Posted: 10/10/2012 10:26:56 AM
Here are some thoughts on the Missouri/Alabama game that relates to my 10U GOY play. I’ve hit my last 3 Missouri write ups (Missouri over UCF, vs S. Carolina under, vs Vanderbilt under) and feel I have a pretty good feel for this team.
First things first I am a Mizzou fan and would love nothing more to be wrong about this pick and won’t be heartbroken if I am but quite simply I just don’t see it any other way. Now Missouri could come out and play their best game of the year and you just never know but so far we have seen the exact same Missouri squad for 6 weeks so I don’t see that changing now…especially against one of the best teams in the country.
Missouri’s offensive line has been completely decimated by injuries this season and lost another one last weekend as well. So now they will have a freshman, redshirt freshman, and a walk on all starting this week. On top of that they lost their starting QB in Franklin as well. I actually thought this might be a good thing. Franklin had struggled all year and Berkstresser had actually looked half way decent in the Arizona State win as well…but he really struggled against Vandy going 9 for 30?!?!? Now he will know he is starting this week so he will obviously get more reps in this week’s practice but he didn’t look comfortable at all last Saturday. I will give him credit…he is a tough kid and took a beating against ASU and also against Vandy. I imagine he will take one again this week as well with the nation’s top defenses coming to down. The biggest problem for the Tigers has been 3rd down conversions. Right now they are 114th in the nation converting less than 30% of the time. Alabama is 11th in the nation for 3rd down defense so I don’t see that getting any better this week. They have put themselves in 3rd and long quite a bit but even the 3rd and shorts they are struggling to convert. Missouri actually hasn’t ran the ball too bad at times but Alabama is only giving up around 60 yards a game on the ground. Inconsistent QB and line play have hindered the passing game as well. Bottom line this offense has been a huge disappointment so far this season and I don’t see that improving this week. Alabama should dominate the line of scrimmage and should live in the Missouri backfield. If Berkstresser doesn’t make it through the game look for TJ Moe to possibly take some snaps as I don’t think Missouri wants to burn the redshirt of their freshman QB. Hopefully it won’t come to that but it could be a decision that may need to be made. If this offense gets to double digits this week I will be VERY surprised.
Now on the bright side for Missouri their defense has been solid all year long. The only problem is that with the offense struggling so much they are on the field way too much and it has led to them being worn down as the game has gone on. Sheldon Richardson is just a flat out beast and EJ Gaines has been as close to a lock down corner as the Tigers have had for as long as I can remember but they can only carry a team so far. The other good news is Alabama isn’t exactly bringing an offensive juggernaut into Columbia. They have struggled at times as well. The Tiger D has been pretty good at creating turnovers as well…I think they have created one in something like 23 straight games or something like that but Alabama doesn’t really turn it over (only 3 this year). I really expect the defense to play well as it has all year but again I think Alabama will eventually wear them down in the second half.
I would be tempted to take the under here again but Alabama could cover that number by themselves if they are able to get a few turnovers from the Tiger offense. Believe me I have tried and tried to find a way the Tigers could pull off the upset or even keep this one close but nothing I have seen this year from this team has given me any hope of that possibility. Missouri’s defense should keep them in the game for at least a half to ¾ of the game but Alabama will wear down the Tiger D and create a turnover or two that will create a short field. Tigers hang around at half down but Alabama pulls away in the second half to win 37-3.