1. What will the MU defense look like without Cale Garrett?
The most obvious question facing Missouri this Saturday comes with the loss of Garrett, who is out indefinitely with a pectoral injury. Inserting Cameron Wilkins for Garrett swaps a multiple-year starter at linebacker on pace to have an All-American-type season with a sophomore making his first collegiate start. Wilkins can do an adequate job, but anyone other than Garrett in that spot wasn’t the plan for 2019. Even with the other 10 starters on the defense projected to be the same, is there a different style or configuration to how it plays without arguably its biggest playmaker?
2. Will Kelly Bryant’s mobility be limited?
Despite going down with a left knee sprain against Troy, Bryant is expected to start against Mississippi. The quarterback wore a temporary brace for a little while during Tuesday’s practice but eventually took it off. The permanent brace should arrive by game day and it’ll stay on his leg. Bryant rated himself at 90% earlier this week and said he didn’t believe he’d have any issue running around and avoiding pressure against the Rebels. Does Bryant rely on his arm more than usual or let the MU running backs wear down Ole Miss? Or does it look like nothing ever happened?
3. Does the 12th man make a difference on homecoming?
It’s homecoming and Missouri loves homecoming. MU is expecting its largest crowd at Faurot Field so far this season for the primetime Southeastern Conference showdown. Last week, a season-low 50,023 attended the nonconference finale against Troy. In the Tigers' last contest of a five-game homestand — and their last home game for over a month — will the higher attendance Saturday give Missouri a lift? It would be quite a turnaround for Missouri to be 5-1 when it heads back on the road for the first time since its season-opening loss at Wyoming in August.
4. Does Johnathon Johnson break out against Ole Miss?
Richaud Floyd is listed as doubtful for the matchup against the Rebels because of a hamstring ailment. That puts Johnson, Missouri’s starting slot receiver, into the punt returning role as well, as he did for a majority of the game against Troy. Johnson hasn’t had an explosive game from an offensive perspective this season, but will this be the week for him to break out? Granted, Bryant has a plethora of weapons to throw to, but the Tigers don’t have a more experienced target than Johnson, who will be playing in his final homecoming game. Is this his time to shine?
5. Will the Tigers' reshuffled offensive line prove successful?
After about a month of tinkering, Missouri appears to have found the combination it thinks will be most successful up front. Yasir Durant, Trystan Colon-Castillo and Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms retain their starting spots. Case Cook enters the first team on the depth chart. Hyrin White and Larry Borom are fighting for the last starting spot at right tackle. Backup Bobby Lawrence also looks to see a handful of playing time. Does the combination of experience and previous chemistry help the offensive line play as one? Or does Ole Miss see a hole and exploit the new configuration?