Eye on the Tigers podcast: Like Chase Coffman, Mizzou hopes to top K-State
COLUMBIA, Mo. — There is no such thing as a small game in college football. They are all great. Even the annual clashes against the FCS outrages. Because if you lose those games, they become big losses.
But he pulls out the capital letters for Saturday’s Mizzou-Kansas State Big 12 reunion game in Manhattan, Kansas. This one is BIG for the Tigers.
Missouri Tigers (1-0) at Kansas State Wildcats (1-0)
Game time, TV channel: 11 a.m., ESPN2
Bet line: State of Kansas for 7 ½
Why so BIG? Because Mizzou can go 2-0 for the second time in seven years. In recent history, Week 2 has been an ugly one for Mizzou. And if not Week 2, then Week 1. Since the start of the 2016 season, MU AP’s first year: After Pinkel, the Tigers have lost their first or second game in their history, except for 2018. No it’s a coincidence, but 2018 produced the best record. in the post-Pinkel era, at 8-5.
People are also reading…
In 2016, the Tigers stumbled in Week 1 in West Virginia.
In 2017, it was a Week 2 home loss to South Carolina.
In 2019, a terrible loss in Week 1 in Wyoming.
In 2020, the only SEC season altered by COVID, the Tigers opened 0-2 with losses to Alabama and Tennessee.
In 2021, a week 2 trip to Kentucky halted the early season momentum.
Along the same lines, early-season swing games rarely seem to go the way of the Tigers. In 2017, Mizzou was the slight favorite over South Carolina and Purdue, losing to both at home. Last year, visits to Kentucky and Boston College were the most attractive, and the Tigers lost both.
Since the start of 2016, in the first games of the season with single-digit point differentials one way or another, the Tigers are 3-5 with wins over Purdue (2018), South Carolina (2019) and Kentucky (2020) and losses to Georgia. (2016), South Carolina (2017), Purdue (2017), Kentucky (2021), and Boston College (2021).
None of the aforementioned losses can ruin an entire season, but for a program still trying to restore credibility with a lost segment of its fan base and regain home-field advantage at Memorial Stadium, these early-season losses they can waste any hint of off-season. optimism.
Which brings us back to Saturday in Manhattan. Kansas State is between 7 and 8.5 points as a favorite. It’s the kind of early-season challenge Mizzou fans know all too well by now. An unexpected Saturday puts the Tigers 2-0 heading into Abilene Christian’s visit next week and almost 3-0 heading into Auburn in two weeks. Now, that’s what you call a September boost.
As for the Wildcats, here’s a myth to debunk: Kansas State is unbeatable at home. It is not true at all. In four years under coach Chris Klieman, K-State is just 11-8 in Manhattan…just 9-8 against FBS teams at home…and just 7-7 against Power Five teams at home. As the home favorite under Klieman, the Wildcats are 5-5 against the spread.
Historically though, when favored at home for a touchdown or more, the Cats have been nearly unbeatable over the past decade. Since the start of the 2013 season, K-State is 28-2 when favored at home by 7 or more, with both losses in 2019 coming to Arkansas State and West Virginia. Most of those games have been close: K-State is just 16-14 against the spread in those 30 games, and 4-3 ATS with Klieman.
Since the turn of the century, K-State is 4-6 against SEC teams (6-4 ATS) with three of the wins coming in bowl games.
Mizzou hasn’t had much success away from home under Eli Drinkwitz and overall, as a program, has lost six straight games on the road underdog, since the 2018 upset in Florida. The Tigers are 1-4 against the spread as road underdogs under Drinkwitz with the only coverage coming last year at Georgia.
On Saturday, we learned if what appeared to be a much-improved Mizzou run defense against Louisiana Tech can corner one of the best running backs in the country in Deuce Vaughn. We’ll find out if Brady Cook can keep his composure in front of a hostile road crowd in his first career start at an opponent’s home field. We’ll find out if the Tigers have answers for K-State’s unique 3-3-5 defense and All-American running back Felix Anudike-Uzomah. Count on the Wildcats making at least one game-changing play on special teams.
The Tigers don’t need a perfect game to escape Manhattan with a win, but turnovers, penalties and defensive lapses can be lethal against a K-State team that rarely makes self-inflicted mistakes.
Choice of subject: Mizzou will keep things competitive for four quarters, but until the Tigers win one of those early-season swing games on the road, it’s hard to predict that kind of performance. They will be good enough to cover but not to win. Kansas State 27, Mizzou 21
Four-star offensive lineman Logan Reichert chooses Mizzou football over Oregon
Mizzou at Kansas State: 5 things to watch in the Big 12-SEC matchup
Read the full chat transcript from Mizzou beat writer Dave Matter
Dave Matter’s SEC College Football Week 2 Predictions: Texas eyes turn to Alabama