College Football Picks: Trust in Missouri's Defense vs. Tennessee

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, November 19, 2015 8:06 PM GMT

In this article we break down the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Missouri Tigers for our Feline Feature of the Week college football pick.

Tennessee (-8) vs. Missouri 7:15 ET ESPN2
Tennessee visits Missouri for this 7:15 ET kick, as televised by ESPN2.  Last Saturday, Tennessee recorded their 6th win of the season to qualify for a Bowl Game in successive seasons (had not played in a Bowl the 3 previous years before that).  That satisfaction could leave them a bit flat, as they look forward to their usual season-ending rivalry game with Vandy next week.  For Missouri, last week’s emotional victory brought the Tigers’ record to 5-5 SU and gave them hope for Bowl eligibility with this victory.  With a road game at Arkansas to close their season, the Tigers understand this is their best hope.

 

Tennessee Volunteers
Under 3rd year HC Jones, the rejuvenation of the Vols’ program continues.  This year, the offense has improved from 29 to 34 points and the defense from 24 to 21 points.  It is the 3rd consecutive year for scoring improvement under Jones.  The Vols now gain a balanced 210 yards, both running and passing, with a defense that allows just 21/381.  They are clearly deserving of their Bowl invite.  Losses have come only against quality teams Alabama by 5, Arkansas by 4, Florida by 1 and Oklahoma by 7.  Victory will not come easily today for Missouri.

 

Missouri Tigers
What the Tigers do have on their side is a huge amount of emotion, as well as series dominance.  Since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012, Missouri has recorded victories over Tennessee by 29-21 last year, 31-3 in 2013 and 51-13 in 2012.  In the last 2 seasons, those were a part of 7-2 SU conference records that led Missouri to the SEC East title.  At just 1-5 SU in SEC play this season, the Tigers will miss out on their 3rd consecutive crown.  But, there is still plenty to play for as Missouri goes for the vaunted 6th victory which will send them Bowling for the 3rd consecutive year for beloved 15th year HC Pinkel.  Amidst all the hoopla surrounding Pinkel’s admission of his diagnosis with lymphoma and the football team’s early week boycott last week, the Tigers played one of their best games of the year.    In a 20-16 home win over BYU, Missouri outrushed the Cougars 190-46 and totaled 434 yards.  Not bad for an offense that averages just 15/298 for the season!  But, the real calling card for Missouri this year has been a Top 10 defense that is allowing a virtual likewise 15 PPG and 298 YPG.  Expect such an emotional outburst to take place again today at Faurot Field, as Missouri uses their defense to record their 6th win of the season.

I invite you to put the college football odds in your favor (Missouri would have been home chalk at the start of the season in this matchup) and follow my college football pick on Missouri as our Feline Feature of the Week.  Tigers roar to victory!

College Football Picks: Missouri +7 at Heritage

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