It’s getting cold in Missouri. It will stay that way for Missouri Tigers football.
As Saturday rolls around for Missouri’s game against New Mexico state, the National Weather Service in Columbia called for a high of nearly 35 degrees, with the possibility of dropping to about 17 degrees overnight.
In theory, it could be an advantage for the Tigers considering Las Cruces, New Mexico, where the Aggies travel from, was in the 50s all week. Still, some MU players are not convinced.
“I mean, I think,” said safety Martez Manuel. “But it’s still cold.”
Unlike New Mexico State, the Tigers had to practice in the cold all week. They’ve had time to acclimatize and the players have been able to figure out how to try and stay warm on Saturday when they’re going to play well after the high temperatures.
Despite his personal dislike of the cold, Manuel acknowledged that it could help MU during the game, which will be played at 6:30 p.m
“The fact that we have days and Saturday won’t be the first day where we don’t know how to deal with it,” said Manuel. “We can start practicing now and know, ‘OK, I have to wear this to do my best, this is how I have to feel.'”
More:Trivia on Mizzou Football’s drive for bowl eligibility
During Tuesday’s open practice sessions in Missouri, different players took different approaches to battling the cold. Some wore sweatpants and hoodies under their gear to ward off the elements.
Others, notably wide receiver Barrett Banister, didn’t even wear arm warmers. Manuel had none of it.
“I don’t have to prove anything,” Manuel said.
Security had been trying to find the perfect combination of clothing to keep him warm all week. On Wednesday, he put Icy Hot on his hands before donning latex gloves under his regular receiver gloves.
He also wore a pair of tights, toe warmers between two pairs of socks, and layered his torso with three shirts.
“And I was still cold,” Manuel said. “We will try again (Thursday) and Friday and see. I will find the perfect method for Saturday.”
Manuel, who will be graduating on Saturday, has lived in Missouri since eighth grade. Quarterback Brady Cook has been in the show-me state his entire life.
More:What channel is the Mizzou soccer game on? How to watch Missouri vs. New Mexico State
Cook said he also thinks the extra time to adjust will be an advantage for the Tigers.
“It’s pretty cold out there,” Cook said Wednesday. “I am ready to go now for Saturday. I’ve had two days in a row… We’ll be ready. I don’t know what the weather is like, where they come from. Probably not that cold though.”
The MU quarterback said he has no secrets for staying warm during cold-weather games.
“I have to find some,” Cook said. “Stand by the heater.”
Besides the players on the field, the fans at Memorial Stadium could be another factor that could be affected by Saturday’s cold weather. Eli Drinkwitz said Tuesday that MU scheduled its Senior Day for the New Mexico State game instead of the last game against Arkansas in hopes that the students will show up before Thanksgiving.
However, when the weather is too cold, some fans simply choose to stay home and watch the game on ESPNU. Manuel recognized this possibility.
“It’s going to be really cold, we have to ignore that, we have to be out there and want to play,” said the Tigers captain. “We probably won’t have 60,000 fans in the stands, so we have to bring our own energy. I think things like that are going to be super important for us.”