Using ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) as a guide, Missouri (2-0) has a 69.5 percent chance to beat UCF (0-1) on Saturday.


Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk and the Tigers offense answered some major questions last week in Ohio, putting up 49 points.

South Dakota State and Toledo couldn’t slow the Tigers, but both teams moved the ball well at times, either through the air (Jackrabbits) or on the ground (Rockets).

UCF appeared to take the field against Penn State with the wrong starting quarterback, but rectified that mistake by the second half and nearly beat the Nittany Lions for a second consecutive season. The Knights lost a pair of draft picks from last season’s prolific offense, including No. 3 overall pick in starting quarterback Blake Bortles, but UCF retained a stable of talented receivers and a strong running back.

Thus far the defense has relied on an overwhelming pass rush from its two NFL prospects at defensive end and a propensity for taking away the football. Missouri has forced at least one turnover in 46 consecutive games, but the defense is susceptible, particularly on the back end of Markus Golden and Shane Ray can’t get to Justin Holman fast enough.

The Tigers enter the game with the line hovering around 10 points in their favor. A win means the team can expect to exit non-conference play at 4-0 with a strong chance to be a major player in the SEC East. Missouri will win this game if it plays like it did against Toledo, but UCF has the experience and talent to pull the upset if the Tigers give a mistake-riddled performance.