1. DK Billingsley vs. Missouri rush defense

The Troy starting running back has 330 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the season. The Tigers haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown of longer than 1 yard since their season opener. Billingsley has the ability to break tackles with his physicality and speed, but he hasn’t been up against as large and fast of a defense that Missouri has this season. MU has held its opponents to an average of less than 100 yards rushing per game this season, and that number has dropped significantly over the past three games. Does that trend continue, or is Billingsley the guy to remind the Tigers of their Wyoming loss?

Edge: Missouri rush defense

2. Tucker McCann vs. Tyler Sumpter

These two should never be on the field at the same time. McCann handles all aspects of Missouri’s kicking game, while Sumpter does the punting and placekicking for Troy. Nevertheless, they could have a profound effect on the game. McCann is the only Power Five Conference player ranked in the top 10 in touchback percentage (he’s No. 1 nationally), field goals per game and punting average. Sumpter is 5-for-7 on field goals and hasn’t missed an extra point this season, but he hasn’t made a kick over 27 yards. Which one of these two strong-legged players can make a bigger difference at Faurot?

Edge: McCann

3. MU wide receivers vs. Troy defense

While the Troy offense has potential to do damage to Missouri, its defense is lagging a little behind. Troy allowed 47 points to Southern Miss three weeks ago and lost to Arkansas State last time out, letting the Red Wolves score 50. Missouri has scored at least 31 points in each game so far this season. The Tigers will have to watch out for Carlton Martial, Troy’s leading tackler who doubles up the Trojan in second place. Missouri’s wide receivers have been consistent, but they haven’t had a game where they shredded apart the opposing defense. Could this be that breakthrough against a vulnerable opponent?

Edge: MU wide receivers

4. Missouri’s layoff vs. Troy’s expectations

Missouri hasn’t played a game in two weeks. Everyone at MU says the bye week came at the right time to get healthier and focus on some needed improvements. Troy comes to Columbia knowing it's the underdog by more than three touchdowns. The Trojans have nothing to lose by getting blown out, but everything to gain from a victory. Does Troy play more free with all of the pressure on MU? Do the Tigers show any game rust after their time off? The Tigers have been favored in every game this season by at least nine points. Does Missouri do enough to keep that trend going for the near future?

Edge: Troy’s expectations

5. Power Five knockout vs. Missouri

Troy has been a thorn in the side of Power Five Conference teams in recent years. The Trojans defeated Nebraska and LSU over the past two seasons. In 2016, Troy nearly took down second-ranked Clemson with now-Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant on the sideline. Missouri has already fallen to a Group of Five team this year and hasn’t lost multiple games to non-major-conference teams in the same season during Odom or Gary Pinkel’s tenures. Do the Tigers take care of business against Troy on Saturday or lose all momentum they’ve gained over the past month?

Edge: Missouri