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Mizzou Football Schedule Preview

Mizzou Football Schedule

Are the Tigers a dark horse in 2023?

The Missouri Tigers’ 2022 campaign looked like yet another mediocre season on paper. Mizzou finished 6-7 and head coach Eli Drinkwitz failed to capture his first bowl victory with the Tigers. Missouri, however, may be a sneaky candidate for a breakout year. Here is a preview of the Mizzou Football schedule in 2023.

The Tigers are returning 18 starters from a team that was a few plays away from a potential 9-win season. A Harrison Mevis blown chip shot and Nate Peat fumble at the 1-yard line dramatically cost Mizzou at Auburn. A wild roughing the punter call against Kentucky handed the Tigers another loss, which has now caused a rule change. Cody Schrader broke off a huge run against Georgia but was tackled at the one-yard line, and Missouri settled for a field goal and ended up losing by four points. Missouri was on the cusp of a fantastic season but almost doesn’t do the job.

Now going into 2023, the Tigers don’t only have an experienced team, but one with a chip on their shoulder. The Mizzou schedule isn’t an easy one, though. The Tigers’ non-conference schedule includes hosting Kansas State, and a neutral site battle versus Memphis in St. Louis. Their SEC West foes are Louisiana State and Arkansas, and then they face their usual slate of SEC East foes. Drinkwitz is known for his “1-0 mentality,” reminding his players to take each opponent seriously every week. That will be crucial for Missouri in a season that could have a major impact on Drinkwitz’s future in Columbia. The Mizzou schedule kicks off on August 31.

Week 1- vs South Dakota

FCS South Dakota didn’t have a very memorable season in 2022. The Coyotes went 3-8 and lost their only matchup with an FBS team 34-0 to Kansas State. The headline going into the season opener will be who takes the field as the starting quarterback for Missouri. This will also be the debut of a Missouri defense with very high expectations. Missouri is no stranger to a season-opening upset. 2019 Wyoming is still nightmare fuel for Tiger fans. But expect Mizzou to take care of business handily.

Week 2- vs Middle Tennessee State

Missouri and Middle Tennessee State have only played each other twice, but Missouri may not want to be reminded of the last matchup. In 2016, MTSU knocked off Mizzou 51-45 and set the tone for a forgettable season for the Tigers. In 2022, the Blue Raiders upset Miami 45-31 during their 8-5 campaign. They will open up the season with Alabama before traveling to Columbia. This is a tested team and not a game the Tigers can mark off as an easy win. This isn’t a game Drinkwitz can afford to lose, and he knows that.

Week 3- vs Kansas State

This early battle with Kansas State will be Missouri’s first real test. The Wildcats are losing quarterback Adrian Martinez, but projected starter Will Howard looked the part of a starting quarterback in the second half of last season. He threw for 1,633 yards and 15 touchdowns while only lobbing four interceptions. He led the Wildcats to a victory in the Big 12 Championship game and started against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. His play will largely dictate how many wins the Wildcats can get.

Kansas State’s biggest loss is probably Deuce Vaughn, who is now a Dallas Cowboy. Missouri’s defense may be able to capitalize on all of the new faces on K-State’s offense, but the Tigers will have to put up points in a better manner than they did last year. A win here would be huge for Mizzou, but they should at least look to make the game more competitive than last year’s matchup.

Week 4- vs Memphis (Neutral Site in St. Louis)

Memphis is coming off a 7-6 season with a win in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl against Utah State. The Tigers from Tennessee were at their best at home, boasting a 5-2 record in front of their own crowd. Unfortunately for them, they must meet the Missouri Tigers halfway at The Dome in St. Louis. Missouri will have its hands full with an offense that averaged 35.3 points per game in 2022. Their offense didn’t have any superstars, as their production was very spread out. This game is Mizzou’s last chance to iron out any kinks before SEC play. Memphis has established itself as a top Group-of-5 team that cannot be taken lightly. Missouri has more talent, however, and should be able to enter conference play off of a win.

Week 5- at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt head coach Clark Lea has the Commodores trending in the right direction. After a 5-7 season last year, Vandy is looking to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018 and potentially have their first winning season since 2013. Missouri struggled with Vanderbilt a season ago, barely squeaking out a 17-14 win. Turnovers hurt the Tigers, who failed to score any points in the second half after taking a 17-0 lead into the break. The Commodores quarterbacks struggled to complete passes and their comeback attempt came up short. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, they have to play a very similar Missouri defense this season, potentially an even more stifling one.  If Kirby Moore is able to ‘fix’ this Missouri offense, and the Tigers take care of the ball, they should be able to win in a more convincing fashion.

Week 6- vs LSU

If the Tigers manage to start the season 5-0, they could be looking at hosting College Gameday for their game with LSU. The last time LSU traveled to Columbia, they were upset in a dramatic fashion at the goal line. Mizzou knocked off the then-defending champions 45-41 after four straight stops inside the 5-yard line. LSU is led by Heisman candidate Jayden Daniels, who will pilot a lethal offensive attack. Former Missouri Tiger Mekhi Wingo headlines a stout defense as well. This matchup is where the country will learn a lot about this Missouri team. A win, or even a close contest, will prove that Missouri is a serious threat. If they lay down and allow LSU to pick them apart, the potential hype that built up will be gone. If the Georgia game last year says anything, though, LSU should be ready to be given all they can handle.

Week 7- at Kentucky

Week seven will only be Missouri’s second true road game of the season. The Tigers will have revenge on their mind after the aforementioned roughing-the-punter call from last season cost the Tigers a shot at winning the game. That rule has changed, however, and Kentucky no longer has Will Levis. North Carolina State transfer Devin Leary is no slouch though, and by week 7 he will likely feel comfortable in his new home. The Wildcats also lost their star running back Chris Rodriguez Jr, who totaled 117 rushing yards in the 2022 matchup. In that same game, the Mizzou defense tallied five sacks, and both of the Tigers’ touchdowns came on runs from Brady Cook. Assuming Cook remains the starter, Missouri will need him to have a big day on the ground and through the air to win in Lexington.

Week 8- vs South Carolina

Spencer Rattler and company will roll into Columbia, Missouri, to try and take back the Mayor’s Cup for the first time since 2018. Shane Beamer and his squad have high expectations coming into the year after ending 2022 on a high note with wins over Tennessee and Clemson. While some experts may predict that South Carolina will have a great season, they have to actually prove they can beat Missouri on the field. The same offense that poured 63 points onto Tennessee and put up another 31 on Clemson only managed to score 10 points on their home field against Missouri. Now that the Tigers have most of the defense returning and home field advantage, they could potentially be favorites to win this game. Missouri will look to replicate their success from last year, where Rattler was held to 171 yards, one interception, and sacked four times.

Week 9- at Georgia

At SEC Media Day, Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson claimed that Georgia didn’t beat Mizzou, rather the Tigers lost. While that is a thin line to walk, his quote shows that Missouri knows it can compete with Georgia, and they are looking forward to that matchup this season. Obviously, the Tigers will be huge underdogs, as they were last year, but Georgia has question marks for 2023. Stetson Bennett is gone and Carson Beck has to step in. His play will dictate whether or not Georgia will be favored to win their third straight championship.

If last year’s battle wasn’t enough fuel to motivate the Mizzou players, one of their top talents departing to Athens might. This game is where Dominic Lovett will finally line up across from his former teammates. There is no doubt Ennis Rakestraw and Kris Abrams-Draine have this game circled on their calendars. Expect this game to be closer than many will predict.

Week 10- vs Tennessee

It has been a couple of years since Missouri has been competitive with Tennessee. The Volunteers have won the last four games, including winning the last two 66-24 and 62-24. The last time Missouri won in Columbia was in 2017 when they cruised to a 50-17 victory. Joe Milton will start at quarterback for Tennessee. He has generated hype all off-season due to his ridiculous arm strength. He stepped in for Hendon Hooker at the end of the game last season and dropped in a beautiful deep-ball touchdown. Missouri’s defense must finally show up against the Volunteers, or this game could get ugly again.

Week 11- vs Florida

Brady Cook’s worst game last season was arguably his performance against Florida. Two bad interceptions dug the Tigers into a hole they never got out of. The defense did a solid job on star quarterback Anthony Richardson, but it wasn’t enough. Now, Wisconsin transfer Graham Mertz is stepping in at quarterback for Florida. The Gators’ season is hard to predict. They could finish anywhere from third in the division to last. These two teams are 6-6 against each other historically, with Florida taking three of the last four. Missouri’s last win was in 2021 when Connor Bazelak threw a game-winning 2-point conversion to Daniel Parker in overtime.

Hopefully, the Tigers won’t need the dramatics to win this one, but a victory regardless is extremely important in a tight-knit SEC East.

Week 12- at Arkansas

The Battle Line Rivalry never fails to entertain. Arkansas is typically favored in the matchup, despite Missouri having a 10-4 advantage in the series and taking the trophy in six of the last seven contests. The Hogs are led by star quarterback K.J. Jefferson and running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders. That duo is extremely tough to gameplan for, but Mizzou seems to have a solid read on their rival. Cook put on a masterful display last season. He threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and added 151 yards and another score on the ground. Arkansas’ weakness coming into this season is their wide receiver room. It isn’t that they lack talent, rather that the talent is unproven. They will need to prove themselves on Black Friday, though, as the Missouri secondary projects to be one of the better groups in the country.


Mizzou Football Schedule

Photo courtesy:Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports


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