Prove It - Week 2 Football; Missouri's SEC Debut

Missouri College Football Michael Sam



Georgia at Missouri, Saturday, 7:45pm


In recent years, Missouri has had one heck of an offense.  Quarterbacks like Chase Daniel and Blaine Gabbert led the way for a high-flying team that fit right in in the Big 12.  The same style comes out of Columbia, but this time they are thrust into the harsh realm of the SEC for their first season after the realignment shuffle this offseason.  Sure, the offense can score (they put up 62 points in Week One), but will they be able to compete defensively?  Will their offense be as effective against stout defenses like Alabama?  Texas Tech and Iowa State did not provide the same roadblocks that the big boys down south do. 

They will face a Georgia team with high expectations.  Quarterback Aaron Murray is considered one of the top quarterbacks in the league.  He threw for three touchdowns last week.  Star receiver Tavarres King certainly helped.  Georgia’s defense, while solid, struggled a little bit against Buffalo.  This might be a good draw for Missouri in Week Two to prove they can compete in this league.  Quarterback James Franklin is a run threat in a deep backfield for the Tigers.  He did not have his best passing day against Southeastern Louisiana, but he really did not need to.  This will be a good test.  Head coach Gary Pinkel will have to find ways to put Franklin’s best attributes on display against one of the better defenses they have seen in a few seasons.  With an upset of a top-10 team, Missouri can solidify itself as a football mainstay.  They will be at home, and Faurot Field will be electric.



Maryland at Temple, Saturday, Noon; Howard at Rutgers, Saturday, 3:30pm


It would be difficult to argue that the Big East is not the worst conference in the country.  Outside of Louisville, who looked gritty and tough on Sunday against Kentucky, the Big East does not pack a punch.  Pittsburgh, once considered the class of the conference, lost to Youngstown State by a score of 31-17.  Ouch.  Pittsburgh plays a Big East opponent this week, so luckily a Big East team will win that matchup.  But new conference member Temple and Rutgers are playing teams they should beat.  Maryland barely beat an FCS team last weekend, 7-6 and Howard, a team in the MEAC that barely beat Morehouse 30-29. 

If the Big East wants to propel itself back into the national conversation – in a positive light – they will have to beat the teams they are supposed to.  No one is expecting Syracuse to beat USC.  But teams worth their salt win against lesser teams.  Suffering a convincing defeat to a team in the Missouri Valley Conference was not the kind of publicity the conference wanted moving forward.  Both Temple and Rutgers play at home.  That automatically provides a distinct advantage.  Their teams are better than the visiting opponents and they should handle business.  If Pittsburgh is any proof, then that means nothing.  Solid play on the field determines good teams and good conferences.  Losses on Saturday would just perpetuate the poor reputation of the Big East.


Week 2 Football - What to Watch For