New Mexico State brings winning streak to Missouri

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The UT Punt Coverage Squad, led by Jimmy Holiday (6), arrived as Missouri’s Luther Burden III (3) set up a punt that rolled down the sideline. The risky play likely saved the Tigers several yards of field position but left Holiday vulnerable to the big hit /The Daily Times via AP)

AP

State of New Mexico (4-5) in Missouri (4-6), Saturday 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK COLLEGE LINE: Missouri to 29 1/2

Series record: First matchup.

WHAT’S AT Stake?

New Mexico State and Missouri both need two wins to reach the six-win plateau and qualify for a bowl game. It won’t be easy for either of them. The Aggies visit the Tigers for the first time on Saturday before traveling to Liberty, which fell from the top 25 this week. Missouri meets the Aggies ahead of their rivalry game against Arkansas.

KEY COMPARISON

Missouri QB Brady Cook against the New Mexico State pass defense. Cook has had a roller coaster season and some fans want hyped newcomer Sam Horn to get a chance. But Cook played well most of last week in Tennessee, throwing for 217 yards and two touchdowns while amassing 323 total yards of offense.

PLAYER TO SEE

New Mexico State LB Chris Ojoh leads the team in tackles (78), solo tackles (49), tackles for loss (nine) and sacks (five). He needs 21 tackles to match his career-high 99 with Eastern Washington in 2018.

Missouri DL Elijah McGuire said he will celebrate Senior Day and the end of his Tigers career this week despite having one more season to play. He has 55 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and six sacks this season.

FACTS

New Mexico State has lost its first four games but won three against San Jose State by a game that was postponed. It’s the program’s first three-game winning streak since 2017. … The Aggies are allowing 25.6 points per game, their best tally since the 1999 season. … New Mexico State is allowing 175.1 yards per game through the air, its best trademark of all independent programs. … Missouri allowed a total penalty of 724 yards in their 66-24 loss in Tennessee last week. That included 460 meters through the air. … The Tigers need to win their last two games to have six wins for the second straight year. You have finished at least .500 in the last five seasons.

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