It’s a strange road game for Missouri, but it’s a decent test against a team that should be deep in the hunt for the Sun Belt title after starting out the season with a light scrimmage against SE Missouri State, winning 34-3. Arkansas State got thumped 55-6 by USC, and now this started a run of three home games in four weeks around a date at Toledo. This is the fourth meeting between the two teams with Mizzou winning the first three all in blowouts.
Below we dive into the Missouri vs. Arkansas State prediction and full game preview.
Missouri vs. Arkansas State Prediction & Preview
Date: Saturday, September 12
Game Time: 12:00 ET
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Why You Need To Care
Mizzou gets three of its next four games at home with UConn up next before starting out SEC play on the road at Kentucky. The offense didn’t hum like it probably should’ve in the opener, but it got the passing game working with several big downfield plays. Meanwhile, the defense was a rock, not allowing a thing through the air giving up just 56 yards. Can the D keep it all going? That’s the goal moving forward – the Tigers have to take the game out of ASU’s hands with the defensive front.
Arkansas State is far better than it showed in the blowout loss to USC, and with Missouri State up next and the Sun Belt season starting out nice and easy against Idaho and South Alabama in a few weeks, this if the chance at a huge win. Are the Red Wolves strong enough to hang around with the defending SEC champions? The have the offensive weapons, even if it didn’t look like it in L.A.
Why Missouri Will Win
Arkansas State wasn’t going to beat USC no matter what, but it didn’t help that the offense couldn’t hang on to the ball. ASU was -4 in turnover margin, losing two fumbles and two interceptions, turning the easy Trojan win into a blowout. Mizzou didn’t turn the dogs loose on SE Missouri State, with little coming from the pass rush and forcing just one turnover. This is the week the defense will start to look like the one that camped out in opposing backfields over the last few SEC seasons.
Why Arkansas State Will Win
Did anything go write for Arkansas State against USC? The pass rush was able to rip into the backfield, even if the game wasn’t on the line at times. The Red Wolves have a top-shelf playmaker in Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, but it was linebacker Tajhea Chambers who was the main star with 2.5 of the team’s five sacks. Mizzou’s passing game can be thrown off, but ASU has to get pressure on Tiger quarterback Maty Mauk.
Player Who Matters
Is it time to worry a bit about the Missouri running game? It wasn’t that it didn’t work against SE Missouri State, it’s that it ran for under three yards per carry. The Tigers couldn’t come up with enough rips, with Russell Hansbrough having a moment, but that was about it. In all, the Tigers ran 33 times for 98 yards, but this week they have to show the running attack can work.
What’s Going To Happen?
Arkansas State will play night and day better at home. It’s not going to be able to handle the Mizzou defense, but the offense won’t turn it over as much and it’ll keep the game tight. It might not be an upset, but there will be moments when things appear a bit scary for the SEC big boy.
Missouri vs. Arkansas State Score Prediction
And last, but certainly not least, the Missouri vs. Arkansas State prediction is …
Final Score: Missouri 37, Arkansas State 23