The Missouri Tigers are 7-1 on the season and 3-1 in conference play. They have been the surprise team in the conference this season and are in first place in the north division and have a rising star in sophomore quarterback Chase Daniel.
Through eight games this season Daniel(10) has a quarterback rating of 152.1. He has completed 66.8% of his passes for 2003 yards, 19 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He averages 250.4 yards passing per game placing him third in the conference.
Running back Tony Temple(22) gives the Tigers a solid ground attack as well. He is third in the conference in total yards and yards per game. Temple averages 82.8 yards rushing per game with a total of 662 yards on the season. Not outstanding numbers but good enough to keep a defense honest.
The receivers are what will be the toughest match-up for the Sooners. The Tigers are loaded with talent at that position and they will test Oklahoma's defense that has come on to become the top unit in the conference. William Franklin(3) and tight end Chase Coffman(45) both have over thirty catches each (38 and 35 respectively) but Franklin has been by far the most effective. He averages 86.2 yards receiving per game and has caught six touchdown passes. Coffman on the other hand is more of a possession guy. He is clutch when it comes to making the "big catch". Coffman averages 44.1 yards receiving per game and has five touchdowns. Tight endMartin Rucker(82), Brad Ekwerekwu(86) and Jared Perry(8) add extra depth to the Tigers receiving corps.
To defend the Tigers Oklahoma will have to get to the quarterback. They will have to pressure him, knock him down, sack him and force him to make quick passes while running for his life. The secondary will also have to play their assignments. I don't think the Sooners are going to stop the Tigers but they will have to slow them down significantly to have a chance to win.
Turning to the defense the biggest news for the Tigers is the loss DE Brian Smith who led the team with 7.5 sacks. Smith's loss will hurt the Tigers pass rush but the defensive unit is still pretty solid. Linebacker Marcus Bacon(15) leads the team in tackles with 50 solo but fellow linebacker Dedrick Harrington(33) is just behind him with 43 solo tackles.
Marcus Bacon, Brandon Massey(19) and Del Howard(17) are tied for the team lead in interceptions with two each. We'll get more into the Sooners offensive approach later on in the week but OU will have to attack the Tigers defense with a solid rushing attack to set up the pass.
Where's the weakness?
The Tigers are a very solid team, that is why they are 7-1, but Oklahoma will have to find a weakness to attack. I think that will be found in Missouri's rush defense. If the linebackers are the Tigers leading tacklers then there is a chance that they will be getting to the ball three to four yards down the field. That is all Oklahoma needs get the ground and pound offense going that we saw against Colorado Saturday night. Success there will keep the Tiger offense off the field.