Mizzou football: Breaking down the Tigers' game vs. Texas A&M
For Missouri fans, it is becoming cliche to hear the phrase, “This is the biggest game of the season for the Tigers,” when basically every game from this point on is going to be a big game.
Mizzou is welcoming a Texas A&M team coming off a huge victory over Alabama. The Aggies will be sky-high. As crazy as it may sound, this might be the perfect time for the Tigers to pull off the upset. But do they have the tools to do so?
Let’s examine the facts.
Until last week, Zach Calzada hadn’t done much at quarterback for the Aggies. But the light switch seemed to go on for him against Alabama.
Calzada threw for 285 yards and 3 touchdowns. But maybe the most impressive thing he did was engineer a comeback in the 4th quarter when the Aggies fell behind by 7.
His confidence is probably soaring right now. But is he the real deal, or did he just have a Stephen Garcia moment against the Tide? In his previous starts against Mississippi State and Arkansas, Calzada threw for 286 yards combined and 1 touchdown. Will the real Zach Calzada stand up?
The Killer Bees of Connor Bazelak and Tyler Badie had good g ames, especially Badie, in last Saturday’s 48-35 win over an undermanned North Texas team. Badie rushed for 209 yards and 3 scores, while Bazelak threw 2 touchdowns. The biggest thing was that Bazelak didn’t turn the ball over. The one advantage that the Tigers may have is that their running game is much better than the Aggies’ right now.
The Aggies didn’t do much on the ground against Alabama, yet they still won. That could change against the Missouri defense.
There is no question who has the better defense here: Texas A&M.
The Aggies are ranked 53rd in the country in total defense, giving up about 355 yards per game. This may not be one of the best Aggies defenses ever, but it was good enough to give Alabama problems.
It dominated the line of scrimmage against the Tide and sacked Bryce Young 4 times. However, the Tide was able to make a run in the 2nd half, and the Aggies also had an issue stopping the Bama running game. Brian Robinson Jr. gashed the Aggies for 147 yards on the ground.
So Mizzou might be able to take advantage of the Aggies with Badie.
One way the Aggies were able to stop the Tide was by creating turnovers. Bazelak must not press and give the Aggies the ball, or this game could be over early.
As for the Mizzou defense, it’s the same story every week: It has to stop the run, although last week the secondary got torched by the Mean Green in the 2nd half. If the Aggies offense that played against Mississippi State and Arkansas shows up, the Mizzou defense has a chance. If the one that played well against Alabama shows up, that is going to spell trouble for the Tigers.
The Aggies defense can cause major havoc with any team, even if it is facing an offense with a lot of talent. Just ask Alabama.
Advantage: Texas A&M
Despite the Aggies’ victory last week, this game is hard to figure out. Before last week, this game looked as if it might be close. But who knows which teams will show up.
Until the Tennessee game, the Mizzou offense looked like it could play with anyone in the country, and the Aggies offense looked pathetic.
This game may come down to who can create their own opportunities. The main reason the Aggies won last week was that they were able to create opportunities for their offense. They got turnovers, and they even got help on special teams, all of which were turned into points.
Can the Tigers do the same? They did last week, but this week they face a more talented team that has a lot to play for, especially now.
Winner: Texas A&M