Roundtable: What must Mizzou do to beat Vanderbilt? -

Roundtable: What must Mizzou do to beat Vanderbilt?

Steve Savard / News 4 Sports Director


Mizzou needs to be more productive on offense this week than at Central Florida last week. Seven points at halftime won’t be acceptable this week. James Franklin and the offense needs to get in sync early and dictate the tempo of the game.

And let’s hope what we saw last week was the coming out party for DGB. He’s too talented and explosive not be playing a major role in the Mizzou offense. It’s on Gary Pinkel’s staff to get a kid with that size and talent ready to play.

Doug Vaughn / News 4 Sports

Mizzou needs to rely more on their running game. Kendial Lawrence has been effective when he’s been used this season, but at times they seem to forget he’s there. The Tigers would be better off letting Lawrence do more of the running, and James Franklin less of it.

Mizzou doesn’t need to do anything fancy to beat Vanderbilt. Unlike when they played their first two SEC opponents (Georgia and South Carolina), this time the Tigers will have the superior talent. If they can avoid crazy penalties and turnovers, give Franklin a little bit of time to throw, and allow Lawrence to carry a bigger share of the offense, the Tigers should be able to handle Vanderbilt and get their first win in the new conference.

Brian Feldman / News 4 Sports

Um, play better.  Going 1-11 on third downs against Central-freaking-Florida doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence.  Vanderbilt is a team Mizzou has got to beat...especially at home.  Look at the schedule and how many wins do you see there in conference play?  Kentucky?  Possibly Texas A&M?  And even the game against the Aggies is on the road.  If the Tigers can’t control this Vanderbilt team in Columbia then this season has disaster written all over it.  They lost the time of possession battle last week and now face an offense that’s 105th in the nation at 21.8 points per game.  The Commodores like to run it behind senior running back Zac Stacy (341 yards on 7.4 yards per carry) and freshman Brian Kimbrow (156 yards on 7.8 YPC).  It’s no secret what their strength is offensively.  If MU can stop the run and convert a higher percentage of its 3rd downs then it should be fine on Saturday.

Dan Greenwald / Missouri Football App

The offense has to perform better. Last week against UCF the offense did not have a true scoring drive. Franklin often looked uncomfortable in the pocket. The running game did not find its form until late in the game. Vanderbilt is struggling on offense, ranking 80th in the country in total offense and 105th in points per game. The Mizzou defense should have little problem stopping the Commodores, but a poor showing by the offense will allow Vanderbilt to hang around.

Brendan Marks / Missouri Football App

If Missouri wants its first SEC win, the offense must do better on early downs. Time and time again the offense found itself in 3rd and long situations against Central Florida. And time and time again the offense stalled, finishing 1 for 11 on the day on 3rd down. The perfect remedy would be to establish the run game from the get-go. Running back Kendial Lawrence had a breakout game against Central Florida, rushing for 106 yards on 19 carries and catching four balls for 50 yards. Running the ball with success will set up third-and-short situations, and in turn will take pressure off quarterback James Franklin and the offense line.

Kyle Tons / Missouri Football App

I think Mizzou and Vanderbilt are very similar teams.  According to both team’s season stats, neither team is more superior at anything than the other.  I know I’m biased, but I think Mizzou is the better team and should win this game.  Vanderbilt has a good running back in Zac Stacy, but Mizzou has a good defensive line.  With Mizzou quarterback James Franklin “fully healthy” I expect more offensive plays down field which will hopefully turn into positive points for the Tigers.  I predict Mizzou getting their first-ever SEC win by the final score of 31-24.

John Bailey / Missouri Football App

The Tigers need to run the ball. Vanderbilt’s strength is the run game, and Missouri’s defense is more than equipped to combat that. But nothing wears out a run defense like never getting off the field. Missouri needs to feed Lawrence the ball early and often. He’s proven he can move the chains, and it takes the stress off of Franklin. As Pinkel has decreed him the QB going forward, he needs to have small successes and build momentum. Moving the ball on the ground eases the pressure on his arm and allows him to make throws without desperation behind them. 

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