Howdy! Been a while since we did one of these things, but catching up with old conference-mates we haven’t seen in the better part of a decade seems like a good chance to dust off the Q&A.
I’ll be honest, I’m with Shooter from his piece in the TAILGATE: I haven’t kept up with Mizzou football over the past few years. Last time we played them, they were in the midst of winning the SEC East for the second straight year.
GBH: The Aggies haven’t faced Missouri since 2014. Tell us what’s been going on with y’all for the past seven seasons! Y’all were winning the SEC East every year last time we hung out, things still good?
RMN: Well, after winning the SEC East in 2014, things haven’t gone so well for the Tigers. Since the start of 2015, Mizzou Football has been just an average program, and their record shows it. They’ve gone to a couple of bowl games here and there in 2017 and 2018, but there last two seasons with bowl-eligible records were ruined by a bowl ban and a COVID cancellation. All in all, things haven’t been a total disaster, but here’s hoping Eli Drinkwitz’s elite recruiting can elevate Mizzou in the future.
GBH: Give us your breakout players for offense, defense, and special teams. Who’s got the best chance to make an impact on this game?
RMN: For a breakout player on the offensive side, I’ll go with an obvious one, the team’s MVP in running back Tyler Badie. It’s scary to imagine (in a bad way) where Mizzou would be without him. It’s kind of tough to pick a breakout player on the defensive side considering Mizzou has one of the worst rush defenses in the country, but I think senior defensive back and Tulsa transfer Akayleb Evans could have a good day. And on special teams, let’s go with two — Kris Abrams-Draine, who has a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown this season, and kicker Harrison Mevis — who simply doesn’t miss field goals. Fun fact: Missouri has the No. 1 ranked special teams in Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings! And, Badie has the best chance to make an impact on this game. He’s pretty much had a big moment in every game this season.
GBH: Do you wish to share your final score and/or other predictions?
RMN: The only way I can see Mizzou winning this game right now is that if A&M has a serious letdown performance. I think the Tigers can hang around and make things interesting for a while at home, but the Aggies are simply are going to be too much. I’ll say 37-21 TAMU.