Missouri (7-2) at Texas A&M (7-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 15, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kyle Field (106,511) -- College Station, Texas. Television: SEC Network. Home Record: Missouri 4-2, Texas A&M 3-1. Away Record: Missouri 3-0, Texas A&M 3-2. Neutral Record: Missouri 0-0, Texas A&M 1-0. Conference Record: Missouri 4-1, Texas A&M 3-3. Series Record: Texas A&M leads, 8-6.
GAME NOTES: A pair of seven-win SEC squads will meet up at Kyle Field on Saturday night, as the Texas A&M Aggies take on the Missouri Tigers.
Since losing two of three a few weeks back to Indiana (31-27) and Georgia (34-0), Missouri has righted the ship with wins in three straight, most recently taking care of business against Kentucky on Nov. 1 with a 20-10 victory. The Tigers are 7-2 overall and control their own destiny in the SEC Eastern Division at 4-1. They have also won all three of their road games.
Texas A&M came flying out of the gate this season at 5-0 only to lose grasp on its title aspirations with three consecutive losses in October. The Aggies have since got back on track with back-to-back wins, with their most recent triumph one of the most impressive in college football this season, as they went into Auburn last Saturday and defeated the No. 3 Tigers, 41-38, likely spoiling their championship hopes.
The Aggies have an 8-6 advantage over the Tigers in an all-time series that dates back to their days as members of the Big 12 Conference. Missouri won last season's contest, 28-21.
Missouri is one of the SEC's worst in terms of generating yardage (330.1 ypg) but it scores 28.8 ppg thanks in large part to converting on 93 percent of its red-zone drives.
Maty Mauk's touchdown (18) to interception (nine) ratio is impressive, and he's solid as a rusher breaking free from the pocket (281 yards, TD), but he's inconsistent as a passer, completing less than 53 percent of his throws for 170.2 ypg.
Marcus Murphy is one of the most explosive and versatile all-purpose weapons in the nation. He's employed mostly as a rusher (108 carries, 519 yards, TD), but he can make game-changing plays as a receiver, (15 catches, 120 yards, TD), punt returner (272 yards, TD) and kick returner (362 yards, two TDs) as well.
Adding to Missouri's impressive rushing attack is Russell Hansbrough, who's picked up 591 yards and seven touchdowns on 122 attempts.
Bud Sasser is far and away Mauk's go-to receiver. His 46 catches and 618 yards are more than twice as many as any other player and he's hauled in eight touchdowns.
Defensively, the Tigers have been outstanding, allowing only 19.3 ppg and 340.6 ypg while creating 17 takeaways.
Shane Ray is an excellent pass-rusher, ranking fourth in the nation with 12.0 sacks to go with 50 tackles, 16.0 TFL, two forced fumbles and a blocked kick. Michael Scherer (83 tackles) and Kentrell Brothers (74 tackles) have racked up the stops. Braylon Webb and Aarion Penton have combined for seven interceptions, although Penton is suspended indefinitely for disciplinary reasons.
Texas A&M's potent offense (36.9 ppg, 482.2 ypg) hit a speed bump prior to last week's matchup in scoring 21 points or fewer in three straight, but it broke out in a big way in a 41-point outburst in the win over Auburn in an effort spearheaded by a freshman signal caller.
After struggling against ULM on Nov. 1, Kyle Allen shined last week by completing 19-of-29 passes for 277 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Kenny Hill (2,649 yards, 23 TDs, eight INTs) will be eligible to return for this game after serving a two-game suspension and is expected to retain his starting position.
The Aggies have perhaps the nation's deepest group of talented receivers, as six players have at least 26 receptions and five have 423 yards or more. Josh Reynolds (621 yards) has emerged as quality deep threat (15.5 yards per catch) and an outstanding red-zone option (10 TDs). Ricky Seals-Jones (43 receptions, 423 yards, four TDs) leads the team in catches, with Malcome Kennedy (42 receptions, 504 yards, three TDs) right on his heels.
The three-headed monster in the backfield of Trey Williams (377 yards, five TDs), Tra Carson (375 yards, five TDs) and Brandon Williams (348 yards, three TDs) has been effective.
Since a strong start to the season, Texas A&M's defense (27.1 ppg, 431.0 ypg) has struggled of late in allowing 35 points or more in four of its last five.
Myles Garrett has burst onto the scene as a freshman with 11.0 sacks and another nine QB hurries. Deshazor Everett (59 tackles, INT) and Howard Matthews (58 tackles) are the leading tacklers. The unit has forced just 10 turnovers in 10 games.
Missouri has a sense of urgency to try and stay a step ahead of the pack in the SEC East race, but heading into College Station is always a tough task, especially against an Aggies' squad coming off such an impressive win. Expect Texas A&M's offense to continue to click en route to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Texas A&M 38, Missouri 34
11/12 10:44:42 ET