After defeating UCF, Missouri looks to build on its momentum on Saturday when the Tigers host Vanderbilt, a team that was battered by No. 5 Georgia in Week 4.
Missouri (3-2, 0-2 SEC) went into Orlando and beat the Knights, 21-16, getting a strong performance from senior running back Kendial Lawrence along the way.
Vanderbilt (1-3, 0-2 SEC) is hoping its defense can hold up against Missouri after allowing 567 total yards against Georgia.
Here's a look at the SEC matchup on Saturday.
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, MO
When: Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: Fox Sports Network
Live Stream: GamePlan
Betting Line: Missouri -7, via ScoresAndOdds.com
What's At Stake?
Both Missouri and Vanderbilt are trying to make some headway in the big and bad SEC after losing their first two games against conference foes.
In its first season in the SEC, Missouri hasn't had much success after an 8-5 campaign in the Big 12 last year.
As for the Commodores, they've posted just four winning seasons since 1959 (the last being in 2008 when they went 7-6) and have never captured an SEC title.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
No injuries to report.
LB Zaviar Gooden - Hamstring - Questionable
OL Elvis Fisher - Knee - OUT indefinitely
WR Wesley Leftwich - Foot - OUT indefinitely
OL Travis Ruth - Tricep - OUT for season
OL Taylor Chappell - Knee - OUT for season
HB Henry Josey - Knee - OUT for season
What They're Saying
It's not a good sign when you are ranked No. 12 out of the 14 SEC teams.
That's the state Vanderbilt is in right now.
Although Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns against the Commodores, Vanderbilt safety Kenny Ladler pinned it largely on the run defense, saying, via ESPN, "We didn't stop the run tonight, and if you don't stop the run, you let the whole offense open up."
It doesn't help that there's also a quarterback controversy in Nashville.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said after the 48-3 defeat to Georgia, via the ESPN report:
I didn't feel like we have had anyone who has really taken hold of the quarterback position. We are going to look at who practices well throughout the week and let them play on Saturday until someone grabs hold of the position.
As ESPN notes, Missouri's offensive line certainly hasn't made things easy for junior quarterback James Franklin. Franklin was sacked five times against UCF.
The Tigers also saw UCF sophomore quarterback Blake Bortles go 29-of-43 for 267 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore running back Storm Johnson rush for 93 yards.
Vanderbilt Player to Watch: Jordan Rodgers, QB
While most of the blame was pinned on the Vanderbilt defense against Georgia, Franklin's admission that nobody has stood out at quarterback for the Commodores certainly is worth mentioning.
Senior quarterback Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Aaron Rodgers, started over junior Austyn Carta-Samuels against the Bulldogs. He went 13-of-23 for 218 yards (9.5 yards per attempt), but one of those completions was also 60 yards. You take away that pass attempt and Rodgers averaged 7.2 yards per attempt.
While Missouri is allowing just 3.1 yards per carry this season, the Tigers have allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 66.5 percent of their passes for a combined nine touchdowns through the air.
Missouri Player to Watch: James Franklin, QB
While Vanderbilt was bombed by Aaron Murray and Co. in Athens, it must be said that the pass defense had played well before that.
Vanderbilt held South Carolina to 17 points in the season opener, limiting quarterback Connor Shaw to 67 yards through the air while notching an interception.
James Franklin is coming off one of his best performances of the season. He went 19-of-30 for 257 yards, one touchdown and one interception against UCF.
Key Matchup: Vanderbilt Rush Defense vs. Missouri Rushing Attack
Vanderbilt is allowing 4.3 yards per carry so far this season and has already given up nine rushing touchdowns. The Commodores allowed South Carolina to tally 205 rushing yards in Week 1 and saw Georgia rack up 302 yards on the ground in Athens.
Senior running back Kendial Lawrence rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown in Missouri's victory over UCF. He looks set to have a big game in Columbia.
Prediction: Missouri 24, Vanderbilt 17
Even if Vanderbilt bottles up James Franklin, I don't see this team stopping Kendial Lawrence and Co. on the ground.
Lawrence has been a big player for Missouri this season. Beyond the 104 yards he posted against UCF, he also ran for 67 yards on 11 carries against South Carolina the week before.
As long as Missouri uses Lawrence to its advantage, I see the Tigers going on to win in front of their home crowd on Saturday.
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