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As hard as it may be, Mizzou must take these guys seriously.

For the Missouri football team, playing Iowa State is like playing your younger brother in a game of one-on-one in the driveway.  You (Mizzou) are a varsity point guard.  You’ve got more experience in big games, you’re bigger and more talented.  Your little brother has had his struggles but now he’s improved to become a solid contributor to the JV team.  He’s not as talented, he’s doesn’t quite match up physically, but he’s always motivated to beat the big brother.  You know that if you screw around and don’t take the match-up seriously, your little brother, motivated to beat you for the first time in four tries will take advantage.  A couple lucky breaks here and there and all of a sudden you could find yourself on the short side of an embarrassing loss to someone you consider less talented.

That’s about as well as I can break down Iowa State.  The bottom line is, they just aren’t as good as the Missouri Tigers.  The ‘Clones are no longer a laughing stock of college football, but they aren’t a team that’s on par with Mizzou.

However, every intangible favors Iowa State tomorrow.  They’re fighting for bowl eligibility.  They’re at home on senior night.  The gametime temperature could easily be the coldest temperature most of Mizzou’s players have ever played in.  Additionally, ISU is hoping to pull out a win for their injured senior leader, Austen Arnaud.

In a good read from our friends at atomicteeth.com, they broke down the “stats that matter.”  Nearly every one favors Missouri.

STATS THAT MATTER ISU OFFENSE MIZZOU DEFENSE
Yards/Pass Attempt 5.6 (12) 6.1 (3)
Yards/Play 4.6 (11) 5.1 (5)
3rd Down Conversion 36.42% (11) 39.24% (7)
Red Zone Scoring 87.5% (5) 57.14% (1)
Red Zone TD 68.75% (2) 42.86% (1)
Scoring 23.6 (9) 17.5 (1)

 

STATS THAT MATTER MIZZOU OFFENSE ISU DEFENSE
Yards/Pass Attempt 6.6 (7) 7.2 (9)
Yards/Play 5.8 (4) 5.6 (7)
3rd Down Conversion 34.31% (12) 43.48% (11)
Red Zone Scoring 90.24% (2) 80.77% (5)
Red Zone TD 56.11 (11) 55.77 (6)
Scoring 31.5 (7) 30.2 (10)

From a statistical standpoint, there really isn’t anything to worry about if you’re Mizzou.  Remember, they’re the older brother.  But there’s something about Ames at night, in the cold, on senior night that keeps us worried.  Pound for pound, little bro doesn’t stack up.  However, all it takes is a couple breaks and some poor play from the older brother and they could end up with a win.  Is it possible?  Definitely.  But at the end of the day I’ll take the talent over the intangibles.

Prediction: Mizzou wins 34- 26.