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Army in Armed Forces Bowl: Scouting Missouri

The Tigers defense isn’t so great. And its top offensive threat will be absent.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Army Black Knights will face the Missouri Tigers on Wednesday in the Armed Forces Bowl.

For Army, its the fifth time the Black Knights have gone bowling under Jeff Monken. For Missouri, its the first bowl appearance for the Tigers under second-year head coach Eli Drinkwitz. Missouri last went bowling in 2018 under Barry Odom’s watch, losing in the Liberty Bowl to Oklahoma State. Army lost in the same game a year ago to West Virginia.

The Black Knights enter this game with an 8-4 record, looking for finish their season on a high-note after a loss to Navy. Meanwhile, Missouri has a 6-6 record, aiming to end the year with a winning mark.

Draft Kings has Army favored by 6.5 points in this match-up, with the over-under set at 54.5 points.

Let’s take a closer look at Army’s opponent.

Not-so-great defense

Missouri’s defense hasn’t been very stout this season. The Tigers are giving up 34.7 points per-game — a mark that ranks 117th nationally and next to last in the SEC. Quarterbacks complete 59.4% of their passes against the Tigers and throw an average of 1.9 touchdowns per-game.

The Tigers have also allowed opposing rushing attacks to average 11.8 first downs on the ground per-game, which is the sixth-worst mark in the nation. Missouri gives up an average of 229.3 rushing yards per-game, a mark that’s seventh-worst in the country. Those statistics don’t bode well for Missouri, considering Army has the second-best rushing offense in the country.

Schedule

Missouri played a tough schedule, as eight of its 12 regular season opponents finished the year bowl-eligible. A schedule with eight bowl-eligible team is tied for sixth-best in the country.

But the Tigers weren’t very successful in SEC play this season, finishing 3-5. Those wins came against Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Florida and South Carolina also finished 6-6, while Vanderbilt had just two wins. Missouri’s most lopsided loss came against Tennessee at home, where the Tigers fell 62-24.

In its non-conference slate, Missouri had wins over Central Michigan, North Texas and Southeast Missouri State, while losing at Boston College.

Offensive threat will be absent

Missouri running back Tyler Badie was named as an All-American by the Sporting News, CBS Sports/247Sports, Walter Camp, Associated Press (second team), and Pro Football Focus (third team). The 5-foot-8 senior has logged 268 carries this season for 1,612 yards — a six-yards per-carry average.

Badie led the SEC in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns (14) and total plays from scrimmage (322) this season. He also had 54 catches for 330 yards and four scores.

Simply put: Badie has made the Tigers’ offense work this season.

However, Drinkwitz announced Tuesday that Badie won’t play in the bowl game. Drinkwitz said the decision was made by the coaching staff to protect Badie from an injury, which could jeopardize his NFL future.

“What if something went wrong and I had to look myself in the mirror?” Drinkwitz said. “I couldn’t do that.”

Additionally, Drinkwitz said that Brady Cook will make his first career start at quarterback. Cook has played in six games in his career at Missouri, completing 24 of 30 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. At running back, Dawson Downing is expected to get the bulk of carries in Badie’s absence.


Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.