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Missouri vs. Texas Tech
Betting Line: Missouri -4 o/u 58
So, you figured you'd heard the last of us talking about the Missouri Tigers eh? You figured that after last weeks loss at Nebraska we'd hop off the bandwagon and move on to greener pastures. Nah. Guess who we like this week?
If you look at the Missouri loss to Nebraska and assume that they were exposed, you'd be wrong. It would be easy to jump to that conclusion if you didn't watch the game but just followed the scoring updates and saw Nebraska roll to a 24-0 lead in the 1st quarter. This is not to take anything away from the Cornhuskers. They beat Missouri. There was no luck involved. The Nebraska defensive line was fantastic. They put tons of pressure on Gabbert, sacking him 6 times and holding him to 18 of 42 with 199 yards.
But sometimes games get out of hand and it has nothing to do with the talent or lack of talent on the field. It happens in football at every level. A big play here, a big play there, and the next thing you know you have a snowball affect. Everything just goes right for one team. That's what happened Saturday in Lincoln. The very first play from scrimmage, Nebraska back Roy Helu broke free and ran 66 yards for a TD. Helu would do that once more in the first quarter and again in the 3rd quarter. Runs of 66, 73 and 53 yards = 21 points for Nebraska.
Take away the 3 big plays and you have a different game. Take away the 1st quarter and you have a different game. From the 2nd quarter on, Missouri won the game. Falling behind 24-0 in the 1st quarter certainly made Missouri have to toss the game plan out the window. So much for that. But plenty of teams would have wilted after that 1st quarter. It could easily have been a 48-0 type game if Mizu packed it in. But they didn't. They battled back to 24-14 and later in the game to 31-17. Despite falling behind by 24, there were times late in the game that it looked as though Mizu could actually cover the +7.5. They had a chance late in the 3rd quarter for 7 but a goal line stance forced the Tigers to settle for 3 instead of 7.
You have to like the fact that Missouri didn't give up. Once again, there's
no question Nebraska BEAT Missouri. Helu wouldn't be breaking those big runs if
the Nebraska offensive line wasn't opening up holes and guys weren't making key
blocks. But some of that early success also had to do with Missouri being so
worried about keeping QB Taylor Martinez in check.
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The numbers Missouri put up heading into last week were no accident. Beating Oklahoma was no accident. This is a good football team. Beating Texas Tech this week will be no accident.
This Texas Tech team is not even close to Texas Tech teams of the past when Mike Leach was still in town. In fact, Missouri played "good" Texas Tech teams in 2007 and 2008 and beat them by 17 points and 31 points. Here you have a Missouri team that is better than those editions of Missouri, and a Texas Tech team not as good as 2007 and 2008. You're also getting some added line value by what happened last week with Missouri seemingly "exposed".
Texas Tech struggled to get by a very poor Colorado team. The same Colorado team that Missouri blanked 26-0 and the same Colorado team that lost to Oklahoma last week 43-10. Texas AM was able to throttle Texas Tech to the tune of 45-27 last week. Missouri held Texas AM in check 30-9. Missouri also knocked off Illinois to start the year. Not such a big deal at the time, but looking back, perhaps it was more of a big deal. Illinois is playing some great football. They knocked off Penn State, hung tight with Ohio State and just beat Indiana and Purdue by a combined 87-23.
The chance to bounce back after a poor loss is the motivating factor that pushes this play over the edge. The fact that Missouri didn't quit after being down 24-0 to Nebraska speaks volumes. No reason to expect them not to show up this week. They are in the thick of the Big 12 race with this weeks game against Tech likely their toughest the rest of the way.
We feel we have the better team in Missouri at a slight discount as a result of last week. At -5 or -5.5, or anything under a touchdown for that matter, Mizu is the play. We have them winning this one by two touchdowns or more. 3* Missouri -4
Note - We sent this out to our mailing list at -5 yesterday. The game moved a point in our favor since. For records purposes we will grade the game at -5