that sets him apart. Badie has 13 catches for 128 yards and a pair of scores, showing his ability both on designed passes for him and also on broken plays. Get Badie the ball early and let him get to work.
2 – Keep tuning the passing game
The SEMO defense through the air just really isn’t very good. Sam Houston State – admittedly the defending FCS National Champions – tore them apart last week. Southern Illinois – not the defending FCS National Champions – did the same the week before. Connor Bazelak threw for four touchdowns against Kentucky but it still felt like he was fighting his control and touch at times. This is a great week for the passing game to click against a bad defense.
3 – Don’t keep them in it
The only way SEMO stays in this contest is if Mizzou lets them. Their defense can take the ball away – they have four turnovers in two games – so Bazelak will have to be accurate. Player-for-player, the Tigers are a much better team than the Redhawks, so turnovers and penalties became equalizing factors. Don’t give SEMO a sniff – ideally by putting a couple of scores on them early – and this one will be done with 20 minutes to play.