After two straight home blowouts against the bottom tier of the Big 12, the No. 16 Texas Longhorns head to Columbia for their first road game in over a month.
Playing in a hostile environment is always tougher for young players, so a Texas team dominated by underclassmen is only a -1.5 favorite against the 4-5 Missouri Tigers.
While freshmen QB David Ash has gotten the majority of the snaps since the loss to Oklahoma, the story of the Texas offense has been the ground game.
Behind a revamped offensive line, an unlikely running combination of two freshmen and a fifth-year senior -- Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and Fozzy Whittaker -- have emerged as stars. Brown has averaged 4.8 yards a carry this year, while Bergeron and Whittaker are at 6.9 and 6.0 respectively.
The Longhorns will look to continue pounding the line of scrimmage against a Missouri defense that has struggled against the run, giving up 474 yards rushing in the last two weeks against Baylor and Texas A&M. The Tigers, meanwhile, will likely try to stack the box and force a freshmen QB to make decisions under duress.
Missouri, in their last season in the Big 12, have been competitive but have struggled to beat the league's top teams. As a result, they are only 2-4 in conference play.
Under Gary Pinkel, the Tigers have recruited the state of Texas hard, and it will be a chance for the team's starting QB (sophomore James Franklin) and RB (sophomore Henry Josey) to defeat a program that overlooked them.
For a young Texas team, a road win would be the next step in a rebuilding process and their first real test since blowout losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
The game will be televised nationally on FX at 11 AM this Saturday.
For more news and notes on the Longhorns, head over to Burnt Orange Nation, and for the latest on Missouri, check out Rock M Nation.