October 26, 2007

Preview and prediction: Tigers vs Cyclones

Each week, PowerMizzou.com< will provide a complete preview and prediction on that week's game. Here is the exclusive PowerMizzou.com breakdown of Saturday's contest against Iowa State:

Missouri Keys to the Game

Normally, we have three. This week, there is just one: Come out of the gate fired up and avoid a letdown. It is simple: If the Tigers play well, or even above average, they cannot lose this game. If they come out flat and let Iowa State hang around for two or three quarters, well, we saw that in Ames last season.

Iowa State Keys to the Game

The running game has to get going. Iowa State has scored just 14 touchdowns this year. Five of them came in one game. If Missouri gets to 28, Iowa State is going to lose, and maybe lose big. Chase Daniel and the Tigers can get to 28 in a half on many occasions. Meyer has to find a way to get the ball downfield and hit the Tigers for some big plays. Missouri's defense has bent plenty, but when they've needed a big play, they have almost always made it. You have to find a way to get a couple of easy touchdowns if you are the Cyclones. Finally, Iowa State will have to go at least plus-3 in turnover margin.

The Wild Card

Each week, we will select one player who could have a huge impact on the game all by himself. Sometimes it will be an obvious choice, sometimes a little more below the radar. This week, there simply is not a guy that stands out on Iowa State's roster as being capable of changing this game. The wild card is emotion. Do the Tigers play with it or do they come out flat like Oklahoma did?

Final Analysis

Frankly, there just isn't a way this should be a game. Iowa State ranks near the bottom of the league in many statistical categories on offense, defense and special teams, including dead last in pass efficiency defense. In addition, Gene Chizik has said his team matches up better with more traditional offenses than the spread. Translation: Look out.

Prediction: Missouri 48, Iowa State 14

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