NEVER SLOW DOWN: Missouri has the second-best offense in the SEC...nearly a touchdown per game behind A&M. The Aggies can score in bunches. This game is not over. Ever. Or at least not until it is mathematically impossible for A&M to run enough plays to score enough points to win. Gary Pinkel generally doesn't like to score 50. He might have to score 50 just to win. If you can score 70, do it. If you can score 170, do it (I'm not saying Missouri can by the way). The point is, don't ever take your foot off the gas pedal. It's like playing Texas Tech a few years ago. No lead is safe. Consider Faurot Field Fenway Park with Johnny Football playing the part of Big Papi.
A STOP FOR EVERY SCORE: As good as the Aggie offense has been, that's how bad the defense has been. A&M is in the bottom three in the SEC in run defense, pass defense, total defense and scoring defense. The Aggies have given up 30 points seven times and 24 or more to everyone but SMU and UTEP. If you can stop half their offensive possessions without points, you should be in an excellent position to win the game. A&M is plenty capable of scoring half a hundred...but it also knows it might have to.
DON'T SHY AWAY FROM THE MOMENT: As Pinkel has preached all week, this is what you play for. This is the fun part. You should need NO motivation for this game. Missouri has had only one quarter all season where I felt like maybe the moment got the best of them. It was the fourth quarter against South Carolina. Other than that, these Tigers have answered every challenge. There is one more to answer before securing a spot in the SEC Championship Game.
PREDICTION TIME: How this game plays out, to me, is largely about Johnny Manziel and the Aggies. This game doesn't really mean anything to them. When you start a season with national title hopes, the difference between 8-4 and 9-3 really doesn't much matter. Either one is disappointing. Do the Aggies show up trying to take advantage of one last chance to show how good they really can be? Or do they mail it in? The national title is long gone, so is the SEC title and the repeat Heisman hopes went away last weekend. How much pride does A&M have? I think they have enough to make this a game for the ages. And in one glorious play, Missouri is going to bury decades of demons. Missouri 45, Texas A&M 44 on an Andrew Baggett field goal that bounces off the left upright and through in the North end zone. The fans storm the field and the Tigers advance to the title game.