September 4, 2008

Three Tiger keys to the game

Each week during the season will break down the upcoming Tiger game from every possible angle. Each Thursday, we will identify three keys to victory for Mizzou on the upcoming Saturday. This week, there is not much question whether the Tigers will win the game, but there are still plenty of things to watch. Instead of keys to victory, we look at three things the Tigers would like to see in this game:

Shut down SEMO's offense

The major question--and it's a fair one--coming out of the Illinois game surrounds Missouri's pass defense. Were the problems really simple communication or is there a talent issue in the secondary? We should have somewhat of an answer this week. If SEMO comes in and throws for 250 yards this week, the Tigers are going to see a lot of shootouts this season. The secondary should have little trouble containing the passing game this week.

Don't Let Up

Again, there shouldn't be a whole lot of doubt as to the outcome in the third quarter (or frankly, the second). If Missouri goes into the locker room with a 42-7 lead, what the Tigers would like to see is a final margin of victory of at least 40 points. Oklahoma led Chattanooga 50-0 at halftime and won 57-2. It's understandable you're not going to score another half a hundred in the second half. But the final score also indicates the Sooners controlled every possession and played good defense throughout. That's what the Tigers need to do, especially given the second half last week. Mizzou should not need to score much at all in the second half, but you don't want to see the Tigers giving up 29 second half points on defense again either. Missouri doesn't need to keep the pedal to the floor in the third and fourth quarters, but they shouldn't let completely off the gas and coast home either.

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