No. 21 Missouri aims to maintain its undefeated record as it hosts No. 23 LSU in a Southeastern Conference showdown on Saturday. A victory this weekend would secure bowl eligibility for MU for the fourth consecutive season.
This weekend marks the fourth meeting between the two programs, with Missouri holding a 2-1 advantage. The most recent matchup occurred in 2020 when the Missouri Tigers defeated LSU 45-41, giving Eliah Drinkwitz his first victory as MU’s head coach. Former Missouri quarterback Connor Bazelak, who now plays for Bowling Green, threw for 406 yards and four touchdowns. Joshuah Bledsoe, a former Missouri safety, broke up Myles Brennan’s pass in the endzone on fourth-and-goal with 16 seconds left to clinch the victory for MU.
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The very first matchup between the two programs was in the 1978 Liberty Bowl, where Missouri emerged victorious 20-15. The LSU Tigers scored 12 straight points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as MU managed to hold on.
Missouri Looks for More National Recognition
Despite being ranked two spots ahead of LSU, Missouri is listed as four-point underdogs against the LSU Tigers in front of an expected sold-out stadium at home. MU is one of three teams in the SEC with an undefeated record this season.
QB Brady Cook has been exceptional for Missouri lately, passing for 300 or more yards in three straight games. Cook’s most recent strong performance came against Vanderbilt last Saturday, where he threw for 395 yards and four touchdowns. In addition to his impressive performance in MU’s 38-21 victory over the Commodores last weekend, the junior also made history by setting an all-time SEC record for pass attempts without an interception, tallying 326 and counting.
Wide receiver Luther Burden III has led the way for the Missouri Tigers through five games. The WR leads the nation with 43 receptions, 644 yards, and five touchdowns this season. Burden is most recently coming off a spectacular performance against Vanderbilt last Saturday, recording 140 yards and two touchdowns. Theo Wease Jr. is also a formidable receiver for opposing defenses, amassing 254 yards and three touchdowns in five games, including one for 12 yards against the Commodores. Mookie Cooper and Marquis Johnson are also dangerous receivers for MU.
Photo Cred: The Kansas City Star
Missouri’s ground attack has picked up momentum recently. Running back Cody Schrader leads the Missouri Tigers in rushing with 463 yards and three touchdowns. His most notable touchdown this season was a 37-yard rushing touchdown with just under three minutes remaining in the game against Memphis. Senior RB Nathaniel Peat has also played a crucial role in Missouri’s offensive success, recording 257 yards and two touchdowns in five games.
MU’s defense aims to prove itself this Saturday. After allowing a combined 48 points the last two games, multiple players on Blake Baker’s defense are looking to elevate their performance this weekend. Linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper and defensive back Joseph Charleston have led the way in tackles this year. Hopper leads the defense with 27 tackles (20 solo), and Charleston has 26 tackles (20 solo). DB Kris Abrams-Draine leads the Missouri Tigers in interceptions with three, recording a pick in each of the last three games. Defensive lineman Johnny Walker Jr. leads Baker’s defense with three sacks. DL Darius Robinson is questionable heading into Saturday’s matchup.
LSU Aims to Bounce Back
The LSU Tigers will look to bounce back after a heartbreaking 55-49 loss to Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi last weekend. The Rebels scored 15 points in the last five minutes to snatch victory from LSU.
Brian Kelly’s team enters Saturday’s contest with a 3-2 overall record, including a season-opening loss to Florida State in Orlando. LSU has secured wins over Grambling State, Mississippi State, and Arkansas.
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Louisiana State’s offense poses a tough test for Missouri’s defense. Mike Denbrock’s offense is ranked the fourth-best in the nation in total offense, according to NCAA.com. QB Jayden Daniels leads LSU’s offense, with 1,710 yards and 16 touchdowns after five games this season. Daniels’ primary receiver is Malik Nabers, who ranks second in the nation in receiving, just behind Burden. Nabers currently has 40 receptions, 625 yards, and five touchdowns this season. Brian Thomas Jr. is another explosive receiver for the LSU Tigers, coming off a big game against Ole Miss last weekend. He finished the game with 124 yards and three touchdowns. RB Logan Diggs is LSU’s rushing leader with 354 yards and three touchdowns.
The Louisiana State defense has been struggling this season. Matt House’s defense is allowing an average of 31 points per game and gave up 55 points to Ole Miss and 45 points to Florida State. Safeties Major Burns and Andre’ Sam lead the LSU Tigers in tackles through five games. Burns is the leader with 38 tackles (23 solo), and Sam has 35 (23 solo). LB Harold Perkins Jr. leads LSU’s defense in sacks with two.
Missouri will kick off against LSU at 11 A.M. CT at Faurot Field, with the game broadcast on ESPN.
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