October 23, 2008

Three keys to a Tiger win

Each week, PowerMizzou.com breaks down the upcoming matchup from every available angle. On Thursday, we take a look at three keys to the Tigers coming out with a win. Today, we break down the keys against the Colorado Buffaloes:

Start Fast

Frankly, this may be the ONLY key. Missouri is better than Colorado. But there is no way the Tigers can be a confident football team right now. Colorado, meanwhile, is coming off a win. They probably feel pretty decent about themselves, and have also gotten a boost from a new quarterback playing. If the Buffs can get off to a good start and take the lead, there is going to be some doubt creeping into the Tigers' minds. Missouri can't let it happen. They need to start fast. And I don't mean 10-0 and then relax. The Tigers need to have a three-touchdown lead in this game in the first half. They are talented enough to do it.

Find a Third Receiver

Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman are phenomenal. Even in the last two losses, they have been very, very good in the passing game. But they have had zero help and those two alone have not been able to deliver a win. Tommy Saunders, Jared Perry and Danario Alexander are the options here. One of them has to take his game to another level. Most teams can deal with two threats from the opposing team. Three makes it really, really tough. The Tigers have to get that third threat back.

Show Something, Anything, on Defense

You want to talk about shaken confidence, let's talk Missouri defense. It wasn't that Texas put up yards and points on Missouri, it was that they did it so easily. At no point in the first half did anyone even consider the fact Missouri might get a stop. Third down defense was terrible. Run defense was terrible. Pass defense was terrible. Tackling was worse than all of them. The Buffs are not a high-powered offense. Prior to the SEMO game, we said it was going to be a bad sign if Missouri could not stymie the passing game. They didn't. It was a very bad sign. If the Buffs come in and move the ball fairly easily, you will know that Missouri's offense is going to have to score 40 in just about every game. It's time for someone on the defense to step forward and take charge.

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