LARAMIE, Wyo. – Missouri fans get their first official look at quarterback Kelly Bryant wearing black and gold when the team travels west to open the season at Wyoming on Saturday. The Tigers have high hopes for another solid season after bringing in Bryant, a transfer from Clemson, to replace four-year starter Drew Lock.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network. LINE: Missouri -17.5
The Tigers rolled to a 40-13 home win over the Cowboys last season in the teams' first meeting, but they will face a tough environment in the rematch. Missouri coach Barry Odom told reporters the Tigers' nutritionist changed the team's diet three weeks before the game to help the players adjust to the 7,220-foot elevation. The home-field advantage served the Cowboys well the only previous time an SEC team visited, as they sent Ole Miss home with a loss in 2004. The Cowboys have won three of their last five games against SEC opponents.
ABOUT MISSOURI (2018: 8-5)
Snagging Bryant was huge for the Tigers because they return plenty of talent around him, including tight end Albert Okwuegbunam and running back Larry Rountree III. Bryant doesn't have the big arm that made Lock a second-round draft pick, but he is a dangerous runner who racked up 665 yards and 11 touchdowns for Clemson in 2017. The Tigers also have to replace their top defensive player in defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr., but they return linebacker Cale Garrett (112 tackles) and an experienced secondary anchored by DeMarkus Acy (three interceptions).
ABOUT WYOMING (2018: 6-6)
The Cowboys won their final four games in 2018, averaging 31 points over that stretch, but they have to replace six starters on offense. Middle linebacker Logan Wilson, who ranks second among active FBS players with 316 career tackles, anchors a defense that ranked 19th in the nation in total defense in 2018. If it comes down to a field goal at the end of the game, the Cowboys have an outstanding kicker in Cooper Rothe, who was 16-for-17 in field-goal attempts last season.
1. Okwuegbunam's 17 career touchdown receptions are tied for seventh in school history.
2. Missouri WR Johnathon Johnson (1,896) needs 121 receiving yards to move into the top 10 on the school's all-time list.
3. Bohl, who is coaching his 200th game collegiately, owns a 132-67 record through 16 seasons.
PREDICTION: Missouri 31, Wyoming 14