Tigers anticipate better outcome vs. Eagles

Tigers anticipate better outcome vs. Eagles

Missouri’s much-ballyhooed defense largely failed to contain West Virginia in last Saturday’s trip to Morgantown. This evening, though, the results should be much different.

Barry Odom’s squad takes on Eastern Michigan in the 2016 home opener at Faurot Field. Oddsmakers at online sports book BetDSI list the Tigers as 24-point favorites. The over/under is 58.

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After struggling vs. the Mountaineers in a rare nonconference affair in hostile territory, the Tigers should find much comfort here. The Eagles haven’t posted a winning campaign in 21 years. Third-year coach Chris Creighton is just 4-21 at EMU and owns only one victory in the Mid-American Conference.

Yet the perennial doormat somehow gashed Mississippi Valley State for eight touchdowns a week ago. Sophomore tailbacks Shaq Vann and Ian Eriksen combined for 253 yards on 32 carries. MU’s defensive line should rise to meet the challenge, but said unit failed to generate much push in Week 1.

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The edge rushers in Columbia must resurface, as well. Rather remarkably, the Tigers went without a sack against WVU. Look for coordinator DeMontie Cross to fix that anomaly with a few more exotic schemes and personnel packages. Even so, it already appears as if the recently dismissed Walter Brady and Harold Brantley will be missed more than anticipated.

Offensively, Missouri was generally pleased with signal-caller Drew Lock’s first action this year. The completion percentage obviously needs to go up, but the true sophomore fired 51 attempts without an interception. Those numbers will steadily improve as he and promising Alabama transfer Chris Black become more and more in concert with each other. In fact, expect them to hook up on multiple occasions during tomorrow’s rout.

 

SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: MISSOURI -24  

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