No. 22 Missouri will try to remain unbeaten in SEC play when it visits Vanderbilt on Saturday. It's the first of three road games during a critical stretch for the Tigers' budding SEC East title hopes.
Missouri jumped into the Top 25 this week after posting a fifth consecutive victory, a 38-27 triumph over visiting Ole Miss. The Tigers unexpectedly became the only SEC East team without a loss in conference play after Georgia's setback against South Carolina and Florida's defeat at LSU last weekend. The Commodores were beaten up by a brutal early schedule, playing Georgia and LSU over their first three games, but things haven't improved as the competition level has eased up. Vanderbilt was embarrassed at home by UNLV last time out, losing 34-10 a week after a 31-6 drubbing at Ole Miss.
TV: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: Missouri -21
ABOUT MISSOURI (5-1, 2-0 SEC): The Tigers' offense has been effective with Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant at quarterback, but their dominant defense has been a pleasant surprise. Bryant has passed for 262.5 yards per game with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions, and Larry Rountree III (557 yards, seven touchdowns) leads a solid ground attack. They may not be able to maintain it all season, but the Tigers rank sixth in the nation in total defense (262.7 yards per game) and 11th in scoring defense (15.8 points).
ABOUT VANDERBILT (1-5, 0-3): The Commodores haven't had much luck offensively of late, but they have a standout running back in Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who rushed for a season-high 140 yards against UNLV. Quarterback Riley Neal is a capable passer with a dangerous receiver in Kalija Lipscomb, but the offense has bogged down in the red zone. Vanderbilt's defense has struggled across the board, allowing at least 30 points in all five losses - including 66 against LSU.
1. Missouri has scored at least 31 points in 11 consecutive games, its longest such streak since a 14-game run from 2006-07.
2. The Tigers have scored five defensive touchdowns, the most in the nation.
3. After forcing 22 turnovers last season, the Commodores have only five takeaways this campaign.