COLUMBIA, Mo. - Coming off an impressive win at Florida, Missouri aims for back-to-back SEC victories when it hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Tigers can become bowl-eligible by registering their third consecutive win over the Commodores.
TV: Noon ET, SEC Network. LINE: Missouri -17
The Tigers were bitten by bad luck in heart-breaking, last-second losses to South Carolina and Kentucky before breaking through for their first SEC win in a 38-17 rout of Florida last week. Missouri’s offense picked apart the Gators’ highly touted defense, while its defensive unit continued its strong play of late. The Commodores are coming off a bye week following a 45-31 win at Arkansas that snapped a three-game skid.
ABOUT VANDERBILT (4-5, 1-4 SEC)
The Commodores typically don’t light up the scoreboard, but they have a competent passing game led by quarterback Kyle Shurmur (2,037 yards, 14 touchdowns, five interceptions). A trios of running backs have shared the load, but Ke’Shawn Vaughn (667 yards, eight TDs) has emerged as the leader - although he could have a tough time against Missouri's improving run defense. Vanderbilt's defense has been gashed for 200 or more rushing yards in six of its last seven games and has given up at least 500 total yards three times in SEC play.
ABOUT MISSOURI (5-4, 1-4)
The Tigers’ potent passing game led by the prolific Drew Lock, who needs 65 yards to move past Georgia’s Eric Zeier for fifth place on the SEC's all-time list. The ground game has flown under the radar, but the Tigers have rolled up more than 200 rushing yards five times - with both Larry Rountree III (666 yards, nine TDs) and Damarea Crockett (577, six) doing major damage. The defense turned in one of its most impressive showings of the season by holding Florida to 323 yards last week and has been tough against the run, keeping six opponents below 130 yards.
1. Missouri has played 209 offensive snaps without committing a turnover dating to a 39-10 loss at Alabama on Oct. 13.
2. Missouri LB Cale Garrett has recorded 49 tackles over his last four games and is the first Tiger to register 10 or more in four straight contests since 2015.
3. The Commodores are penalized an average of 41.2 yards per game, the fewest in the SEC.
PREDICTION: Missouri 34, Vanderbilt 24
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