Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It will be hard for the Tigers to get much momentum for this game after their humiliating loss to Oklahoma last night in the Big 12 title game. Missouri came into the season with legitimate hopes as a national title contender. Those dreams were snuffed out by a leaky pass defense that was exposed again last night against the Sooners.
Gary Pinkel will have a big job to get his team ready to play in San Antonio against steady but unspectacular Northwestern, which started the season 5-0 and won their last two games but lost three of five in the middle of the season.
Missouri should have the edge offensively with weapons like Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman and the others that helped them rank fourth nationally in pass offense and sixth in scoring and total offense.
A big key will be to protect Daniel from massive Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootten, who ranked among the top 30 nationally in both sacks and tackles for losses. And veteran Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher has to be eager about facing a struggling Missouri defense that allowed 102 points in its last two games and ranked 117th nationally in pass defense.
Expect a shootout at the Alamodome.