By: Ryan Mace
After a bye week, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide will travel to Faurot Field to take on SEC newcomers, the Missouri Tigers.
Missouri has struggled so far in SEC play, and it doesn’t look to get any easier for the Tigers. After their matchup with No. 1 Alabama, they will have SEC play against Kentucky at home, then travel to No. 4 Florida and Tennessee in consecutive weeks. They close with former Big 12 rival, No. 22 Texas A&M on November 24.
Despite the tough start to the season, Missouri is still working hard to compete in the best conference in the country.
“This year, there’s so much hype being in the SEC, and you’ve got all the outside voices telling you that you (stink) and you’re not worthy,” Missouri offensive tackle Elvis Fisher said. “We know what we do here. We work our butts off. And then it’s devastating to go out there and not put on your best performance.”
The Tigers are 0-12 all-time vs. top ranked schools, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change this week. The last time the Tigers and Tide met was back in 1978, when Alabama was also No. 1 in the nation, and the Crimson Tide won 38-20.
Although Missouri has struggled against top-ranked teams, Saban is still concerned about what to expect at Faurot Field.
“We are playing in a place where no one in our team meeting has ever been before, including me,” he said. “Our team needs to be ready to play their best against what I would say is a very good football team.”
Missouri brings in an offense that is 76th in passing, 85th in rushing, and 81st in points-per-game. Despite the lowly numbers, Alabama isn’t taking Missouri lightly. The defense allows 22.8 points per game, which is an area where Alabama’s offense is looking to take advantage.
“As an offense, if we get the ball first we just have to come out and strike hard,” said Kevin Norwood, who is second among Alabama receivers with 179 receiving yards. “We need to keep striking until they quit. As an offense we have to move the ball.”
Alabama 38 Missouri 17