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Dawg Preview Tiger Claws Come Out: #21 Missouri Tigers vs. #23 LSU Tigers

The 21st-ranked Missouri Tigers will play host to the 23rd-ranked LSU Tigers this coming Saturday in Columbia, Missouri. Missouri is coming off a 17-point victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, while LSU came up short against #17 Ole Miss 49-55. On one hand, you have a Missouri Tigers team trying to prove themselves as legitimate contenders in the SEC. Eli Drinkwitz's job security was put into question at the beginning of the year and if he were to produce another chronically mediocre season, he very well could have ended up on the hot seat. That negative talk is seemingly put to bed though, as the Tigers are off to their hottest start in years, going 5-0 with a big win over previously ranked Big 12 foe Kansas State among those 'W's'. LSU has had an underwhelming season so far after being slated as a College Football Playoff contender. After a loss to Florida State to begin the year, LSU has scraped up a few gimmes with wins over Grambling and Mississippi State. They struggled with Arkansas, only putting them away with a game-winning field goal with 5 seconds left. They then were on the losing side of a close game with this past week's loss to the Rebels. Both teams will be playing with a chip on their shoulder, let's have a look at the details.

Broadcast Info:

Date: October 7th, 2023

Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Missouri

Time: 12:00 pm EST


Calling: Bob Wischusen, Robert Griffin III, and Kris Budden

Radio: ESPN Radio 100.5 FM/1580 AM (Missouri Broadcast) WDGL 98.1 (LSU Broadcast)

Betting Line

LSU -5.5

Over/Under: 64.5

Tale of the Tape: Missouri Tigers

Missouri has seemingly come out of nowhere this season, being arguably the most underrated 5-0 squad in the nation so far. A huge win over the Kansas State Wildcats has boosted their confidence and has this team looking like contenders. Brady Cook has quietly become one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC, passing for 1,468 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions so far this season. He's also ran the ball for 3 scores and 37 yards. At the beginning of the year, the Tigers were questioning whether or not he'd even start for them. Those questions may have been put to bed. The big story though for the Tigers is their wide receiving corps. Led by phenom sophomore Luther Burden, this Mizzou unit has blossomed into one of the best-receiving corps in the country, racking up over 300 yards a game in each of the past 3 matchups. Many thought this team would be missing Georgia Bulldog Dominic Lovett dearly, and that is simply not the case with this squad catching fire. Defensively, the Missouri front seven has shown to be one of the best in the SEC, racking up 13 sacks so far this year and holding when it matters most in tight games. However, they still have bent their knee to the 'big play' from time to time, and going up against a big play offense like LSU, they will need to mitigate that as much as possible if they have a shot at winning. Missouri has a shot to be one of the best in the country and can prove it if they have a big win over LSU come Saturday.

Tale of the Tape: LSU Tigers

LSU has had a somewhat tumultuous year so far, starting off the year with a bad loss to Florida State will do that to you. Jayden Daniels has looked pretty much as advertised, yes, he's thrown for 1,710 yards, 16 touchdowns, and just 2 picks, however, a lot of those numbers came in blowout wins over far inferior opponents. Same with other offensive standouts like Logan Diggs, Brian Thomas, Jr., and Malik Nabers, all of whom on paper look excellent, so why are they losing these big games? Simply put, they haven't had a ton of help from the defense in said big games, allowing 45 against Florida State, 31 against Arkansas, and 55 against Ole Miss. This LSU squad feels incomplete due to its lack of defensive prowess in big moments, and it's killed them in contests that they need to win in order to show they're for real. They'll be coming to Columbia to face another large looming opponent in #23 Missouri, and if they can't capitalize off what should be another solid offensive showing and get the win, they'll be in big trouble.

Final Score Prediction and Conclusion:

As stated in the intro, both teams are coming to play with a chip on their shoulder. Missouri is coming to prove that they're for real as well as become bowl-eligible, LSU is fighting to maintain that juggernaut status in the SEC that's quickly slipping. Both offenses are explosive and can put up a ton of points, while both defenses have their strengths but also have their glaring weaknesses preventing the big play. This could end up being a fireworks display the likes of which haven't been seen this year as both offenses could feast on above-average defenses that keep opponents lurking around. If we are going off just numbers, LSU will come out with the win, but it never comes down to just numbers. Missouri will have the home-field advantage and this is their biggest game since Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago, Faurot will be rocking. Top that with a disrespectful 11:00 am local game time as well as still only being ranked just inside the Top 25, and you've got an even bigger chip on the shoulder of the Missouri Tigers. LSU is reeling after that loss to the Rebels, and if they don't stop the bleeding now then they could potentially be in for a long season. It could potentially come down to who punches who in the mouth first or who ends up scoring last, but in the end, Missouri has a slight advantage with home field, more chips on the table, and if they can muster it, a will to drive a stake through the heart of Baton Rouge with a statement win. Unless this LSU defense can figure it out, Missouri wins by 3 in what will be a shootout for the ages.

Final score prediction: Missouri 52-LSU 49

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