The Missouri Tigers are coming off a disappointing, narrow victory over the Miami (of Ohio) RedHawks.
The game is only a day away, and both teams need a win to stay in the top-25 of the rankings and keep a possible BCS championship campaign alive.
Sun Devils fans, here are seven names from the Missouri Tigers you need to know.
Against the Redhawks last Saturday, T.J. Moe was the leading receiver for the Tigers. Moe caught six passes for 56 yards, rushed the ball twice for 14 yards and returned two punts for 30 total yards.
Moe is the biggest offensive threat for the Tigers (or at least the biggest deep threat) and he could be a danger to Arizona State’s depleted secondary. The Sun Devils lost cornerback Omar Bolden to injury in the offseason, and having him in the defensive backfield would help in covering Moe and the other great Missouri receivers.
It’s not often you have a kicker on a list of names you need to know (and that’s no slight of Missouri); Grant Ressel is that good.
Ressel is perfect on this season thus far (1-for-1 field goal attempts and 2-for-2 extra points) and he looks to take that success into Tempe, AZ. In a game that could come down to the wire, having one of the nation’s elite kickers is something you really want.
Head coach Gary Pinkel is one of the most undervalued coaches in the country.
His career record of 150-86-3 is nothing short of great, and in 11 seasons with the Tigers, Pinel has an overall record of 77-49.
Remember the name. The showdown with the Sun Devils will be a matchup of two of college football’s elite coaches.
Missouri has the best tight end in the country in Michael Egnew. Egnew was not a major part of Missouri’s win over Miami (OH), with only two catches for 12 yards. At 6’6” and 235 pounds, Egnew is a load too big for defensive backs to bring down, but his deceptive speed makes it difficult for linebackers to cover him. Egnew will be a big target for quarterback James Franklin.
The Tigers are thin at linebacker (that’s putting it lightly). Starter Will Ebner is likely out for the game, and several other players have minor injuries that could hinder their play against the Sun Devils. Starting outside linebacker, Zavier Gooden, is maybe their best defensive player and they will need him to have a huge game against the Sun Devils.
Strong safety Kenji Jackson is probably the Tigers' second best defensive player behind linebacker Zavier Gooden. The Tigers gave up 194 yards through the air last week, and 67 percent of passes were completed. Jackson is the leader of that secondary, and make sure you don’t let him beat you. Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler needs to make sure he knows where Jackson is on the field at all times.
Franklin gets on this list for the simple fact that he’s the starting quarterback. A team needs a great quarterback, and the Tigers have Franklin as their man.
In Missouri’s victory over Miami (OH), Franklin completed 17 of 26 passes for 129 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Tyler Gabbert (remember Blain Gabbert?) is right behind him.