The Missouri offense has clicked on all cylinders against its last two opponents, especially in the Tigers' blowout win over Nevada last Saturday, and they will look to continue that against the Buffalo Bulls this Saturday at Faurot Field.
Gary Pinkel has warned against taking the Bulls lightly, but playing against a team that gave up 28 points to Temple, the Tigers have to feel good about their chances at home. Since the Tigers are saying all the right things, I'll be the wise guy that realistically says what to watch for other than "a good game."
5. Missouri secondary will impress or digress
Four-year starter Drew Willy of Buffalo will look to continue his brilliant play on the season against a Missouri secondary that should be without William Moore. Although the Tigers played very well against Nevada, especially in the second half, this has continually been the weak point of the team.
The Tigers will either step up and prove that they have a respectable secondary, or get torched and cause the rest of the Big 12 to start planning for their date against the Tigers. Either way, it will be a very indicative game.
4. Turner Gill effect
Gill is a former Nebraska Cornhusker who used to beat the crap out of Mizzou almost 20 years ago. He is something nasty, like 13-1 against Missouri as a player and coach. Does he hold the key to beating the Tigers? Or will Gary Pinkel possibly run up the score to avenge the past? Probably not either, but let's read into what might be a boring, standard game.
3. Will Wolfert remain perfect or tire out?
It has now been a calendar year since Jeff Wolfert missed a kick, extra point or field goal alike. But he kicked nine PATs last week, plus two field goals and (I think) all kickoffs, winning the Big 12 Special Team of the Week Award. Last year in Week Four, he missed a kick versus Illinois State. Is it an unlucky week? We will see.
2. Consistency on offense
Buffalo's defense isn't very good. They only give up around 20 points per game, but they've played UTEP, Pitt, and Temple. Not exactly powerhouses. In fact, I'd go as far to say that Nevada's defense is better then Buffalo's. So will the Tigers knock up another 69? No chance. Pinkel won't let it get that far. But they should score with ease again. If they do, they've proven that these last two weeks aren't an aberration.
1. Derrick Washington NEEDS CARRIES
I talked to Derrick at Mizzou Media Day on Monday (which I will post links to soon), and he said he would love more carries, but that since Missouri's offense is pass-oriented, he acts like each carry is his last. That's the kinda attitude that makes you the leading scorer in the Big 12.
D-Wash is slowly evolving into one of the best backs Mizzou has had in recent history, and they've had some good ones (Brock Olivio, Zack Abron, Tony Temple, Damien Nash). He truly is a NFL-versatile type guy. Shady McCoy busted up the Buffs, so he should too.