October 19, 2006

Tiger defense better than the numbers

Strictly by the numbers, maybe it wasn't much of a performance. The Missouri defense gave up 403 total yards at Texas A&M last week. The Tigers weren't particularly adept at stopping either aspect of the Aggie offense, giving up 223 yards passing and another 180 on the ground.

Statistics, they say, don't lie. Well, in this case, maybe they do.

"I'll tell you, in the fourth quarter, they made some plays to get us back in and we had at least an opportunity to win the football game," said head coach Gary Pinkel. "And I think it says an awful lot about them."

Working against the Tigers was the fatigue of having been on the field for nearly 42 minutes--"I've never been involved in a game like that," said quarterback Chase Daniel--and a 275-pound wrecking ball at running back in Lane.

Yes, there was finger pointing. But it was not coming from the defense. Instead, the Tiger offense was pointing the finger right back at itself.

"They did their job and we didn't do ours," Daniel said. "We had one job at the end and it didn't work out."

The Kansas State offense may have A&M to thank for getting the Tiger defense re-focused this week.

"Everybody hurt," Hood said of the days after the A&M loss. "But it was an eye-opener for us that we need to stay on the ground and stay humble."

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