Oklahoma blogger Allen Kenney of blatanthomerism.com breaks down the Sooners and how Missouri can beat them.
There's only one word to describe the Oklahoma Sooners' season to this point: weird.
Yes, OU is No. 1 in the latest BCS standings. The Sooners have knocked off an impressive lineup of foes. They look like the frontrunners in the Big 12 South.
When things are going good, OU fans are accustomed to seeing 49-7, 63-10, etc. This year, though, opponents have generally played the Crimson and Cream tough. In four out of six games, the other side has been within a score at the final gun. Take a look at these national rankings:
- Yards per rush: 3.48 (95th)
- Yards per pass: 7.30 (48th)
- Yards allowed per rush: 3.98 (56th)
- Yards allowed per pass: 7.00 (64th)
Overall, the Sooners are actually allowing slightly more yards per play, 5.4, than they're accumulating, 5.3.
In other words, this is a good OU team, but it is not a group of world-beaters. If I were game-planning against the Sooners, here's what I'd do.
Stopping OU's Offense
This year, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is emphasizing rhythm and trying to not put too much pressure on his offensive line. Early on in games, in particular, Wilson is pushing the tempo to prevent opposing defenses from substituting and catch them napping.
In terms of play-calling, the Sooners are far more balanced this season than last, when the OU offensive line really struggled in the running game. When they're not running DeMarco Murray, the Sooners are relying on their screen game and quick-hitting passes to move the ball. Talented pass catchers such as Ryan Broyles are big threats through the air.
One thing opponents have to realize is that OU's offense may not be as explosive as in past seasons, but Landry Jones and Co. don't make many mistakes. OU has turned the ball over just five times in six games. If your defensive strategy hinges on generating takeaways, you might as well start getting ready for the next opponent.
First things first, junior wide receiver Ryan Broyles is Oklahoma's greatest weapon. The only team that has had success in keeping Broyles under wraps was Texas, which used bracket coverage all game on No. 85. That's a must.
Otherwise, aside from blitzes on obvious passing downs, play the Sooners straight up. Stacking the box on early downs may seem tempting, but Wilson sniff that out and check into hot routes all night.
Bottom line: Stop Broyles first and take your chances with the rest.
Coach Pinkel sent this email out to students today. Thought I'd pass it along for those fans who don't receive University emails.
On behalf of our players and coaches I want to thank you for your support. We are looking forward to seeing you at The Zou this Saturday for our Homecoming Game against Oklahoma.
We are honored to be hosting ESPN College Gameday Saturday morning from 8 am – 11am on the Francis Quadrangle and are looking forward to showcasing the University of Missouri on this National stage. After Gameday stay downtown for the annual Homecoming Parade at Noon.
Remember to Wear Gold on Saturday. I can’t emphasize enough, that when we all wear the same color it shows Mizzou is a team. I also want to invite you to come out to Tiger Walk to greet the team when we arrive at the pedestrian bridge on the West side of the stadium at 4:45 pm on Saturday (two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff). A big crowd at Tiger Walk means so much to our team.
Remember – Wear Gold, cheer on our team at Tiger Walk, exhibit good sportsmanship and BE LOUD – BE LOUD – BE LOUD!!
Thanks again for all you do for MIZZOU!
Gary R. Pinkel
Head Football Coachno comments
Let's be honest. When a team goes on the road and destroys what had appeared to be a respectable opponent like Missouri just did, it's hard to find three players with "down," weeks. Maybe the hype of this week has just tinted by black and gold glasses more than usual. Either way, there was no way I could reasonably find three players who's stock is falling after that last game.
So instead of the usual "Three Up, Three Down," segment, behold our first ever edition of, "Three up, three up,"
Blaine Gabbert - JR. - QB
Easily Blaine's best game of the year. It gets old making comparisons to his predecessor but Blaine really reminded me of Chase out there the way he was distributing the ball. Gabbert had some nice deep completions that he had been missing earlier this season. His 361 yards and three touchdowns were both season highs. And oh yeah, he was playing with a bruised hip and ribs.
A "rockin'" atmosphere at Faurot Field was among the topics discussed by players at media day Monday afternoon.
I've been attending Missouri football media days for some media outlet or another for the past four years. I said this on twitter earlier, but I'll say it again. Never have I seen more reporters fill the room at the Mizzou Athletic Training Complex than today. Back in 2007, there were a couple weeks like today, but nothing quite like it. The buzz that refuses to die on campus has apparently spilled into Kansas City and St. Louis.
I don't have quotes on hand, but the players were saying all the right things. They're focused. They're treating Oklahoma like just another game. They say they refuse to be distracted by GameDay and all the hype.
Some observations from media day:
- Without being asked directly about it, Gary Pinkel came right out and said he's never beaten Oklahoma. I like how he was honest and straight up about the issue. No beating around the bush. He took responsibility and followed it up with his usual coachspeak saying he'll be trying his best to change that this week.
- I would describe emerging star Kip Edwards as the most "giddy," of all the players I spoke with. He mentioned several times how excited he is for Saturday and couldn't get the energy out of his voice or the smile off of his face.
- Most players mentioned how "rockin'" they expect The Zou to be on Saturday. Everyone from Blaine Gabbert to Grant Ressel noted how they expect a big crowd and a crazy atmosphere.
- Players gave various responses when asked about ESPN's college GameDay. Tim Barnes said he might stop by to check it out on Friday afternoon. Brad Madison said he always tries to watch the show on Saturday mornings and said Lee Corso better put on the Truman head or he'd be disappointed. Meanwhile, Madison's roommate Aldon Smith said he never watches GameDay and said he prefers cartoons.
- One more note: Pinkel and several players discussed how much they appreciate the "gold rush," in the stands. Fans are encouraged to wear gold to every game but there's always a good number of black-clad Tiger fans. If you're ever going to wear gold to a game, make it this one.
One thing we can provide here at Mizzourah is the perspective of a student. I've had the fortune of being on campus for some pretty "buzz-worthy" games. For example, Nebraska in '07, kU in '07 (granted, that was in KC), and the Oklahoma State game in 2008. It's not even Monday morning and already there is as much or more buzz on campus about the football team than when the Tigers were ranked no. 1 in 2007.
I can't sign into twitter or facebook without being bombarded by Mizzou and/or GameDay related posts. I can't walk through campus without hearing people talk about this weekend's game. The strangest thing in my opinion is how quickly this all happened. A week ago, I would say the general perception of Mizzou football on campus was mildly interested at best. Casual fans didn't think much of the team and most students felt Mizzou was only undefeated because of a soft schedule. Now, a butt-kicking of Texas A&M and one GameDay announcement later people are getting carried away with National Title discussions and Mizzou's chances at a BCS bowl. Not since 2007 have we as fans been glued to the BCS announcement show with such interest. The fact Mizzou was a trending topic on twitter just shows the interest this team has suddenly garnered.
I'm not ready to declare this the best Mizzou team I've ever seen or anything crazy like that. I don't think it is. However, with this type of defense this is a team that can hopefully compete with the big boys better than past Tiger teams. The campus has taken notice. Columbia is buzzing. If you're coming in for homecoming brace yourself for a mind-blowing weekend in Como. I can assure you the student body already has.no comments
Just how good is Blaine Gabbert and this Missouri team?
Usually I try to keep things in perspective on this site. I can't stand irrational fans who jump to conclusions one way or another too quickly. However, for once, I can't help but get carried away. Not since Missouri lost at home to Oklahoma State back in 2008 has their been this much excitement surrounding Missouri football.
The Tigers just completely dominated a pretty solid Texas A&M team on the road yesterday. Nebraska lost. Teams ahead of Mizzou in the polls continue to lose. And oh yeah, Gameday is coming to Columbia for the biggest game this town has seen in years.
Are the stars aligning the way they did for Mizzou magical run of 2007?
After a pretty long lull in recruiting news, things really heated up this week for both football and basketball. As always, I have to credit Gabe and Pete over at Powermizzou.com. They break nearly all Mizzou recruiting news including this stuff. But for those of you not shelling out the big bucks for a Rivals account, here's a brief summary of what's gone down lately.
We'll start off with the bad news. One of Mizzou's most prized recruits of the 2011 class, Anthony Pierson has decommitted. Pierson, a running back who could also play corner at the next level transferred from St. Louis's Gateway Tech (same HS as Sheldon Richardson) to East St. Louis this year where he has been putting up ridiculous numbers. This kid's film has fans drooling. Yes, he was only a Rivals 3-star recruit but many feel he will soon earn a fourth star. Either way this kid is a stud. It's widely speculated that East St. Louis's coach is biased against Mizzou and talked Pierson out of his commitment. Pierson and Sheldon are friends so let's just hope he doesn't talk Big Sheldon into decommitting as well. Pierson says Mizzou is still a possibility for his final commitment, but it's rare for a decommit to recommit. Ok, good news after the jump.