Missouri has a senior graduate transfer in Kelly Bryant who is 16-2 as a starter and led Clemson to the 2017 College Football Playoff. Wyoming redshirt freshman Sean Chambers has a lot of potential, but that doesn’t trump experience.
Junior Larry Roundtree III ran for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Roundtree’s backup, sophomore Tyler Badie, had 437 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore starter Xazavian Valladay (396 yards, three touchdowns) is the only back on the roster who has carried the ball for the Cowboys in a game.
Wide receivers and tight ends
Missouri returns three players who combined to catch 129 passes for 1,622 yards and 14 touchdowns. UW’s three leading pass-catchers that return from 2018 had 61 catches for 563 yards and three touchdowns. Tigers junior tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is a man among boys, and watch out for true freshman Maurice Massey today.
Both teams have experienced and capable starters. Missouri senior right guard Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms was a preseason first team All-SEC pick by the coaches, while senior left tackle Yasir Durant was a second team choice. Depth for both teams is young.
The Tigers have a decisive edge in experience and size, but if there is any question about the defense as a whole, it is along the line. Still, junior defensive tackle Jordan Elliott is a Texas transfer who is expected to have a big impact.
Missouri runs a similar defensive scheme as UW, and you will see two good middle linebackers in senior Logan Wilson for the Cowboys and senior Cole Garrett for Missouri. The edge here goes to the Cowboys thanks to senior outside linebacker Cassh Maluia.
UW will lean heavily on its two senior cornerbacks in Tyler Hall and Antonio Hull. Missouri has three corners at that level, or above. Like the Cowboys, the Tigers are somewhat young and inexperienced at safety.
Missouri senior Tucker McCann was 24 of 33 on field goals and 51 of 54 on extra points last season. UW senior Cooper Rothe didn’t score as many points, but was more accurate. Both teams are breaking in new punters. In terms of statistics, UW senior Austin Conway is the most proven punt returner. If any kickoffs are returned, the Cowboys have the edge with Hall and his two career kickoff returns for touchdowns.
PREDICTION: Missouri 34, Wyoming 17