Texas decided to suspended big WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6-6, 225) for a violation of team rules. Missouri OF A.J. Harris (knee) is doubtful to play in this game.
The Southeastern Conference will square off with the Big 12 Conference this evening as the Missouri Tigers grapple with the Texas Longhorns in the Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Tigers are off a 48-45 road win over Arkansas to finish their regular season at 7-5, while the Longhorns went 6-6 during the regular season and are off a 27-23 home loss to Texas Tech. These teams met in 2011 and Missouri won that game at home by a score of 17-5.
A Tale Of Two Halves For Missouri
That statement really has rung true for the Missouri Tigers this year as they started out the season at 1-5, but they then won their final six games of the year to gain seven wins and land here in the Texas Bowl. They were coming off a 4-8 season and were still rebuilding, so many didn’t feel that they would be in a bowl game, but here they are. The offense has been strong for this year all year, but the key to their turnaround was a defense that allowed just 21.3 ppg over their last six games, after giving up 42.2 ppg during their 1-5 start. They did allow 45 points in their finale against Vanderbilt, but still, they score 48 in that game to win it. The offense has been strong and they averaged 51.3 ppg over their final six games, but they will be taking on a tough Texas defense in this one and that should make for a very interesting clash. Drew Lock has had an outstanding season as he has hit 58.3% of his passes for 3695 yards with 43 Tds and just 12 INTs. The Longhorns have a solid defense overall, but they do struggle against the Pass and that could lead to Lock having a big game.
Missouri has been a very good offensive team this year as they come in ranked 7th in the nation in total offense (511.5 ypg), 14th in passing (311.9 ypg), 35th in rushing (199.6 ypg) and 10th in scoring at 39.3 ppg. On defense, they have not been that good as they come in ranked 89th in total yards allowed (425.2 ypg), 109th against the pass (261.8 ypg) and 61st vs the run (163.5 ypg), while allowing just 31.8 ppg, which is 94th in the nation.
Longhorns fall To Red Raiders In Finale
The Texas Longhorns had high hopes coming into the year as they had a new HC in Tom Herman and had plenty of returning starters, but they started off with an embarrassing home loss to Maryland and finished the regular season at just 7-5. It still was good enough to get them into a bowl game after missing out the last two year, so they did make progress in Herman’s first year. Texas had a chance for eight wins, but they fell in a tight one to Texas Tech at home to end the regular season. TT won that game by a score of 27-23, but they did outgain the Longhorns by just seven yards. The Texas defense has been good overall and they don’t allow many points, but the one area of concern has to be their very weak pass defense, which is one of the worst in the league and allowed TT to throw for 333 yards against them. That doesn’t bode well as they are about to take on one of the better QBs in the SEC in Drew Lock. Texas could be in for a long game if they can’t stop the pass in this one, especially since their offense is not great and the Missouri defense was very strong down the stretch. Sam Ehlinger has been their primary QB and has thrown for 1803 yards with 10 TDs and seven INTs, while also rushing for 364 yards and TDs on the year. We could also see Shane Buechele in this one and he has thrown for 1350 yards with six TDs and four INTs. on the year. Whoever gets the start will be going up against a hot defense.
The Longhorns have been decent on offense this year as they come in ranked 57th in the nation in total offense (408.3 ypg), 36th in passing (266.5 ypg), 95th in rushing (141.8 ypg) and 61st in scoring at 29.2 ppg. On defense, they have been solid as they come in ranked 42nd in total yards allowed (363.6 ypg), 108th against the pass (257.9 ypg) and 6th vs the run (105.7 ypg), while allowing just 21.7 ppg, which is 31st in the nation.
- 30-7 ATS in their last 37 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a straight up win
- 2-5 ATS in their last seven vs. the SEC
- The dog is 0-4 ATS the last four games in this series
The Missouri Tigers have been very hot of late, but can they take out a solid team from the Big 12? I think they can, especially with extra prep time. They finished the year by winning their final six games and they outscored their opponents by 30 ppg over that stretch. They were on fire and Drew lock had a very strong year. He should have another good game against a Texas defense that is 108th in the nation in pass defense. I don’t feel that Texas will stop this passing game enough to get the win here and I also don’t feel that their offense can do enough against a defense that allowed just 16.6 ppg in their five games prior to the Vanderbilt game, to win this one. I look for the Tigers to win by at least a TD.
Pick: Missouri -3
The Tigers have been an awesome offensive team down the stretch, but they have also allowed just 21.3 ppg over their, last six games. The Longhorns have not been a great offensive team this year, but they have averaged 31.0 ppg in their last three games and should be able to get some solid points in this one. The Texas defense has been good, but the offense that they are facing in this one is very hot and will put up plenty of points in this one, especially since they have averaged 51.3 ppg over their last six games. I will be looking at the Over in this one.