2020 Football Preview – SEC – Tigers
Looking for 2020 Missouri Tigers predictions? The Tigers seek renewed momentum after fading last fall. Key 2019 Mizzou storylines include a 1-5 finish, rejected NCAA sanction appeals and Barry Odom’s firing. After three-straight seasons at or above .500, Odom exits Columbia while his ship capsized down the stretch. Odom went 25-25 at his alma mater before the late collapse prompted AD Jim Sterk to explore new options.
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2020-21 College Football Preview – Mizzou Tigers
Head Coach: Eli Drinkwitz
2019 Record: 6-6
Missouri Tigers Odds to win the 2020 FBS Championship: +20000
Missouri Tigers Win Total Odds: 6.5
Missouri Tigers SEC Odds: +5000
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A fresh era begins for Tigers football as second-year head coach Eli Drinkwitz steps in.
Drinkwitz gained attention while bringing Appalachian State its top overall record and lone final AP poll ranking in 2019. Unlike his predecessor, the former Mountaineers play-caller enjoys current regard after placing App State at 12-1 and #19 nationally to quickly scale the FBS coaching ladder.
Yet, guiding a stocked mid major powerhouse and reviving a hard-luck SEC program are two distinct hurdles. No longer facing Sun Belt foes, Drinkwitz has greater work ahead.
Most outlets project low upcoming win totals in Columbia.
That stated, Missouri currently rosters unproven QB options as Kelly Bryant exhausted eligibility. Names like Connor Bazelak, Brady Cook, Shawn Robinson and Taylor Powell vie for starting snaps this year.
When eyeing each resume, former TCU backup Shawn Robinson leads the pack. Robinson added nine touchdowns against eight interceptions and 60.8 % completed last year. The Junior’s contributions helped the Horned Frogs’ bowl push.
Returning Mizzou passers Taylor Powell and Connor Bazelak each add program experience, but lax numbers to the competition. One of the three will likely transfer as four-star true freshman Brady Cook enjoys his rehearsal time.
Expectations run high for whoever Drinkwitz employs behind center. The offensive-wizard has already promised drama from his air attack even though no name UM receivers return from 2019.
With early NFL draft defections on both offense and defense, led by TE Albert Okwuegbunam, DL Jordan Elliott and OL Trystan Colon-Castillo, less big-game standouts remain. However, losing steady graduated or transferred contributors OL Yasir Durant, QB Kelly Bryant, WRs Jonathan Nance and Johnathon Johnson and LB Cale Garrett hurt Missouri, too.
If Drinkwitz is to work his play-calling magic, downfield threats must emerge. Fortunately, Mizzou welcomes back lead rushers Tyler Badie and Larry Rountree. Though, shaky pocket protection could again make life difficult for UM’s skill contributors.
Missing continuity, it’s worth noting former Virginia Tech WR Damon Hazelton transferred in and is the Tigers’ de-facto top wideout. As a bonus, perhaps Hazelton can help accelerate four star recruit WR Javian Hester’s progression.
The Tigers latest recruiting class ranked #50 overall: a fatal SEC number and repercussion from NCAA sanctions.
2020 Missouri Tigers Predictions: Team Strengths: Defense, Running Backs
If a steady arm emerges, sure-handed Badie, Hazelton and emergent deep threats can create offense for the Tigers. That remains a massive if.
However, as proven last season, Rountree and Badie can contribute minus much blocking help. Offensive line questions still abound as key blockers moved on from the polarizing 2019 group. At worst, expect credible backfield stats from Missouri.
With all the uncertainty and turnover, impact defenders Nick Bolton, Joshua Bledsoe and Kobie Whiteside headline an experienced core which should keep the Tigers competitive vs. non-elite opponents.
2020 Missouri Tigers Predictions: Team Weaknesses: Offensive Line, Receivers
Again, current ‘it’ coach Eli Drinkwitz will find life far tougher vs. ramped SEC offerings -especially given his blocking holes, quarterback issues and unproven wideouts.
While Drinkwitz likely maximized an already nationally-ranked Appalachian State group, Missouri is a true project. The veteran departures from a ragged offensive line damper any legit notion Missouri can compete vs. its SEC schedule.
More so, the odds of finding an SEC ready quarterback from the relative camp flotsam handicaps Missouri deeper during a transiton year. Yes, it’s human nature for highly successful people, especially coming off fresh achievement, to exude professional confidence. This explains Coach Drinkwitz’ optimism.
However, the reality is Missouri football is likely down for a few years following graduations, NFL defections and NCAA levies.
Minus game-ready recruits, offensive line depth and pocket presence, expect next-level defenders to be the only barrier separating the Tigers from the SEC East basement.
2020 Missouri Tigers Schedule
- 9/5 — vs. Central Arkansas
- 9/12 — vs. Vanderbilt
- 9/19 — at South Carolina
- 9/26 — vs. Eastern Michigan
- 10/3 — at Tennessee
- 10/10 — at BYU
- 10/17 — vs. Georgia
- 10/24 — vs. Kentucky
- 10/31 — OFF
- 11/7 — at Mississippi State
- 11/14 — at Florida
- 11/21 — vs. Louisiana
- 11/28 — vs. Arkansas
2020 Missouri Tigers Prediction: 6th in the SEC East & a 5-7 record (Bet Now at any of our Reviewed Online Sportsbooks!)
Behind a broken line, unproven arms and little offensive firepower, Missouri will drop all but one SEC contest while edging Vanderbilt.
Meanwhile, Drinkwitz’s sanction-hit crew will use its non-conference games to finish 5-7 and sixth in the SEC East.
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