University of Missouri

Missouri-Vanderbilt college football preview

Missouri needs quarterback Maty Mauk to get going Saturday against Vanderbilt. The Tigers’ offense only gained 119 yards at Florida
Missouri needs quarterback Maty Mauk to get going Saturday against Vanderbilt. The Tigers’ offense only gained 119 yards at Florida The Associated Press

When/where: 3 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia

TV/radio: SEC Network; KMBZ (980 AM)

The series: Missouri leads 3-2-1

The line: Missouri by 22 1/2

MISSOURI (5-2, 2-1 SEC)

Date

Opponent

Result/time

Aug. 30

South Dakota State

W, 38-18

Sept. 6

at Toledo

W, 49-24

Sept. 13

Central Florida

W, 38-10

Sept. 20

Indiana

L, 31-27

Sept. 27

at South Carolina

W, 21-20

Oct. 11

Georgia

L, 34-0

Oct. 18

at Florida

W, 42-13

Saturday

Vanderbilt

3 p.m.

Nov. 1

Kentucky

3 p.m.

Nov. 15

at Texas A&M

TBA

Nov. 22

at Tennessee

TBA

Nov. 28

Arkansas

1:30 p.m.

VANDERBILT (2-5, 0-4 SEC)

Date

Opponent

Result/time

Aug. 28

Temple

L, 37-7

Sept. 6

Mississippi

L, 41-3

Sept. 13

Massachusetts

W, 34-31

Sept. 20

South Carolina

L, 48-34

Sept. 27

at Kentucky

L, 17-7

Oct. 4

at Georgia

L, 44-17

Oct. 11

Charleston Southern

W, 21-20

Saturday

at Missouri

3 p.m.

Nov. 1

Old Dominion

6 p.m.

Nov. 8

Florida

TBA

Nov. 22

at Mississippi State

TBA

Nov. 29

Tennessee

TBA

What’s at stake

Bowl eligibility. Missouri has a chance to ensure a postseason bowl with a victory against Vanderbilt. It would mark the ninth time in the last 10 seasons the Tigers were bowl eligible. A win also helps coach Gary Pinkel’s bunch keep pace in the SEC East race.

Cheers if …

The offense gets cranked up. Missouri has totaled fewer than 300 yards of total offense each of the last three weeks, a first on Pinkel’s watch. Missouri managed only 119 yards at Florida but cruised thanks to defense and special teams. The last time the Tigers won with fewer than 120 yards was 1963 at Iowa State.

Jeers if …

Missouri allows Vanderbilt to hang around, gain confidence and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter. That’s essentially what happened against Indiana. The Tigers own an eight-game winning streak in road games, but are only 4-3 in their last seven at home.

Three things about Vanderbilt

1. Beware of Vanderbilt sophomore cornerback Darrius Sims in the return game. Sims returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against South Carolina and is second in the SEC in kickoff-return average (30.8), behind only Missouri’s Marcus Murphy.

2. Vanderbilt has used four quarterbacks this season. Redshirt freshman Johnny McCrary is expected to start against Missouri. He is 10 of 19 for 169 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions this season.

3. Vanderbilt is a young team, very young. The Commodores have played 31 true freshmen or redshirt freshmen, which is the most in the nation this season. Only Tennessee (22), LSU (17) and North Carolina State (13) have played more true freshmen than Vanderbilt’s 12.

Key matchup

Vanderbilt’s offensive line vs. Missouri’s front seven: If the Commodores are going to have any chance, they have to play well up front. Fortunately, for first-year coach Derek Mason, he has an experienced offensive line. Joe Townsend, Jake Bernstein, Spencer Pulley, Andrew Jelks and Andrew Bridges own 117 career starts, third most in the SEC.

MISSOURI OFFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

WR

21

Bud Sasser

6-2

220

Sr.

WR

88

Jimmie Hunt

6-0

205

Sr.

LT

65

Mitch Morse

6-6

305

Sr.

LG

63

Brad McNulty

6-4

305

Jr.

C

77

Evan Boehm

6-3

320

Jr.

RG

60

Connor McGovern

6-4

300

Jr.

RT

62

Taylor Chappell

6-5

300

Jr.

TE

80

Sean Culkin

6-6

245

So.

WR

8

Darius White

6-3

205

Sr.

QB

7

Maty Mauk

6-0

195

So.

TB

32

Russell Hansbrough

5-9

190

Jr.

K

99

Andrew Baggett

6-1

215

Jr.

MISSOURI DEFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

DE

33

Markus Golden

6-3

260

Sr.

DT

96

Lucas Vincent

6-2

300

Sr.

NG

90

Harold Brantley

6-3

290

So.

DE

56

Shane Ray

6-3

245

Jr.

LB

10

Kentrell Brothers

6-1

240

Jr.

LB

30

Michael Scherer

6-3

230

So.

LB

40

Clarence Green

6-0

225

Jr.

CB

7

Kenya Dennis

6-0

195

Jr.

SS

9

Braylon Webb

6-0

200

Sr.

FS

21

Ian Simon

6-0

195

Jr.

CB

11

Aarion Penton

5-10

185

So.

P

92

Christian Brinser

6-2

195

Sr.

VANDERBILT OFFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

WR

19

C.J. Duncan

5-11

195

Fr.

WR

86

Latevius Rayford

6-1

192

So.

LT

50

Andrew Jelks

6-6

305

So.

LG

53

Jake Bernstein

6-3

305

Jr.

C

57

Joe Townsend

6-4

312

Sr.

RG

77

Spencer Pulley

6-4

300

Jr.

RT

74

Will Holden

6-7

310

So.

TE

81

Steven Scheu

6-5

250

Jr.

QB

2

Johnny McCrary

6-4

230

Fr.

RB

26

Ralph Webb

5-10

196

Fr.

FB

42

Kellen Williams

6-1

230

Sr.

K

17

Tommy Openshaw

6-2

185

Fr.

VANDERBILT DEFENSE

P

No.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

Yr.

DT

69

Adam Butler

6-5

305

So.

NT

53

Vince Taylor

6-2

312

Sr.

DT

74

Jay Woods

6-3

288

Fr.

OLB

92

Kyle Woestmann

6-3

250

Sr.

ILB

35

Darreon Herring

6-1

232

Jr.

ILB

52

Nigel Bowden

6-1

245

Fr.

OLB

55

Caleb Azubike

6-4

255

Jr.

CB

3

Taurean Ferguson

5-9

185

Fr.

SS

27

Jahmel McIntosh

6-1

205

Jr.

FS

32

Andrew Williamson

6-1

208

Jr.

CB

5

Torren McGaster

6-0

192

Fr.

P

16

Colby Cooke

6-3

200

So.

Tod Palmer’s pick: Missouri 31-10

If ever there was a week for Missouri’s offense to get healthy and build confidence in conference play, this is it. Vanderbilt ranks at or near the bottom of the SEC in every major defensive category. The Commodores’ scuffling offense meets a Missouri defense coming into its own. It should add up to a blowout Homecoming win.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @todpalmer.

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