• When/where: 6 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia
• TV/radio: ESPNU; KMBZ (980 AM and 98.1 FM)
• The series: Syracuse leads 2-0
• The line: Missouri by 4 1/2
Whats at stake
Both teams are seeking a win to become bowl eligible and extend their seasons. Missouri has reached a bowl game for seven straight seasons, and considering all the injuries the Tigers have overcome this season, a bowl bid would be an impressive testament to their character and talent.
Missouris offense continues the strides it made during the second half of last weeks four-overtime win over Tennessee, when quarterback James Franklin teamed up with several young receivers and the Tigers outscored the high-powered Vols down the stretch.
Missouri takes Syracuse for granted, comes out listless and finds itself trailing and needing to mount another comeback to win. Missouri is probably better than Syracuse, but the Tigers can be beat if they dont play hard for 60 minutes.
Three things about Syracuse
1 Syracuse has won three of its last four games, including an upset over previously undefeated Louisville last week.
2 Despite a 5-5 record, the Orange is still in the hunt to win the Big East. With a win against Temple next week and losses by Louisville and Rutgers, Syracuse would finish first in the conference at 5-2.
3 Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib is the first Syracuse player to pass for 3,000 yards in a season. He is also the Big Easts career completions leader.
Missouris front seven vs. Syracuses backfield: Nassib is capable of picking apart a defense if he has time. It will be key for Missouris front seven to not only get pressure on him, but also contain running back Jerome Smith, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in the last four games. If those two get rolling, Missouri will find itself in a shootout and given the Tigers inconsistent offense, thats not optimal.
Terez A. Paylors pick: Missouri 34-24
Syracuse has tended to turn the ball over on the road against nonconference opponents, which plays right into the hands of Dave Steckels opportunistic defense, which has forced a turnover in 28 straight games. The best guess here is that the Tigers offense continues to roll, and the defense causes enough havoc to keep the Orange in check.
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com