Texas dealing with all sorts of personnel issues vs. Missouri
Published on Tuesday, 12/26/17, at 3:47 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Wednesday, 12/27/17, at 11:18 a.m. Eastern.
Editor’s note: Brian went 4-0 on Tuesday, cashing easy winners with Utah, Duke, K-St. and the K-St.-UCLA ‘under.’ Don’t miss Brian’s picks for Wednesday’s games!
Texas will be without a plethora of key players in Wednesday’s Texas Bowl showdown vs. Missouri. As of Tuesday afternoon, most betting shops had the Tigers installed as 2.5-point favorites with a total of 61.
Tom Herman’s team has produced a 4-1 spread record as an underdog this season. His teams throughout his head-coaching career, including two seasons at Houston, have compiled a 9-1 spread record with six outright victories in 10 games as underdogs.
Texas has three players suspended vs. Missouri. Leading tackler Malik Jefferson is ‘doubtful’ with a toe injury, while starting DE Chris Nelson is ‘out’ with an injury. Two players have left the team to starting training for the NFL Draft.
OT Connor Williams, a first-team All-American in 2016, is one of those individuals. The other is junior safety DeShon Elliott, the team’s second-leading tackler. Elliott has recorded 63 tackles, six interceptions for 127 return yards and two TDs, 1.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, nine passes broken up and three forced fumbles.
As for the suspensions, they apply to TE Garrett Gray, RB Toneil Carter and WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Carter has run for 252 yards and three TDs while averaging 4.8 YPC. Humphrey is the team’s second-leading receiver with 38 catches for 439 yards and one TD. The Dallas Southlake Carroll High School product also rushed for 41 yards and one TD on six attempts. Gray had four receptions for 18 yards.
Other players who won’t play vs. Missouri for various reasons include CB Holton Hill and RB Chris Warren. With Warren and Carter unavailable, only two scholarship RBs will dress, Danny Young and Kyle Porter.
Sophomore QB Shane Buechele is expected to get the starting nod ahead of Sam Ehlinger.
Missouri enters the postseason on a six-game winning streak, although we should note that none of those six victims made the postseason. The Tigers are on a 7-1 ATS roll. During that eight-game span, junior QB Drew Lock, a first-team All-SEC selection, has a 33/6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
These teams will collide Wednesday night at NRG Stadium in Houston at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.