Missouri travels to Wyoming for the first time
Can the Cowboys finally beat a Power 5 school under Craig Bohl?
Location: War Memorial Stadium (29,181), Laramie, WY.
2018 Record: 8-5 (4-4 SEC)
2018 Postseason: Liberty Bowl-Loss to Oklahoma State
Head Coach: Barry Odom (19-19 Missouri, 19-19 overall) is entering his fourth season at Missouri. After a tough first season (4-8), the program has increased their win total each season under his lead.
QB Kelly Bryant
Bryant began last season as the starting QB for the National Championship bound Clemson Tigers before losing the position to freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence. He was not bad last season in 4 games with a 67% completion percentage but he only accounted for 4 touchdowns for Clemson. In comparison, the offense looked much more potent when Lawrence was under center with 9 TD’s scored during that span and led to him losing the job.
Regardless of how things went at Clemson, Bryant has the ability to be one of the better QB’s in the nation this season and he will be looking to have a huge season in his final year of eligibility.
Okwuegbunam had a big day against Wyoming last year finishing with 7 catches and a TD. At 6-5 255, he is a major matchup problem for most defenses. He finished last season as the Tigers 3rd leading receiver despite missing 4 games.
LB Cale Garrett
Garrett led the team in tackles for a second consecutive season with 112 total takedowns. He also led the team in tackles for loss with 5.5. Last season, he finished with 4 tackles against Wyoming. If the Cowboys are able to continue their dynamic running game they finished 2018 with, Garrett will be a player in the middle of all of the action.
While the Tigers lose QB Drew Lock and WR Emmanuel Hall from last years incredible offense, Mizzou has more than enough talent to continue as one of the better offenses in the nation. Kelly Bryant has shown he can lead a winning team and with weapons like RB Larry Roundtree, WR Johnathon Johnson and Okwuegbunam, Missouri won’t be short on talent.
The Tigers defense struggled to find their way early in 2018 before finding their way down the stretch. After easy wins against UT Martin and Wyoming, the Tigers defense would go on to allow 30+ ppg in their next 5 games. During their strong finish to the season in which they won 4 of their final 5 games, the defense only allowed 15 ppg.
Missouri should begin the season with an explosive offense; the fate of their season will depend on the play of their defense. Wyoming’s offense completely changed midway through the season when Sean Chambers took over at quarterback. If the Cowboys offense is able to control the tempo of the game with the second half of the season playcalling, then Wyoming will present a real challenge to Missouri.
If Wyoming enters with the same conservative attack they attempted in Columbia last season, the Tigers will win with ease. I am relatively optimistic and I see the Cowboys losing a shootout but showing that they have a formidable offense to make a run at the MW Mountain Division championship.
Missouri 41 Wyoming 33