Kickoff: 3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: SEC Network
Betting Line: Missouri by 20
Radio: KMBZ (98.1 FM)
Five things to know
Mizzou has a chance to kick the ‘Dores while they’re down: Things are not pretty in Nashville. The 1-5 Commodores are losing contests without much competition. Vandy’s lowest margin of defeat so far this season was an 18-point loss to Purude in Week 2, and the program’s coming off a shocking upset: a 34-10 home loss to UNLV.
The Vanderbilt offense has been bottom-tier … : Through six games, the Commodores are No. 109 in the nation in average yards per game. They’re also No. 104 in the nation in rushing yards per game, despite running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn having 607 rushing yards. That total is No. 3 in the SEC. The Commodores 18.1 points per game are also the 11th-least in the nation.
… but defense seems to be Vandy’s problem: Vanderbilt is averaging just under 500 yards allowed a game, at 483.2 yards. That seems to be quite consistent, as — to put it into perspective — the Commodores were outpaced by UNLV in total yards last week 378 to 306. From a scoring standpoint, Vanderbilt is also allowing the 10th-most points per game in the nation.
This MU offense seems to be keeping up with in-conference competition: It’s evident that Missouri’s offense generates points week after week, but there’s not much disparity between the numbers it’s putting up against non-conference and SEC opponents. While the Tigers are only two games into SEC play, they’re averaging more total offensive yards in conference than against their four nonconference opponents to this point.
The Tigers got their top 25 spot, and now they’ll fight to keep it: Missouri needs to come home from Nashville victorious if it wants a spot in next week’s poll. Of the four newcomers in this week’s poll, Missouri has what looks to be the second-toughest Week 9 matchup, with the No. 25 Washington Huskies taking on No. 12 Oregon. With No. 20 Minnesota and No. 24 Appalachian State likely winning Saturday, the pressure is on, as a win from Tulane, Iowa State or Temple — the three highest point-getters outside this week’s AP Poll — likely means a drop in the rankings.