1. LSD — Long, Sustained Drives
Freddie calls it S.L.O.P. but I’ve always known the same concept by a term that attached more innuendo. The best defense against the fast-moving spread is an offense that can possess the ball for long drives that end in touchdowns. Mizzou will run blitz Kentucky to death to try to slow down Boom and Benny, but it probably will not succeed. Big plays are inevitable because the Tigers can’t tackle, but they must be able to give the UK defense time on the sideline to recover and prepare for Mizzou’s uptempo offense.
2. Discipline Against the Spread
What makes Missouri’s offense so difficult to defend is their spacing. This type of spread is so spread, it’s redundant. With extra wide splits from the wide receivers, it leaves the middle of the field vulnerable. Even though I believe Jordan Jones and Courtney Love have dramatically improved, when the opponent is running a snap every 10 seconds, one miscue can allow Damarea Crocket or Ish Witter to knife right through the heart of the defense. They will win a few one-on-ones on the outside, but they can’t afford to give up big plays on the ground.
3. TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS, TURNOVERS
Kentucky has a -9 turnover margin. MINUS. NINE. Kentucky is ranked No. 125 out of 128 FBS teams. They’re last in the SEC, with the closest competition at -2. Forcing turnovers is not the problem, it’s putting them on the ground. It’s the only thing Stephen Johnson has yet to fix in his game. If the offense protects the football, Missouri’s defense will not be able to do anything.
Back in 2012, freshman walk-on JD Harmon had two interceptions in Columbia, the only two UK had all season. I’m calling a repeat performance (or something close) from the senior today.