The Missouri offense presents multiple challenges. The deadliest weapon is the Tigers’ tempo.
Even though Mizzou has struggled to consistently move the ball over the last three weeks, once that machine gets moving, it’s hard to stop.
“We’ve simulated it as best as we could against the scout team,” Stoops said. “I don’t know if you can simulate it exactly the way they do it. Certainly not for the amount of time because our guys’ legs would be just smoked if we were going tempo for the entire practice. We do it often against our offense as well, whether we’re playing against Missouri or not.”
The fast pace prevents the defense from making substitutions in the middle of drives.
“It will be very difficult, at times impossible. We cannot do that. If it’s near our sideline, we’ll have some ways to do that if we’re communicating before…but never if the ball is in the middle or far sideline. Our guys are coached up on that this week. They gotta suck it up and stay in there until there’s a break.”
To make matters worse, Kentucky has rotated ten defensive linemen in every game. The Tigers’ pace will keep some of those guys from seeing the field on Saturday simply because they aren’t conditioned to stay in the game for long periods of time.
“That’s a factor,” Stoops said. “It’ll be interesting to see the amount of snaps. That’s always a big deal when you’re playing a tempo team. So we gotta do our part and get some stops defensively so you’re not out there for all of those long drives. If you’re doing that with tempo, it can obviously be a problem.”
See everything Stoops had to say today here.
— Stoops didn’t have much new to say about wide receiver Chuck Walker. He said he is, “not sure yet.” We’ll have to wait until Saturday to see if 88 will be on the field. If not, the offense will rely exclusively on Juice and Lynn Bowden to make plays out of the slot.
— Jordan Jones underwent further tests this week. Stoops will wait until next week to provide an update on his status.