College Football Preview: Missouri Opens Up With Missouri State
On Saturday, September 2nd, the season will kickoff for Missouri and Missouri State. They will be meeting at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri for a noon kickoff.
Both the Missouri State Bears and the Missouri Tigers will seek their first victory of the 2017 campaign in what is expected to be a beautiful day for football.
After having a lackluster season in 2016, the Missouri Tigers will look to bounce back this year after having a good offseason of recruiting. Barry Odom brings in 32 freshmen to the team and has been able to return a lot of upperclassmen with a lot of experience.
Tigers’ quarterback Drew Lock will be returning for his third season with the team. Lock will aim to improve on an impressive season last year as he threw for 3400 yards and 23 touchdowns. Lock will also have his favorite target back this year as J’Mon Moore returns for his senior year. Moore had over a thousand yards receiving last year which leads the team. Moore also helped carry the load with eight of Lock’s 23 touchdowns last year, most by any receiver on the team.
While the team looks to have an improvement over last season, some fans are not optimistic. In his first season, Barry Odom could not save a depleted roster from going 4-8 last year. Now, with players that Odom has recruited to fit his scheme, he is more confident that they will be a better team.
In a recent interview, Odom mentions how even with a changing fall schedule, the players have done well managing the busy schedule. Odom also spoke how their game plan is set and how excited they will to play at home for the first matchup of the season. This will be the first time they will play their first game at home since 2015. They will hopefully take advantage.
While in recent memory Missouri has not had great success, the Tigers won the SEC East only three years prior. They will look to get back to that form this season. Barry Odom mentioned how the key to this will be the play on the defense.
Missouri State, much like their in-state counterpart, looks to bounce back after another losing season last year. While playing stiff competition last year against teams like Kansas State and conference champs South Dakota State, the team was unable to muster any wins against these teams.
Head Coach Dave Steckel enters his third season with a 5-17 record with the Bears. Steckel brought in fresh faces to improve on a team that seemed to need it.
The Bears started off strong last year winning their first two games but went on to win two more for the rest of the season. Steckel and the team hope to start strong again as they face much stiffer competition right out of the gate against Missouri.