The Missouri Tigers are scoring at a pace of 34.5 points per game behind the arm of quarterback Blaine Gabbart who ranks 6th in the conference in passing yards. However, an in-depth look into the Tiger offense might reveal something that they would rather not mention, the fact that they're a one dimensional offense.
WR 23 Rec/231 yards/3 TDs TE 49 Rec/437 yards/3 TDs LT LG C RG Austin Wuebbles RT WR 18 Rec/246 yards/2 Tds WR TJ Moe 50 Rec/589 yards/3 TDs QB 151/227 - 1,591 yrds/10 TDs/3Ints RB De'Vion Moore 40 carries/200 yards/3 Tds
23 Rec/231 yards/3 TDs
49 Rec/437 yards/3 TDs
18 Rec/246 yards/2 Tds
50 Rec/589 yards/3 TDs
151/227 - 1,591 yrds/10 TDs/3Ints
40 carries/200 yards/3 Tds
Missouri's passing stats aren't great, especially when you consider their competition this season, but they're a lot better than the rushing stats. The Tigers are middle of the pack in the Big 12 in passing yards this season (1,697) just behind Oklahoma and right in front of Texas. The struggle for their offense is a rushing attack that ranks 11th in the conference.
Gabbert to Moe/Egnew has been a good combination this season for the Tigers but it won't be enough to get past the Sooners unless Missouri can produce a ground threat as well. I don't think that their lack of a rushing attack is necessarily due to inability but more so unwillingness. De'Vion Moore is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and freshman Henry Josey is averaging an eye popping 7.1 yards per carry. So then, why don't the Tigers run more? Because there offensive philosophy doesn't allow for it. They're more of a spread you out and throw underneath team and have been since the arrival of Gary Pinkel. Its an offense that has brought success to Columbia but essentially leaves you as a one dimensional team with the only threat being the passing attack.
A one dimensional offense is what Brent Venables thrives most against as well. They'll leave the linebackers in charge of cleaning up the running backs, the ends to put pressure in the backfield and the defensive backs to cover deep and the outs. Not sure if we'll see man or zone mostly but I bet we'll see a little bit of both.
The most important thing for the Oklahoma's defense is that the secondary consistently remove Gabbart's first and second option, leaving him to wait on the third read in his progression and allowing time for a blitzing linebacker or DB to get into the backfield or the pressure to get there off the edge. Its a game plan that requires assignment football played at its best but its also a game plan that would surely bring success to Oklahoma if done right.