posted on November 10, 2012 10:33
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- On Friday, we took a look at how Missouri matches up with Tennessee across the board. Today, we're looking at the three biggest keys for Missouri to come home from Knoxville with its second conference win.
1. Force Tennesse to throw.
This may sound silly because the Volunteers' boast a potent passing attack. However, the more times Tyler Bray drops back, the more chances there are for a mistake. If Tennessee's ground game gets going, Missouri's defense may tire faster, especially when the Tigers' offense is still an unknown commodity. The defense needs to shut down the ground game -- including wide receiver runs -- and force Bray to throw for most of the game.
2. Assignments, not stats.
Missouri's defensive line has been good this year, but Tennessee has surrendered just four sacks all year. That trend likely won't change on Saturday. Instead, Missouri's defensive line needs to focus on containing its gaps, and forcing Bray to throw on the run when it can.
3. Balance on offense.
Missouri's offense showed promise against Florida, but winning the time-of-possession battle is even more important against Tennessee. The Volunteers can score plenty, and Missouri will have trouble keeping up with them if this turns into a shootout. David Yost needs to stick with the ground game, and only use his "super fastball" tempo in certain situations -- not all game. Win T.O.P., and this game could be a victory for the Tigers.