Missouri hosts Vanderbilt today

Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe (28) is tackled after a short reception by Central Florida’s Kevin Miller (right) and Jared Greenaway during the first half of Saturday’s game in Orlando, Fla.

Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe (28) is tackled after a short reception by Central Florida’s Kevin Miller (right) and Jared Greenaway during the first half of Saturday’s game in Orlando, Fla.

Missouri hosts Vanderbilt today

It’s a statistic Missouri knows has to get better, and soon.

As Missouri tries for its first ever Southeastern Conference victory today at Faurot Field against Vanderbilt (6 p.m., Fox Sports Midwest-TV), it also will be trying to rectify a major problem: third-down conversions.

The Tigers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) have converted just 20-of-73 third downs this season, including a 1-of-11 performance in last week’s win against Central Florida.

Those struggles won’t translate well in SEC play.

“Obviously it’s crucial,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “When you give yourself third-and-7, 8, 9, percentage-wise, statistically, you decrease tremendously.”

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