SEC Championship Game 2013
Auburn vs. Missouri
Saturday, 3 p.m. CT, CBS
Play-by-play: Verne Lundquist | Analysis: Gary Danielson | Sideline: Tracy Wolfson
Online streaming: CBSSports.com
Opening line: Auburn +2 | Over/under: 58 | Current line: Auburn -2
Series history: Missouri 1-0
Last meeting: Missouri 34, Auburn 17, Dec. 29, 1973, Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
Conference titles: Auburn 11 (7 SEC, 1 Southern, 3 SIAA), Missouri 15 (12 Big 8, 3 WIUFA)
Last conference title: Auburn 2010, Missouri 1969
Missouri Tigers (11-1, 7-1 SEC)
Head coach: Gary Pinkel (13th year: 101-62; 23rd year overall: 174-99-3)
Offensive coordinator: Josh Henson (spread)
Defensive coordinator: Dave Steckel (4-3)
SB Nation affiliate: Rock M Nation
Auburn fans may want to argue about whether or not Our Tigers deserve a BCS title shot over Ohio State, but hopefully Gus Malzahn has his team focused on the task at hand. As its 11-1 record might indicate, Missouri is legit. No, we're not huge fans of Their Tigers as a geographical and cultural fit in the SEC, but they've proven they can compete in their second year. Mizzou's only loss came in double-overtime at the hands of South Carolina, a top-10 team, and that was without starting quarterback James Franklin.
In their East Division-clinching win over Texas A&M, Their Tigers shut down Johnny Manziel, holding the Heisman winner to 216 total yards and one total touchdown in a 28-21 victory. Mike Evans, who torched Auburn was held to four catches for 8 yards. Missouri outgained A&M, 463-379, and Their Tigers were incredibly balanced, gaining 238 yards through the air and 225 yards on the ground.
KEY TIGERS ON OFFENSE
James Franklin, QB -- Franklin, a senior, is the heart and soul of Their Tigers, and in addition to being a team leader, he's a damn good quarterback. His season totals aren't great -- 1,952 yards, 16 touchdowns -- but that's because he missed four games in the middle of the year due to an injury. His 66.9 completion percentage, 244.0 yards per game, 8.1 yards per attempt and four total interceptions show just how capable he is. Franklin has also gained 412 yards and three touchdowns on 91 carries.
Henry Josey, RB -- Josey leads Mizzou's ground game, totaling 153 rushes for 951 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. In Their Tigers' last three games, he's put up 304 yards and found the end zone five times.
Dorial Green-Beckham, WR -- Defending Missouri's side receiving corps may be Auburn's biggest challenge, and DGB could be the biggest problem. He leads Their Tigers with 49 catches and has 686 yards and is tied for the team lead with 10 scores. L'Damian Washington, who has 824 yards and 10 TDs on 44 catches might be even more trouble.
KEY TIGERS ON DEFENSE
Michael Sam, DE -- Their Tigers' defensive line is outstanding, and it might be the best Auburn faces this year. Sam leads the way for Mizzou -- in fact, he's probably the best lineman in the SEC. He leads the conference with 10.5 sacks and 18 sacks for loss.
Markus Golden, DE -- At the other end of the line, Their Tigers have Golden, who usually comes off the bench but makes a big impact. He has 6.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss -- second on the team in both categories -- and he's really come on strong toward the end of the season. In four November games, Golden put up four sacks and six tackles for loss.
Andrew Wilson, MLB -- As the quarterback of Missouri's defense and patrolling the middle of the field, Wilson will be a key player in stopping Auburn's option game. He's been great against the run this year, compiling a team-best 87 tackles, and he's added six tackles for loss, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.