J'Mon Moore high-fives fans

Missouri wide receiver J'Mon Moore high-fives fans after the team's 27-20 win against Arkansas State on Sept. 12, 2015.

COLUMBIA — Barry Odom and the Missouri football team will look to rebound after blowing a late lead against then-No. 16 Georgia when they face FCS opponent Delaware State on Saturday afternoon in Columbia.

Delaware State has had extra time to prepare for Missouri, coming off a bye week, but the team is 0-2 to start the year after finishing 1-10 last season. Delaware State has won just three games dating back to 2014. 

Here's a preview of the matchup. 

How to watch: 3 p.m. on SEC Network 

How to listen: KCMQ 96.7 FM

History: This will be the first matchup between Missouri and Delaware State.

Players to watch — Missouri  

Drew Lock: The true sophomore from Lee's Summit, Missouri, put on a show through the air against Georgia.

In the first half.

Lock was 19 for 29 with 322 yards and two touchdowns at halftime but threw three interceptions in the second half. At times, Lock looked poised in the pocket and made a few jaw-dropping throws, but he'll need to be more consistent for Missouri in the future. 

J'Mon Moore: After fumbling on Missouri's final possession against Georgia, Moore was noticeably hard on himself. After the game, he spoke to reporters and took responsibility for his mistake, but it will be interesting to see how he responds on the field Saturday.

Even if it's only for a few quarters. 

If everything goes as planned for Missouri, the reserves will see plenty of playing time. While the starting lineup consists of Moore, Johnathon Johnson and Emanuel Hall, expect to see Chris Black, Ray Wingo and Dimetrios Mason throughout the game, especially in the second half. 

Cam Hilton: A former wide receiver, Hilton had arguably the best defensive game of his career against Georgia. In the second half, he intercepted Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason and had a solid return to set up Missouri's offense in Georgia territory.

He's been called a playmaker ever since he arrived at Missouri last season. Hilton has emerged as an athletic option in the secondary for Odom's defense and should see more of the field going forward. 

Players to watch — Delaware State

The Hornets haven't been successful as a team this season, but running back Brycen Alleyne is a bright spot. Through two games, Alleyne has recorded 301 all-purpose yards for Delaware State. He's been the team's main source of offense and he's made contributions to the running game, passing game and return game.

Rushing woes 

Missouri's running game has struggled through its first three games, but so has Delaware State's rushing defense. 

Senior Alex Ross has been hampered by a lingering ankle injury, while Ish Witter and freshman Damarea Crockett have failed to break off explosive runs for Missouri. As a unit, the team ranks 80th in rushing yards among FBS teams.

If Missouri has success against the Hornets, it should be taken with a grain of salt, considering the opponent. Delaware State's rushing defense has allowed more than 300 yards a game. Missouri's three main running backs, assuming Ross plays, should have no problem against Delaware State's defense.

But if Missouri's rushing attack continues to struggle, it will be fair to question if the group has what it takes to compete against Southeastern Conference defenses. 

Defensive lapses

After a loss to West Virginia earlier this month, defensive end Charles Harris said no team should score more than 20 points against Missouri's unit.

That hasn't been the case thus far.

After allowing only 13.6 points per game last season, the Missouri defense has given up an average of 25 points a game through three games this year. 

Still, Delaware State lacks the offensive firepower Missouri's previous opponents have possessed, so the defense should achieve its weekly goal and hold Delaware State below 20 points.

Other notes: 

Next Saturday, Missouri plays SEC opponent LSU in Baton Rouge. It will be interesting to see if the team comes out sluggish against Delaware State, perhaps looking ahead to the big game next weekend.

Supervising editor is Jaime Dunaway. 

  • Sports Reporter | Undergraduate | Print and Digital Journalism Reach me at ctpy9b@mail.missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 630-659-5769 Twitter: @CTPSports

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