Mon, 25 Jan 2021

Missouri, Vanderbilt set for rescheduled contest

Field Level Media
25 Nov 2020, 13:05 GMT+10

The Missouri Tigers and the visiting Vanderbilt Commodores will hope to show their adaptability when they meet on Saturday.

The Tigers (3-3, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) were scheduled to play host to Arkansas this week, but the Razorbacks were unavailable due to positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing. The SEC then decided to have the Commodores (0-7, 0-7) visit Missouri on Saturday, making up a game postponed from Oct. 17 due to COVID-19 protocols.

Vanderbilt had been scheduled to play host to Tennessee on Saturday, but that game was postponed to an unspecified future date to accommodate the rescheduled Vanderbilt-Missouri contest.

"Had to flip the switch," first-year Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said of the change in opponent. "Excited about the opportunity to play. We've had a couple of games canceled, moved around. So I thank the SEC for finding us an opponent. It's obviously not ideal to switch that late."

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said on 102.5 The Game radio, "It's about shifting gears at this time. Obviously disappointed for Vanderbilt Nation; this was Tennessee week and senior recognition and everything that comes along with it. But this year is about being flexible.

"We get a chance to play and we're excited about that. ... We're full steam ahead for Missouri."

The Tigers will try to get over .500 for the first time this season, having opened the season with blowout losses to Alabama and Tennessee.

"I've got a couple of screenshots of people that predicted us to only win two games," Drinkwitz said. "People counted us out before we got to the fight. There's no quit in us."

The Commodores are coming off their best performance since their opening 17-12 loss to Texas AM. Vanderbilt raced to 7-0 and 10-7 leads over Florida last Saturday before falling 38-17.

"This football team is getting better," Mason said. "We still have some depth deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball, but we're working hard on the back end to keep us functionally going."

The Tigers played with just 52 available scholarship players last week. Their injury list included guard Xavier Delgado, offensive tackle Larry Borom, nose tackle Kobie Whiteside and defensive end/outside linebacker Trajan Jeffcoat.

Drinkwitz listed those four players as "maybe" for this week. He also got defensive coordinator Ryan Walters and three players back from the coronavirus list.

Backup quarterback Shawn Robinson remains out and guard Dylan Spencer entered the transfer portal this week.

The Commodores got healthier last week, regaining guards Drew Birchmeier and Dan Dawkins, defensive tackle Cameron Tidd and running back Ja'Veon Marlow.

Freshman quarterback Ken Seals completed 22 for 34 passes against the Gators for 319 yards and two touchdowns -- both to receiver Chris Pierce. The Commodores rushed for just 87 yards, so Mason hopes to regain injured running back Keyon Henry-Brooks.

"That'll be another tool for us as we head down to Columbia," Mason told 102.5 The Game.

On the downside, starting Commodores inside linebacker Dimitri Moore entered the transfer portal this week.

--Field Level Media

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