John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Can anyone stop Marshall (right)?
Week 15 Matchup: No. 5 Missouri (11-1) vs. No. 3 Auburn (11-1), Dec. 7, 4 p.m. ET on CBS
Auburn will have its hands full against Missouri as it tries to secure an improbable SEC title and possible berth into the BCS title game.
Getting quarterback Nick Marshall to click could be the key.
Entering Week 15, the junior has thrown for 1,627 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions on 59.2 percent passing, but his biggest impact has been on the ground, adding another 922 yards and 10 scores on 140 carries.
In fact, throughout the last three games, Marshall has rushed for a ridiculous 402 yards and five touchdowns.
Expect Missouri to look to defensive lineman Michael Sam to shut him down.
This year, the senior has recorded 42 tackles (18.0 for loss), 10.5 sacks, forced a fumble and returned a fumble for a touchdown. More impressively, he has already tallied three sacks in a game three times this season.
Behind his play, Missouri has ranked No. 14 against the run (119.1 YPG). The team has allowed just 15 touchdowns on the ground while conceding a meager 3.13 yards per carry.
Given that Missouri is vulnerable to the pass—No. 112 in the nation—Sam’s ability to get to the quarterback will be key on Saturday.