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2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers

2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers

2018 Recap

2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers
2018 Schedule

2018 Record: 8-5 (4-4)

5th in the East

Barry Odom raised his highest win total since coming to Missouri in 2016. The Tigers have increased their win total in each year under Odom.

Missouri was powered by a pass-heavy offense under Drew Lock. They came in third in the SEC in passing yards per game as well as third in total points per game.

A big win on the road against No.11 Florida highlighted the season and gave them consecutive wins against Florida since the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

The season fell just short of nine wins as they lost to Oklahoma State in the Liberty Bowl to finish off the season.

2019 Schedule Breakdown

2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers
2019 Schedule

Ceiling: 11-1 (7-1)

Floor: 7-5 (3-5)

2019 Projected Record: 11-1 (7-1)

Conference Standings: 2nd in the SEC East

  • Week 1 @ Wyoming: W
  • Week 2 West Virginia: W
  • Week 3 SEMO: W
  • Week 4 South Carolina: W
  • BYE
  • Week 6 Troy: W
  • Week 7 Ole Miss: W
  • Week 8 @ Vanderbilt: W
  • Week 9 @ Kentucky: W
  • BYE
  • Week 11: @ Georgia: L
  • Week 12 Florida: W
  • Week 13 Tennessee: W
  • Week 14 @ Arkansas: W

It’s a bold prediction saying that Missouri will hit their ceiling this year but is definitely feasible. The Tigers have one of the easiest schedules in the SEC this year.

Week 2 against West Virginia will be the first big challenge. The Tigers host a Mountaineer team that is expected to have a down year compared to the 2018 season. The games following are against SEC foes that the Tigers should be favored in.

Week 11 against Georgia has the potential to be the stage for College Gameday and be a top 10 matchup. Though the Tigers will be coming off a bye week, it will likely be too tall a task for them to knock off Georgia on the road.

Assuming the Tigers can win the games they should, the big test after Georgia will be at home against a Florida team they have dominated in the last two years. Missouri has the potential to be one of the big surprises out of the SEC this year.

2019 Outlook

Transfer Kelly Bryant Needs to Have an Immediate Impact
2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers
Kelly Bryant led Clemson to a 12-2 season in 2017 and a College Football Playoff appearance. (Photo courtesy of si.com).

Missouri is hoping senior transfer Kelly Bryant will live up to all the hype surrounding him. The transfer portal delivered an excellent replacement for Drew Lock from a season ago and allows the Tigers high powered offense to continue terrorizing SEC foes.

The Tigers return an experienced offensive line which will give Bryant ample time to get comfortable in the new offense. Junior Larry Rountree III provides the offense with versatility that will be a nightmare for opposing defenses.

Bryant will need more than Albert Okwuegbunam to be viable targets to spread the ball around. If the Tigers want to replicate the high octane lightning strike offense of a year ago, Jonathon Nance and Kam Scott will need to make big improvements.

Defense Can Make or Break the Season

The 2018 Missouri defense came in towards the bottom of the conference in points against last season at ninth. The biggest problem came defending the pass as the Tigers ranked dead last in passing yards per game allowed in 2018.

2019 SEC Football Preview: Missouri Tigers
Tyree Gillespie has the second most tackles from returning starters in 2018. (Photo courtesy of stltoday.com).

The Tigers return a lot of experience on the defensive front and should be able to provide more pressure this year. Jordan Elliott should lead the way after an injury ridden yet mildly successful 2018 season.

Though the pass defense struggled last year, they’ll return most of the starters and have an experienced secondary. Tyree Gillespie returns as the teams 3rd leading tackler from 2018. True freshman Jalani Williams should be exciting to watch as well as he provides some young depth as well.

Recap

It will be a tall task for the Tigers to manage an 11 win season. It would mark the highest win total since the 2014 season which was capped off with a Cotton Bowl win.

If Missouri can win the games they should they’ll put themselves in position for a potential SEC Championship appearance and possibly much more.

 

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