COLUMBIA, Mo. – It’s not only a clash of two Tigers this weekend in mid-Missouri, but also the first ranked-vs.-ranked home matchup for Mizzou Football in nearly a decade.
The undefeated Missouri Tigers have a tough task ahead this weekend against a college football juggernaut in the Louisiana State University Tigers. Mizzou is ranked 21 in AP’s Top 25 at 5-0, while LSU is ranked 23 at 3-2, albeit with losses to two ranked teams.
The last time Mizzou hosted an AP-ranked opponent as an AP-ranked squad was Oct. 11, 2014. Though the Tigers lost in shutout fashion to the Georgia Bulldogs, they ended the season as SEC East Champions.
The Mizzou-LSU matchup seemed daunting earlier in the year, but there’s perhaps new optimism that Mizzou could prevail in the battle of Tigers.
“I give them more than a little bit of a shot in this game, and part of it is because of the defense, not just the offense,” said Matt Stinchcomb via the SEC Network. “You look at the way Missouri has been stopping the run, they’ve been excellent this year so far.”
Heading into the weekend, Mizzou ranks in the Top 30 of more than 100 qualified FBS teams in fewest yards allowed per game and per play, according to NCAA statistics. The Tigers are also averaging 32 points a game and lead quarterback Brady Cook has yet to throw an interception.
Mizzou has been fundamentally sound on both sides of the ball, but perhaps some success could be attributed to an easier strength of schedule thus far.
LSU was ranked as high as No. 5 earlier this season, but two key losses and some defensive inconsistencies have them on the brink of losing a rank. That said, their offense remains one of the best in the SEC, averaging around 44 points per game. If LSU’s early-season trends hold true, it could be a shootout Saturday afternoon.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 11 a.m. ESPN will carry the broadcast. Mizzou Athletics says the game will be a sell-out, but some tickets still remain available on the secondary ticket market, like Ticketmaster.