Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

First Pass: the Missouri Tigers

untitled

PIC BY KANSAS CITY STAR

Prior to moving his Tigers to the Southeastern Conference, long-time Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel constructed a SEC football team while competing in the Big 12. First-year Tiger head coach Barry Odom appears to be building a Big 12 team while playing in the SEC.

Kentucky will travel to Columbia, Missouri after winning three out of four conference games with renewed hopes for postseason football.

Let’s take a look:

PIC BY KANSAS CITY STAR

PIC BY KANSAS CITY STAR

OFFENSE

— Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel brings a wealth of Big 12 experience to the Tigers and leads a wide open attack that puts a great deal of stress on opposing defenses. Missouri’s splits (distance from football and offensive teammates) will be a new challenge for Mark Stoops’ defense.

— Widened receiver and offensive line splits force an abundance of one-on-one matchups and eliminates second level run/pass support. It also restricts opposing defenses from disguising coverages and exposes pending blitzes prior to snap. A significant amount of credit for Kentucky’s defensive resurgence is credited to scheme and Stoops’ ability to overcome personnel weaknesses through structure. Mizzou’s offensive intent circumvents this Kentucky strength. Worrisome.

— Missouri’s 505 total offensive yards per game leads the SEC. It’s 2nd in the league in pass yards per game with 304.

— I’d argue that Mizzou’s run game will be the most pressing concern on Saturday. RB Damarea Crockett is dangerous: 83 carries, 546 yards, 6.6 ypc, 7 TDs, and 78 yards per game. Fellow RB Ish Witter: 102 carries, 460 yards, 4.5 ypc, and 65 yards per game.

— Mizzou’s run game strategy is based off the Run/Pass/Option attack which features a pass off every run play.

— QB Drew Lock is the SEC’s 2nd leading passer: 137-257, 6 INT, 1995 yards, 16 TDs, and 285 yards per game. Lock is completing 53% of his passes.

— WR J’Mon Moore leads the team in receptions: 30 catches, 539 yards, 6 TDs, 77 yards per game.

— Dimetrios Mason is the Tiger’s 2nd leading receiver: 22 catches, 249 yards. 

 

DEFENSE

— 2015 saw the Mizzou defense finish the season in typical Gary Pinkel fashion: 2nd in the SEC’s total defense category as it allowed 302 yards per game. 2016 is a much different story. Through seven games the Tigers are giving up 460 yards per game. Scoring defense has also taken on a downward trajectory. Mizzou allowed 16.2 points per game in 2015 (2nd in SEC) but is surrendering 29.7 this season (10th in SEC).

— DE Charles Harris is a 1st Team All SEC performer and is projected as a 1st round NFL Draft selection: 28 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 QB sacks, 4 QB hurries, and 1 forced fumble. Harris is a disruptive edge pass rusher. Cole Mosier and Landon Young will have their hands full on Saturday.

— LB Michael Scherer is Missouri’s irrefutable defensive leader. The senior has started 33 consecutive games and is the Tigers’ on-field play caller. He’s accumulated 53 total tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 pass breakups, and 2 QB hurries in 2016. Scherer left the MTSU game with a knee injury, and yesterday, it was confirmed he will be out for the season with an ACL injury.

— Yesterday, it was also announced that starting DT Terry Beckner, Jr. is also out for the season with an ACL injury. Starting Safety Thomas Wilson and the Tigers’ INT co-leader CB John Gibson were also injured in a losing effort to Middle Tennessee State last weekend. Wilson and Gibson’s status for Saturday’s game is yet to be determined.

— Starting DE Marcell Frazier was ejected from the MTSU game for a targeting penalty and must sit out a portion of Saturday’s matchup with UK.

— The Mizzou defense was penalized 4 times on 3rd down against MTSU. All 4 penalties extended MTSU offensive drives and can only be interpreted as questionable discipline.

— MTSU beat Mizzou 51-45. The Tigers allowed 300 rush yards, 7.3 yards per carry to Tony Franklin’s Raiders.

HOW UK BEATS MISSOURI

— Kentucky will need to start fast which will be difficult due to an 11:00 a.m. central time kickoff. Mizzou is reeling after a disappointing and sloppy homecoming loss to MTSU. A fast start in front of a predicted suspect crowd could lead to a deflated Missouri football team.

— Mizzou was penalized 13 times for 125 yards in a loss to MTSU. Very un-Missouri like. Kentucky has to press the issue in attempt to force Tiger turnovers and penalties.

— All that leads to Missouri’s vulnerability also makes the Tigers incredibly threatening. How it responds to an embarrassing loss and a disappointing 2-5 start will define the early Barry Odom era in Columbia.

— This will read strangely, but the Cats must force the game into the hands of QB Drew Lock by emphasizing run defense in order to slow RBs Crocket and Witter.

— QB Stephen Johnson’s fumbling tendencies can’t travel to Columbia. Road turnovers are damning.

— Broken record statement forthcoming, Eddie Gran will need to pound the football straight at the Missouri defense with a heavy dose of Boom Williams, JoJo Kemp, and Benny “The Hammer” Snell.

— No way to sugarcoat the obvious: Grant McKinniss’ punting must improve. 34 yards per punt could lead to a loss as UK’s defense will be facing a dangerous and fast-scoring offense. Shortened fields have to be avoided at all costs.

— FINISH has been a commonly used slogan. Kentucky has an opportunity to finish off Missouri. By doing so, UK would have beaten four conference foes that it must surpass in order to climb the SEC ladder: Missouri, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and Miss State.

— FINISH. Mark Stoops and his young Wildcats have a chance to become bowl eligible on the road which would lead to a “House Money” night against Georgia.

— FINISH. The more I analyze this game the more bothersome I become. So much on the line; how will Kentucky respond? Can it seize momentum and take care of business? Will a new-found sense of prosperity inhibit performance? Can the Cats FINISH?

 

Much more to come on this pivotal road game.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

21 Comments for First Pass: the Missouri Tigers



  1. Bluebloodtoo
    11:07 am October 26, 2016 Permalink

    This is a very winnable game for the cats. Like you said, in a more simple format, Limit mistakes/turnovers and Fight until the horn sounds. No defensive complacency with a lead for this explosive missouri offense.



  2. inside info2
    11:08 am October 26, 2016 Permalink

    Great analysis Freddie.



  3. Duuuuuude
    11:21 am October 26, 2016 Permalink

    I keep hearing about the early start time being a disadvantage. I would think that would impact Missouri more, given they are an hour behind us already unless Stoops allows his team to sleep till 10:00.



    • Dr. Leo Spaceman
      11:52 am October 26, 2016 Permalink

      Thank you. There seem to be a lot of people on here confused about how time zones work. I think our biggest advantage is that the crowd should be bad since it’s 11:00 there.



    • Laker Cat 18
      12:27 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      I think the point folks are trying to make is that Missouri has played a game this early already this season against WVU. Even though it was a loss for them, I think they’re looking at it in the light that UK does not have that game time experience yet this season. This will be a first for UK playing that early, not saying it’s necessarily a disadvantage as Missouri hasn’t proven they can win games that early.



    • ClutchCargo
      3:04 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      In my mind (which has zero college football playing experience) the early start is a lot better than a night game. For a night game it seems there would way too much time to kill before the actual football stuff starts. The other team has to play at the same early time, and the crowd will suck because they haven’t had all day to tailgate and whatnot. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I prefer day games on the road and night games at home.



  4. memphis wildcat
    12:02 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    Maybe too simplistic but – If UK is truly over the hump, turned the corner, etc then UK wins. If the last few games have been fool’s gold – so to speak – then UK loses.

    Like Freddie, the more I think about the Mizzou game, the more worried I get. However, I believe (hope?) that is more due to the last 3 years than the last 3 games. We will see…



  5. AllBlueAllDay
    12:04 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    I think the combination of the game being at 11am their time, starting the year 2-5, and just lost to mtsu will make for a crappy home crowd. Shouldn’t be too hostile of a road environment.



  6. Cmart0907
    12:05 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    I think this Qb will rip UK defense to shreds. Our secondary was supposed to the best we had. If UK don’t blitz our put any pass rush on him he will make plays.. UK isn’t exactly a blitzing team.



  7. UKSupporter76
    12:11 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    Is that Seth Green in the top photo?



    • Piedma Schwartz
      2:09 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      I think it might be Sheamus from the WWE.



  8. Laker Cat 18
    12:33 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    This is a huge game for us. I was counting on going 2-1 against the Mississippi State, Missouri, Georgia three game stretch. This is the most likely scenario by beating Missouri and losing to Georgia in my opinion. I think we can easily win the next two or lose the next two. Normally when I expect a shootout like I do this game, it’s a defensive battle. I’m taking the Cats 17-14 in another close one.



    • Laker Cat 18
      12:37 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      Winning 1 of the next 2 games is key, as I don’t think we’ll get past Tennessee or Louisville this season. If we can win both — Florida can slip up in two of three games against Georgia, LSU, or Arkansas — our game with Tennessee will come down to the SEC East championship. I don’t see Tennessee losing another game this season.



  9. Scooby
    12:42 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    Benny Snell’s nickname, which I coined after his first appearance is”The Bull.”

  10. Don’t forget who was Josh Heupel’s OC at OU for one year…that’s right, Mike Leach, who Bob Stoops had just hired from UK. Leach left after only one year, but those wide splits Freddie talked about are straight out of Leach’s offense.



  11. secrick
    2:37 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    Freddie, You sound like the typical Ky fan, he hopes we win but just can’t bring himself to believe that we can. You have no faith.



    • ClutchCargo
      3:10 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      Charlie Brown managed to kick the ball just before Lucy could pull it away last Saturday. I think a lot of us are wanting to see him do it again before we start expecting it. But I do think we beat Missouri and beating UGA is definitely on the table.



    • secrick
      3:58 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      I think i am the typical fan hoping but doubting, i wish i could fix that or maybe the Cats will fix it.



  12. jaws2
    4:56 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

    KY will win the next two games, period. I didn’t say cover, I said win. I don’t care if it’s by one point, get it done.