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October 13, 2012
Alabama should handily defeat the Missouri Tigers, who struggled at 8-5 in the Big 12, right? Not so fast, my friend!
Mizzou will get a big taste of the SEC defenses before they play Alabama, as they face Georgia and South Carolina early in the season, as well as Vanderbilt, a team that is becoming surprisingly good.
If the Tigers make it to their showdown with Alabama relatively healthy they'll already have a firm grasp on what it means to face an SEC defense.
On the flip side, Alabama could already have some nagging or serious injuries by then, as the game against Arkansas historically produces plenty of injuries for the 'Bama players.
The real issue for Alabama will be their young secondary in 2012. They return safety Robert Lester and cornerback DeMarcus Milliner, but they will have two new, yet promising, players.
Safety Vinnie Sunseri and junior college transfer cornerback Travell Dixon will need to be fully prepared to face Mizzou, for they have one of the most feared weapons in all the land that has yet to play a single down of college football.
Wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, the nation's No. 1 recruit in 2012, is a Missouri Tiger. He is huge at 6'6", 220 lbs., and runs like a deer. To make matters worse he has a great yet underrated true dual-threat quarterback throwing to him.
Mizzou quarterback, James Franklin, will be a junior next year and a second-year starter. Last year (admittedly against porous defenses) he threw for 2,872 yards with a 63.4 completion percentage, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also rushed for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns.
At 6'2", 225 lbs, he's a lot like a little Cam Newton and is tough to bring down when he scrambles.
The numbers could be better but he was a first-year starter and had no true go-to receiver. He'll have that next year in Dorial Green-Beckham.
The Tide could be caught by surprise when they travel to Columbus, MO. Mizzou may not flounder in the SEC as most expect, especially with a recruit like Green-Beckham.