No. 8 Missouri knows it must win its final two games to claim the SEC East Division title. Tigers coach Gary Pinkel insists his team, however, is only focused on its trip to play red-hot Mississippi on Saturday. "That is clutter," Pinkel told the media Monday. "Teams that prepare right don't let that (pressure) affect them. They focus on what they can control, and that is playing well."
The Tigers, who won back-to-back games by a combined 59 points before a bye, welcome back quarterback James Franklin this week. The Rebels have racked up at least 500 yards every contest during their four-game win streak, including a home upset of then-No. 8 LSU. The teams feature two of the biggest receiver groups in the SEC, led by Missouri's 6-6 Dorial Green-Beckham and Mississippi's 6-3 Laquon Treadwell.
TV: 7:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Missouri -2.5
ABOUT MISSOURI (9-1, 5-1 SEC): Franklin, who was completing 67.7 percent of his passes before the injury, missed four starts with a sprained throwing shoulder. L'Damian Washington and Green-Beckham each have nine touchdown catches after Green-Beckham set a school record with four TDs against Kentucky. Michael Sam has a conference-best 10 sacks and the Tigers, who have forced a turnover in 40 straight games, lead the league with 17 interceptions.
ABOUT MISSISSIPPI (7-3, 3-3): The Rebels' starting corners - 5-9 Senquez Golson and 5-8 Mike Hilton - will have their hands full trying to slow Missouri's big receivers. Running back Jeff Scott (488 yards, two touchdowns) returned last week after missing three games because of a bone spur. Bo Wallace (2,664 passing yards and 232 rushing yards) ranks third in the SEC in total offense (289.6 yards per game) and has 17 passing touchdowns and four on the ground.
1. The Rebels have averaged 43 points during their win streak.
2. The Tigers are one of eight teams nationally ranked in the top 20 in offensive scoring (41.3) and defensive scoring (20.2).
3. Missouri leads the series 5-1, but this is the first meeting as SEC foes.
PREDICTION: Missouri 33, Mississippi 24