Sep 21, 2013; Bloomington, IN, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Michael Sam (52) reacts after the game at Memorial Stadium. Missouri defeats Indiana 45-28. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Pregame: Tigers Set to Prove their SEC Worth in Nashville


Time: 6:30


Radio: 980 KMBZ

Weather: 80-degrees with a 30% chance of rain. There’s a chance of rain starting of noon thru the end of the game so field conditions are likely to be slick.

History: Series is tied 2-2-1

Line: Vanderbilt, -1.5



1. James Franklin (The Quarterback)

There is no doubt this is the best defense Franklin has seen all season, which makes this his toughest and most true test of whether or not Franklin is really back in form. Vanderbilt has a skilled and experience secondary that will challenge Franklin, so the need for good decision-making is going to be paramount.

Missouri absolutely needs this win if they are going to make the desired strides they are looking for in SEC competition. This is a huge game for Franklin and Missouri.

2. Defense

Missouri has not played much of a schedule through the first four games of the season, but they still rank last in pass defense and tenth in total defense in the SEC. Mizzou saving grace has been their ability to create turnovers, which includes 10 interceptions. They’ll need to continue to create turnovers if they want to beat Vanderbilt on the road.

3. Third Down

Vanderbilt has a strong defense, but has issues getting off the field. Vandy ranks 84th in the nation in third down defense, allowing first downs 42.1% of the time. Missouri converts on third downs 57.4% of the time.


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1. Backs to the Wall

At 0-2 in the SEC, this is the last winnable game for Vanderbilt before playing three-straight against Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. Vanderbilt needs this win to ensure they do not start the conference season 0-6 and to improve their prospects of making a bowl game.

2. James Franklin (The Coach)

Franklin spent two years as an assistant to Bill Snyder, which may be part of the reason why he is off to the fastest start for any Vanderbilt coach since before World War I. The guy definitely knows what he is doing.

3. Austyn Carta-Samuels 

Carta-Samuels will throw interceptions, tossing five of them in five games as opposed to eight touchdowns. However, he’s still a pretty efficient quarterback, ranking behind James Franklin by just 0.3 points. He’ll need to have a strong game if Vanderbilt is going to come away with the win.


Tags: Missouri Tigers Vanderbilt Commodores

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