November 9, 2007

Preview and prediction: Tigers vs A&M

Each week, PowerMizzou.com will provide a complete preview and prediction on that week's game. On Thursday, we had a joint look at the game with AggieYell.com. But on Fridays we take things in house. Here is the exclusive PowerMizzou.com breakdown of Saturday's contest against Texas A&M:

Missouri Keys to the Game

It is a near carbon copy of last week's game at Colorado. Get out to a lead and make the Aggies try to come back with the passing game and this one is over. McGee cannot win it with his arm. As part of that, the Tigers have to hold on to the ball. They, for the most part, outplayed A&M last year, but three first half turnovers were simply too much to overcome. If the Tigers don't give it away more than once, they'll be very tough to beat. Finally, if you can keep McGee in the pocket, and keep him from breaking containment, you've got a whole lot better chance to win the game.

A&M Keys to the Game

A&M has to play from ahead. If they let the Tigers jump out to a 10-0 lead, the game might be over right there. That's not just because they have an offense that can't much come from behind, but also because the confidence of this team, with all that's surrounded its coach and the fact that it has lost two straight games, has to be shaky at best. A&M has to get up early and let the running game get going. At the same time, they've got to find a big play or two in the passing game. They cannot expect to just line up and run the ball 65 straight times to win. Bennett must be a major focal point and McGee needs to hit a big play deep early to keep the Tiger defense honest.

Final Analysis

A&M looks a lot like Colorado. They run the ball a little better, but don't throw it as well. In addition, this game is on the road and on senior day. With Goodson, the Aggies would be in some trouble. Without him, they have virtually no chance. Missouri has talked for weeks about being on a mission. One more step on that mission will be taken emphatically on Saturday.

Prediction: Missouri 52, Texas A&M 17


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