College Football Preview: The 2015 Missouri Tigers
Missouri Tigers Preview 2014 Record 11-3 Won Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl 33-17 vs Minnesota
Overview: The Missouri Tigers had another great year in the SEC. They finished last year 11-3 with a 7-1 record against SEC opponents. The one loss coming in the SEC title game against Alabama. They bounced back nicely winning their bowl game 33-17 against Minnesota. Missouri has their work cut out for them if they want to go to the SEC title game 3 years in a row.
Offense: Missouri’s offense relies heavily on their rushing game. Last year they averaged 177.9 rushing yards a game. Running backs Russel Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy combined for over 2000 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. With Murphy gone now, Hansborough will be the lead back and will easily rush for over 1000 yards. Quarterback Maty Mauk will return for his junior year. Last season he passed for 2648 yards 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He will need to keep improving if Missouri wants to have another SEC title chance. It’s going to be hard though because Missouri looses their top 3 receivers from last season. This will be their biggest challenge this season.
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Defense: Missouri had one of the best defenses in the country last year. They let up an average of 21.1 points a game finishing 19th in the country. Missouri returns their top two tacklers from last year Kentrell Brothers and Michael Scherer. Together these two combined for 236 tackles. Missouri is going to have to replace the pressure that Shane Ray and Markus Golden brought. They combined for 24.5 sacks last year and are both in the NFL now. Missouri has a lot of experience in the secondary and that will be the strength of their defense.
Special Teams: Missouri returns their kicker Andrew Baggett who was 18-25 last season. A lot may be asked of Baggett this year as he is listed the starting punter as well this year.
Overall: Missouri’s biggest challenge this year will be replacing their wide receivers. Besides that Missouri has a solid team with a lot of experience. They have a tough schedule this year and will need Maty Mauk to have a breakout year if they want another SEC title shot. I think Missouri will finish the season 9-3 but I believe this is Georgia’s year to win the SEC East.