Alabama football being a four-touchdown favorite does not mean Missouri is without talented players.
As of Monday afternoon, Alabama football is up to a four-touchdown favorite Saturday at Missouri. There are two reasons; talent disparity and roster attrition. Missouri begins the season with only 81 scholarship players. At least 12 of them will not compete on Saturday.
The Alabama Crimson Tide is in a much better roster situation. With daily testing, Alabama football players could be forced into quarantines anytime this week. So far, none will miss the game because of positive tests or contact tracing. The only Tide player sure to miss the game will be former JUCO, cornerback, Ronald Williams. Williams is out with a broken arm.
Roster attrition is not the only disparity Missouri faces against the Crimson Tide. There is a talent disparity as well. That does not mean Missouri has no talented players. It does, just not near as many as the Crimson Tide.
Seven Best Missouri Tigers Players
Four of the seven highlighted players are on offense. They range from good to very good players. Three of the four are even more dangerous in an opening game, given the unknown of Eli Drinkwitz’s new Mizzou offense.
Drinkwitz wants to keep his starting QB a secret. A few weeks ago, we suggested the loser of Mizzou’s four-way QB battle will be whoever gets the start against the Tide defense. Since then one Mizzou QB has been lost to the transfer portal and another, true freshman, Brady Cook is not getting his first college start against the Tide. That leaves TCU transfer, Shawn Robinson and Connor Bazelak who may not be fully recovered from a last season, ACL injury. Our guess is Robinson, with his considerable dual-threat skills was always going to be the guy for Drinkwitz.
Missouri Best on Offense
- Shawn Robinson – Quarterback
- Larry Rountree – Running Back
- Tyler Badie – Running Back and Return Specialist
- Jalen Knox – Wide Receiver
Rountree, Badie and Knox are all proven players. Rountree is one the SEC’s best at running back. Jalen Knox may not lead the Tigers in receptions but he has the speed and the hands to burn defenses deep. Badie is not Jaylen Waddle elusive but he is a threat every time he touches the football.
Check out some Badie highlights.
Missouri Best on Defense
Alabama football fans might be unaware of the talent in the Mizzou secondary. Statistically, they were one of the best in the SEC last season. The Tigers have new starters at cornerback in Jarvis Ware and Adam Sparks. Neither of them is inexperienced or new to the Missouri defense.
- Nick Bolton – Linebacker
- Joshuah Bledsoe – Safety
- Tyree Gillespie – Safety
Nick Bolten was the Tigers’ 2019 defensive leader. He led the SEC in tackles last season. Tyree Gillespie is a gifted athlete and a very physical safety. Bledsoe is another physical safety who can cover. Both young men are sure tacklers and lead what might be Mizzou’s best position group.
Yes, Missouri is better and has more talent than some think. They just don’t have enough to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide.