First Look: The Missouri Tigers

Last season's 36-27 loss to the Missouri Tigers snapped a seven game winning streak for the Sooners in the series and marked the first time Oklahoma had lost to the Tigers since 1998. The Sooners have played the Tigers 95 times since 1902 and despite starting off the series with a 1-4 record in the first five meetings, Oklahoma has built a 66-24-5 record against Missouri. 

The Tigers knocked off the #1 ranked Sooners last season and now has the opportunity to do it once again. Its a bit of a tall task though as Oklahoma seems to have taken a step forward from last season in the growing up process and Missouri is coming into an environment where they haven't won since 1966. 

At 14.3 points per game, Missouri currently ranks fifth in the conference in scoring defense. Led by linebacker Andrew Wilson's 21 tackles the Tigers are fourth in the conference in rush defense, allowing opponents an average of just 2.1 yards per carry and just 68 yards per game. Of the first three opponents, Arizona State was the only one to be able to crack the century mark on the Tiger defense. The Sun Devils ran for 104 yards on 31 carries. 

Junior defensive end Brad Madison leads the defense with 3 sacks. The Tigers have given up four touchdowns through the air while nabbing just two interceptions. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 63.2% of their passes against the Missouri defense which is the second highest opponent completion percentage in the conference next with only the Kansas Jayhawks being worse at 76.5%. Missouri is sixth in the Big 12 in passing yards allowed per game with an average of 200.7 yards.

On the offensive side of the ball, James Franklin steps in as the new signal caller. He's completing 65.6% of his passes for an average of 231.3 yards per game. His touchdown to interception ratio is 6/1. His primary target has been T.J. Moe who has 16 receptions for 172 yards. He's averaging 10.8 yards per reception and has one receiving touchdown this season.

One of my criticisms of Missouri over the years is that they don't run the ball enough. Of course they'd just remind me of last year's score and tell me that they're doing just fine. The big mystery here though is that Franklin leads the team in carries with 47 but only averages a meager 2.6 yards per carry. On the other hand running back Henry Josey is averaging 133.3 yards per game and 13.8 yards per carry while accumulating nearly 20 less carries than Franklin. Does that seem backwards to anyone else?  

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