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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mizzou Remains Ranked But is Underdog vs. Arizona State

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 7:55 AM

click to enlarge The Sun Devils hope to stick it to Mizzou tomorrow night.
  • The Sun Devils hope to stick it to Mizzou tomorrow night.
The University of Missouri survived a scare last week at home, eking out a 17-6 victory over Miami-Ohio. The game didn't cost the Tigers any status in the rankings (they remain #21 in the AP poll) but it did scare off the Las Vegas oddsmakers.

Going into tomorrow's nationally broadcast game in Tempe, Missouri finds itself 7.5-point underdogs to Arizona State. Last week the Sun Devils put up big numbers against UC Davis, with 517 total yards of offense and quarterback Brock Osweiler throwing for 262 yards and two touchdowns. ASU held UC Davis scoreless until the fourth quarter en route to a 48-14 shellacking. The victory helped the Sun Devils earn the most votes this week of any team not included in the AP's Top 25.

Mizzou's quarterback James Franklin, on the other hand, stumbled out of the gate in his first start for the Tigers. He will have to do better tomorrow connecting with passers after going 17 for 26 for 126 yards on Saturday and missing a few open receivers.

Franklin was more effective running the ball, but that might not work this week against ASU's stingy defense lead by linebaker Vontaze Burfict, who recorded three sacks last week.

Moreover, all the Tigers need to play smarter this week after compiling nine penalties for 80 yards against Miami. They also need to forget all about their last trip to Tempe this past December when Iowa upset them in the Insight Bowl.

Tomorrow's game kicks off at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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