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Texas A&M-Missouri Pregame Blitz

Texas A&M-Missouri Pregame Blitz

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spiller td dive

Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller (28) dives into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown run past Alabama’s Brian Branch last Saturday at Kyle Field.

When the Aggies run

Texas A&M’s Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane will be the best 1-2 running back punch to face Missouri, which ranks last in the country in run defense. Spiller and Achane each have three 20-yard runs this season, something they’ll have a chance to match or exceed against Missouri, which already has allowed three running backs to have their career-high bests. Adding to Missouri’s troubles is A&M seemingly has solidified its offensive line. Rice transfer Blaze Alldredge and Devin Nicholson are solid linebackers for the Tigers. EDGE: TEXAS A&M

When the Aggies passA&M sophomore quarterback Zach Calzada threw the ball much better last week, which got wide receiver Ainias Smith (6 receptions, 85 yards, 2 TDs) and tight end Jalen Wydermyer (3-73-1) much more involved. They were somewhat invisible for four games, combining for only one touchdown over that stretch with only one of them finishing a game with more than 50 receiving yards. Missouri has intercepted a pass in all but one game. EDGE: TEXAS A&M

Watch now as the My Aggie Nation Podcast crew looks back at Texas A&M's win over Alabama and ahead to Aggies' game at Missouri.

When the Tigers run

Missouri’s Tyler Badie has 667 yards rushing, averaging 6.4 yards a carry with a pair of 200-yard games. Missouri hasn’t lost a fumble, one of only five teams in the country to do that. Missouri graduate center Michael Maietti and senior right guard Case Cook have combined for 73 starts, but the other starters on the Tigers’ offensive line have a combined 31 starts. They will face A&M’s veteran defensive line, which is the unit’s strength. EDGE: EVEN

When the Tigers pass

Sophomore quarterback Connor Bazelak has thrown for 1,690 yards and 12 TDs, completing 67.1% of his passes with five interceptions. He’s the main reason Missouri averages 37.8 points per game and converts 52.9% of its third downs, which ranks fifth in the country. Missouri has seven players with at least 11 catches led by Badie and graduate wide receiver Keke Chism, who each have 25. Missouri also likes to throw to its tight ends. EDGE: MISSOURI

Special teams

Achane had a 96-yard kickoff return against Alabama last week, and Missouri’s Kris Abrams-Draine had a 100-yard kickoff return against Tennessee. A&M’s Seth Small is coming off a game-winning field goal that made him 11 of 12 for the season, and Missouri’s Harrison Mevis is perfect on eight tries, including seven from 40 yards or longer with a long of 56. EDGE: EVEN

Intangibles

The 11 a.m. kickoff time favors Missouri, which will be playing its ninth matinee in its last 17 games. You’d expect A&M to have some sort of letdown after beating top-ranked Alabama. EDGE: MISSOURI

Texas A&M must

Pick up where you left off: A&M scored on its last two possessions last week to beat Alabama, two key drives sandwiched around a three-and-out from the defense

Run right at ’em: Missouri has the nation’s worst run defense. It’s not rocket science.

Pressure the QB: A&M had success blitzing Alabama after typically dropping eight into coverage against Mississippi State.

Missouri must

Win the turnover battle: A&M won it against Alabama for the first time this season.

Win special teams: The Tigers have playmakers in the return game, a steady punter in Grant McKinniss and an NFL kicker in the making in Mevis.

Get to Calzada early: Calzada completed his first 10 passes last week en route to his best game.

— ROBERT CESSNA

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