About Wyoming: Their first game came against the vaunted New Mexico State Aggies. Wyoming had no trouble as the Cowboys defeated the Aggies 29-7 on the road. Wyoming’s bread and butter is their run game. Three ball carriers for the Cowboys accounted for 306 combined rushing yards on the night, with Nico Evans being the leading rusher has he ran for 190 yards on 24 attempts averaging 7.9 yards per carry. Xazavian Valladay contributed as well, as he ran for 61 yards on 17 attempts, and Jevon Bigelow had 55 yards on 12 carries. Starting quarterback Tyler Vander Wall completed 13 passes on 21 attempts for 137 yards. As for the defense for the Cowboys. The run defense looks to be a force this year as they allowed -9 yards to the Aggies. Yes, you read that right, and no you are not dyslexic. -9 YARDS.
In their second game of the season, the Cowboys faced off against Washington State. After the game against New Mexico State, you would think that Wyoming would maybe keep it close but that was not the case as they were steamrolled 41-19. The pass defense was horrendous as Gardner Minshew threw for 319 yards, 3 TD and 1 interception on 38 completions out of 57 attempts.
The run defense looked decent as the Cowboys allowed 103 yards rushing to the Cougars. As for the offense, the run game looked to be the best part of the offense yet again as they had a total of 143 yards rushing with Nico Evans running for 89 yards on 18 attempts.
As for the passing game… PITIFUL. Tyler Vander Wall completed 8 passes on 20 attempts for a massive total of 67 yards. He was unable to find the end zone but he was able to find the defenders hands as he threw an interception. The run game will be something to look out for, but I don’t think we will have to worry about Wyoming’s vaunted passing attack.
About Missouri: Our beloved Tigers played UT-Martin last Saturday and did exactly what they were supposed to do, as they rolled over the Skyhawks 51-14. If anything proved disappointing, one could quibble with the pass rush. The Tigers had no sacks and really not a whole lot of pressure towards the quarterback, so the D-Line did not look as strong as maybe some would think. But even though the Tigers did not have any sacks, the run defense was there as the Tigers allowed 94 yards rushing.
Now let’s get to the secondary; aside from one blown-coverage play, the unit that most impressed me. The Tigers only allowed 168 yards passing as Dresser Winn was 15/24 on the day. It was the first time in the Barry Odom era that the Tigers looked prepared. I think that was a very important thing to take out of this game. As for the Tiger offense, Mr. Heisman, Drew Lock did not miss a beat as he threw for 289 yards on 19/25 for the senior. He also tacked on four touchdowns.
The run game was actually quite underwhelming to say the least. Crockett and Rountree combined for 100 yards as Tyler Badie added 32 yards on 10 attempts for the day. The Tigers only averaged 3.5 yards per carry. The receiving corps is what I am most excited for. Emmanuel hall caught 4 passes for 171 yards and tacked on 2 touchdowns. Freshman Kam Scott’s first reception was a acrobatic 70-yard touchdown grab that was highly impressive. Johnathan Johnson also added a touchdown catch to the mix.
In general the receiving corps looks very good this year for the Tigers. The O-Line played well for the Tigers, as they did not allow Drew Lock to be sacked. But they could have done better with finishing blocks on the run plays. As for the Tiger offense, you should NOT be worried. Three keys to the game:
1. Stop Wyoming’s running attack: This Saturday, the D-Line will have to be prepared for the run game and so will the linebackers, as Wyoming has proved that their run game is no joke.
2. Run game must be more explosive this week: After a underwhelming performance on Saturday, as Crockett and Rountree only combined for 100 yards, the run game will have to be much more effective this week. The goal should be just around the 5.0 yards per carry mark for the Tigers this week.
3. Pressure Vander Wall: The Tigers need to get to the quarterback. Its very crucial as Vander Wall has shown (at least so far) that he is not any close to Josh Allen. He has not played very well in the two games he has played, and if the D-Line can pressure him, he can make some crucial mistakes.
Prediction: Missouri: 42, Wyoming 17: The Tigers will come out triumphant as Drew Lock will throw for 300+ yards and the run game will look much better this week. The defense will play well but give up 100+ yards rushing to the Cowboys. Missouri should have no problem this week and will walk out of Faurot Field (2-0) on the year.