By: Andrew Parker
We have all heard it for a long time coming: Missouri has the chance to be special this year.
Coming into the season, the hype train was real with Mizzou, and for good reason. Graduate transfer Kelly Bryant was here, Albert Okwuegbunam is the best TE in the country, and the defense returned some key starters like Cale Garrett and Jordan Elliott. All was right until they fell flat on their face in the opener against Wyoming.
The Wyoming loss was such a huge slap in the face for a team that had so much potential. I can’t remember the last time a Missouri team had so much fanfare surrounding them since the 2014 season.
Mizzou was able to overcome the first week defeat by looking dominate against West Virgina and SEMO. The first true test comes this Saturday against South Carolina.
We all know that outside of Georgia, the SEC East is a free for all. South Carolina is one of those teams that is difficult to gauge early on, as they lost their starting quarterback, senior Jake Bentley to injury.
Freshman Ryan Hilinski has taken over the starting duties, and hasn’t looked bad too either. Most quarterbacks seem to be rattled when facing the great defense of Alabama, but Hilinski seemed to hold his own for the most part.
As Missouri enters SEC play, the first game could be the make or break game for their season.
On paper, the Tigers have the better team and should be a favorite heading into this game. South Carolina comes in at 1-2, with their only win coming against Charleston Southern.
We aren’t sure exactly what team we will see heading to Columbia on Saturday, as they kept the game “close” with Alabama, but still lost by 20. They also dropped their opener to a not so good North Carolina team. Here is what wide receivers Richaud Floyd and Johnathon Johnson are saying about the upcoming match-up:
If Missouri wants to call South Carolina a rival, that is fine. They have lost three straight games to them and seem to want to get the monkey off their back in this week’s game.
If the Tigers come out and play the way most think they can, they can start gain some momentum. Their next four opponents are Troy, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky.
One would think that those are all very winnable games and that Mizzou would be in a good position heading into Athens to face off against Georgia. It all starts with a win against South Carolina to keep the train rolling downhill.
Cover photo via: Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports
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