Originally posted on StraitPinkie.com  |  Last updated 10/25/12
Mizzou QB James Franklin is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game against UK, making Joker Phillips dance with glee. No game reeks of desperation more than a matchup between a pair of teams winless halfway through their conference schedule. That’s the type of game that will go down Saturday at noon in Columbia, Missouri between the Kentucky Wildcats and Missouri Tigers. Let’s take a look at SEC Virgin Mizzou, who had their conference cherry popped in vulgar fashion, playing Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama in the season’s first half. How Mizzou got to 3-4 (0-4) SE Louisiana: W, 52-10:  Thorough shellacking, as expected, in every phase over the FCS program. Georgia: L, 41-20: Led late in the 3rd quarter before the wheels fell off with two 4th quarter turnovers. Arizona State: W, 24-20: Despite backup QB making his first career start, Mizzou hangs on w/2 late goal line stands. at South Carolina: L, 31-10: 1st road test was a beat down, as ***** D and special teams allows SC to cruise. at Central Florida: W, 21-16: Long punt return TD keys Mizzou rally, and D holds late over C-USA favorite Vanderbilt: L, 19-15: After two promising drives to start game, starting QB Franklin leaves with injury and offense can’t rally Alabama: L, 42-10: Another victim of the Tide’s early season freight train. Only TD was a kickoff return. DT Sheldon Richardson is strait beast, leading the Tigers in tackles despite being a defensive lineman. Where Mizzou is Best The Tiger defense has been solid all season long, especially considering the pressure that has been put on from an offense that has been inconsistent at best. Junior DT Sheldon Richardson is a beast in the trenches, leading the team in tackles, sacks, and tied for the team lead in TFL. The rest of the D-line has been solid in its own right, with three of the team’s defensive ends having at least three sacks and playing the run well against some good running teams. An experienced linebacking corps rounds out a stout Mizzou front seven, as senior MLB Will Ebner is second on the team in tackles, and junior OLB Andrew Wilson has already forced four fumbles. Zaviar Gooden, the team’s other OLB, was preseason all-conference, but has been limited by injury. He should be in action, however, on Saturday. Junior cornerback EJ Gaines was a preseason all-conference selection, and has played up to the expectations. Gaines and senior Kip Edwards form a solid corner tandem. After missing last year with injury, sophomore return man extraordinaire Marcus Murphy has already taken four kicks to the house in 2012. Look for him to try and get loose on the Cats’ punt team. LT Elvis Fisher was supposed to be a bookend on the Tiger O-line, but injuries have derailed his final season. He will play, and hopes the bye week was kind to his bum knee. Where Mizzou is Worst The offensive line has been a revolving door thus far in 2012, and it has showed with an offense that has been somewhere between inept and inconsistent. The Tigers have started different O-line combinations in five of their six games, and the biggest facet that has suffered is pass protection. As impressive as the defense’s 17 sacks have been, they have also allowed 17. Probably not coincidentally, Mizzou starting QB James Franklin has missed two whole games and most of a third due to injury. He’s doubtful to play this weekend after spraining his MCL against Vandy three weeks ago. Backup QB Corbin Berkstresser is a redshirt freshman who doesn’t have the mobility or experience of Franklin, and the offense has taken a step back with him on the field. His completion percentage is less than 50%, but we’ll see if the bye week has allowed the Tigers to put in a game plan that is more to his liking. Other than Murphy’s explosive returns, special teams have also been a nightmare. Kicker Andrew Baggett has missed four field goals, and the punt unit has seen two blocked punts and a dropped snap for a safety. Big returns have also been a thorn in Mizzou’s side, an issue that has been magnified by the fact they haven’t consistently had touchbacks on kickoffs. Follow Zero-Star Recruit on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden gives out primo parking spots to hard-working players

Report: Colts' Jones suspended four games for PED use

Report: Royals have interest in Nick Markakis

Ezekiel Elliott domestic violence 911 call released

Manu Ginobili talks interest in 76ers before sticking with Spurs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Lakers reportedly have ‘unnamed trade target in mind

Report: Rodman a 'person of interest' in hit-and-run

Draymond Green reaches plea deal in assault case

Evander Kane arrested after turning himself in

Former NFL coach Dennis Green passes away

Michael Vick says he would only sign with contender

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

Orioles affiliate pay tribute to David Bowie on their jerseys

Report: Rangers pushing trade efforts for Sale

Russell Martin day-to-day after sauna-related mishap

Celtics reportedly unwilling to give up much for Jahlil Okafor

Report: Jay Bruce drawing trade interest

Vitale: Trump’s speech “filled with lies,” might write in Coach K

Report: Nationals ‘want in’ on Chapman sweepstakes

Hornets co-owner blasts NBA, city for taking away All-Star Game

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

Vikings installing massive horn in new stadium

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker