SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA LIONS (0-0) @ MISSOURI TIGERS (0-0) SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA LIONS (0-0) @ MISSOURI TIGERS (0-0)
KCKingdom
Fansided

Southeastern Louisiana @ Mizzou Game Preview

facebooktwitterreddit

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA LIONS (0-0) @ MISSOURI TIGERS (0-0)

RANKINGS (AP/COACHES/SAGARIN): MU – 38th/43rd/15th, SLU – NR/NR/202nd

KICKOFF: 6:07PM CT, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 1st

WHERE: FAUROT FIELD/MEMORIAL STADIUM, COLUMBIA, MO

SPREAD: NO LINE

TV: PAY-PER-VIEW ($39.95) & ESPN 3/GAMEPLAN (OUTSIDE OF MISSOURI)

RADIO: TIGER NETWORK – 980AM & 98.1FM IN KC, 1580AM & 96.7FM IN COLUMBIA

WEATHER: SCATTERED T-STORMS, UPPER 70’S, 60% PRECIP, SSW WINDS 10MPH

INJURIES: MU – RG. JACK MEINERS (OUT), WR. WESLEY LEFTWICH (OUT), S. BRAYLON WEBB (PROBABLE), CB. KIP EDWARDS (PROBABLE)

SEC EAST STANDINGS: TENNESSEE (1-0), SOUTH CAROLINA (1-0), MIZZOU (0-0), FLORIDA (0-0), GEORGIA (0-0), KENTUCKY (0-0), VANDERBILT (0-1)

When the Missouri Tigers take the field Saturday night for their season opener against FCS foe Southeastern Louisiana, it will be the first time ever as a member of the SEC. It will also be the debut of Mizzou’s new uniforms and new field turf at Faurot Field.

And that DGB guy…

Unfortunately for Mizzou fans in the state of Missouri (and spillover markets), you will only be able to see it if you actually go to the game, look for a bar that’s carrying it or shell out $40 for pay-per-view. The rest of the games this season will be on national television, so you won’t have to worry about it again this year.

While fans look for a way to watch the game tonight, the Missouri Tigers will be gearing up to kick off the 2012 season against a well inferior opponent in the Southeastern Louisiana Lions of the Southland Conference (D1-AA)

The Tigers will look to take care of business while not looking ahead to one of the most anticipated and hyped up games in the history of Missouri football next week as the #6 Georgia Bulldogs come to town for Mizzou’s inaugural game in SEC play.

Southeastern Louisiana finished 3-8 last season, including 0-6 on the road (12 straight overall). The Lions hired former Division II Delta St. head coach Ron Roberts to take over the program in its 10th season back (37-63) from an 18 year hiatus. Roberts is known for his multiple looks on offense and the Tigers really have no idea what to expect from the Southeastern Louisiana offense come Saturday night.

Roberts and the Lions have plenty of their own issues at the moment however. With Tropical Storm Isaac barreling through Louisiana this week, Southeastern Louisiana, whose campus is located just an hour north of New Orleans, has had a turbulent week of preparation for the Tigers.

17 starters return for the Lions, including cornerback Robert Alford, who registered 52 tackles, 7 PD and 5 INTs in 2011. The offense is led by quarterback Brian Young and the ground game features tailbacks Sam Fairley and Zeke Jones.

If you read my 2012 Missouri Tigers Season Preview, you should know all about the team coming into tonight’s game.

Junior quarterback James Franklin will lead Mizzou’s spread attack in his second season as the Tigers signal caller. Franklin is coming off shoulder surgery in March to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, but looks to be 100%. Still, he has yet to have been hit, so it will be interesting to see Franklin after he takes one.

Senior tailback Kendial Lawrence and sophomore Marcus Murphy will lead the Tigers’ ground game along with Franklin, with true freshman Russell Hansbrough getting some time as well. Franklin has one of the best groups of receivers in the nation to throw to in T.J. Moe, Marcus Lucas, L’Damian Washington and the #1 recruit in the nation in Dorial Green-Beckham.

All eyes will be on DGB tonight as he will be playing his first game in black and gold. I’d imagine he will be on the field a lot tonight unless/until it gets way out of hand. I also imagine the coaches will want to get him the ball a bunch to get his feet wet before facing a superior defense the next week.

The shuffling on the interior of the offensive line will be interesting to watch as well. Starting right guard Jack Meiners won’t play tonight, and in his place will be former walk on Max Copeland while true freshman and 4 star recruit Evan Boehm will start right away at left guard. The Tigers’ hope to get Meiners back for next week against Georgia.

Defensively, the Tigers bring back seven starters and will look to contain multiple offensive looks from Southeastern Louisiana tonight.

The defensive line is led by defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. The former 5 star recruit looks to continue on from a very strong second half to last season and become a consistent dominant force in the middle. Defensive ends Brad Madison, Kony Ealy and Michael Sam return to create a very formidable group of pass rushers. Ealy has a chance to really breakout this season and Madison looks to be 100% after suffering through multiple injuries in 2011.

Zaviar Gooden, Will Ebner and Andrew Wilson lead a very good trio of linebackers with some promising depth behind them. Gooden looks to have his best season as a Tiger in his senior campaign and should post better numbers going up against more traditional offenses in the SEC. Ebner and Wilson are both hard hitting thumpers in the run game and should too thrive against SEC offenses.

In the secondary, 2011 All-Conference cornerback E.J. Gaines returns and looks to build off of a very impressive sophomore season. Gaines was one of the better corners in the country last season and easily the best cover corner the Tigers have had in recent history. Opposite Gaines is senior Kip Edwards with junior Randy Ponder as the nickel back. Starting at safety will be former JUCO transfer senior Kenronte Walker and sophomore Braylon Webb. Walker and Webb have some experience, but this will be their first year starting.

PREDICTION: MIZZOU – 38 SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA – 13

Despite the expected rainy weather, a sellout crowd of 71,000+ is expected for the season opener tonight at Memorial Stadium.

I don’t expect the rainy conditions to really affect the game too much, but it could alter the Tigers’ game plan somewhat. We could see more running than passing from the Mizzou offense, but I really think the coaches want to get James Franklin and the passing game going as well before the historic showdown against the Bulldogs next week.

Let’s face it, Southeastern Louisiana is the easiest game on the Tigers’ schedule this season and Mizzou should win this one by a comfortable margin if they just show up. The Tigers can’t look ahead to Georgia though and I don’t expect them to.

The beginning of a new era begins tonight.

RIP EM UP TIGERS…M-I-Z