Pokes Preview: Missouri
No. 4 OSU (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) vs. Missouri (3-3, 1-2 Big 12)
11 a.m. at Faurot Field
The skinny on Missouri
The Tigers’ 3-3 record is misleading, as all three of Mizzou’s losses have come on the road by 10 points or less to ranked teams that are a combined 17-2. MU features the best rushing attack in the Big 12, averaging 236.5 yards per game. Sophomore James Franklin is a dual-threat quarterback, accounting for 1,488 passing yards and 10 touchdowns to go along with 390 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
Figures to know
10: The number of games in a row Mizzou has won at home
8: The number of games in a row OSU has won on the road
OSU player to watch: Jamie Blatnick
The senior defensive end has been a monster over the Cowboys’ last two games, tallying 13 tackles (five for loss), three sacks, two quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery, one interception and one pass break-up. Defensive line play will be huge again today with MU’s running game and Franklin’s mobility.
MU player to watch: Michael Egnew
Fanklin discovered the tight end against Iowa State, as he recorded six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He’ll line up in the slot and is a tall target for Franklin.
Matchups to watch
OSU front seven vs. MU running game
This has been a very consistent “matchup to watch” all season, but it really will be important today given MU’s productive running game. The Cowboys gave up 231 rushing yards against Texas, including 135 to Malcolm Brown, and Henry Josey is the Big 12’s leading rusher (119.5 yards per game).
OSU passing attack vs. MU secondary
Todd Monken and Brandon Weeden both mentioned this week that MU likes to mix up coverages on defense to try to disrupt the quarterback’s rhythm. Will the Tigers routinely triple-cover Justin Blackmon like Texas did last week?
Uniform prediction: All white
OK, I’ve cheated. I’m sitting in the press box and the team is already out on the field warming up. And the storm trooper uniforms look solid. I’d give them an A.
Final score prediction: OSU 35, MU 24
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