After a huge win against the Fighting Illini in Week One, the Missouri Tigers will be able to tone it down a notch against the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks.
SEMO is a FCS (formerly Division II) team that quite frankly is no Appalachian State, winning only three games last season.
But Mizzou is saying all the right things. They aren't going to take SEMO lightly, and even some slightly banged up regulars should be in the lineup. So this game does hold some value after all.
5. Play of Chase Patton and Jimmy Costello
Chase Patton, as everybody should know by now, is one of three former Elite-11 QBs that the Tigers have on their roster. He is also the backup quarterback, and should get a good load of playing time after Chase Daniel comes out of the game.
He has amazing size (6-foot-5, 220) and a great arm, but as been sandwiched by two amazing QBs at Mizzou. Patton has been plagued by a hamstring injury lately, but claimed that he was ready to go for the Illinois game, so I assume he'll be fine for this Saturday.
Costello is a former walk-on, and although he is fourth on the depth chart behind Blaine Gabbert, Gary Pinkel would love to redshirt Gabbert. If Costello can get in late and be respectable, that would ease everybody's mind about Gabbert sitting out a whole season.
4. Use of injured stars
Mizzou's two best players are listed as "probable" for the SEMO game, but I personally would like to see both of them rest and really make sure that they're completely healthy. William Moore has a foot injury and J-Mac, as everybody in the universe knows, as a sprained ankle.
It will be interesting to see how Pinkel uses these two, because the loss of either one would greatly diminish any hopes that the Tigers have for their season.
3. Return of the Alexander(s) the Great!
First comes Van, the fifth-year linebacker with a ton of experience and talent who will finally complete the starting group at that spot. Van has been released to play but the team wants him to be 100 percent when he gets out onto the field.
If he can come back and complete a depleted LB group that lost Steve Redmond for the season on Saturday, that would be huge, but he must be healthy.
Next is Danario, the disgustingly athletic WR who will be one of Chase Daniel's top targets on return. He is recovering from ACL surgery in the spring, and the SEMO game is actually three weeks prior to when they expected him to return.
This return would be really big, but I would like to see him wait. Danario has hurt his knee twice already, so caution is probably best.
Also, on a smaller note, backup DT Andy Maples could play Saturday too. He's had a fractured foot. Maples was highly touted out of juco a year ago, so if he can finally get some valuable game experience, he could improve vastly.
2. Stay injury-free!
Losing Pig Brown last season versus Iowa State is something that I'll never forget. If the Tigers had put that game away early, it never would have happened. The sooner that the Tigers can put the Redhawks away, the sooner they can get their reserves some valuable experience, and give everyone some extra rest for Nevada. Simple as that.
1. DON'T TAKE SEMO LIGHTLY
Look, I'm not saying it will happen. There's almost no chance. Still, how embarrassing would it be for the Tigers to lose? It'd be worse then Michigan. Winning should be priority No. 1, even against a lower opponent. Hey, knock on wood...
Final Prediction: Missouri 51, SEMO 17
Let's be real, this game is probably going to be a blowout. But because Missouri's reserves could be in the game by the first quarter, and the fact that Gary Pinkel has always been pretty classy about running up the score, it should be semi-respectable.