The MISSOURI Offense vs the BAYLOR Defense

From tackle to tight end, the Missouri offensive line touts four seniors and two sophomores, but even so, not quite the offensive line talent the Baylor defense has had to deal with the past four games. Kirk Farmer is the starting quarterback, and the Tigers are 2-4 in games he has started. The Tigers are, however, without their leading ground gainer, TB Zack Abron, who sprained his ankle last week on his way to what should have been his fourth consecutive 100 yard rushing performance.

Missouri's top receiver is a junior, 6-5, 210-pound Justin Gage, who was ranked number 17 in the nation after seven games. So far he has 52 catches for 603 yards, an average of 11.6 yards per catch. He has caught 3 touchdown passes, his longest was for 43 yards. He is averaging 75.4 yards per game. The second leading receiver for the Tigers, is senior TE Dwayne Blakley, who has 27 catches for 280 yards, which is 10.4 yards per catch. Blakely has caught 4 touchdown passes, his longest 28 yards, and averages 35 yards receiving per game. The third leading receiver is true freshman Thomson Omboga who has played in one less game (7), and has 12 catches for 126 yards, a 105 yard average. Omboga has caught one pass for a touchdown, a 27-yarder, and has averaged 18 yards per game. The only other player who has 100 yards or more receiving on the season is back-up Z-Wideout, Tay Jackson, with 100 yards exactly in only five games. Those 100 yards were from 9 catches, an 11.1 yards average per catch. His longest catch was for 36 yards, but he has yet to catch a touchdown pass.

Kirk Farmer gets the majority of the snaps at center. Farmer blends running skills with passing abilities. So far on the season, he has completed 96 of 202 passes (47.5%) and 4 interceptions. Farmers longest pass has been for 37-yards. He has 1,060 yards passing on the season, that is 151.4 yards per game. His backup, Darius Outlaw, has completed 34 of 72 passes with two interceptions, and two touchdowns. His yardage total is 281 yards per game, his longest was 43 yards, and he is averaging 40.1 yards per game passing.

Missouri's top running back, sophomore Zack Abron injured an ankle last week against Colorado. It was midway into the second quarter, and Abron had 12 carries for 69 yards, well on to his way to his fourth consecutive 100 yard game, had he not sprained his ankle. Abron would have been only the second player in school history to have four successive 100-yard rushing games had he been able to stay healthy and pull it off. With that being said, the Bears' defense will focus on backup tailback, senior Zain Gilmore. Gilmore was the Tiger's leading rusher against the Bears last season. This season, through 8 games, Gilmore has 67 carries for 253 yards, an average of 3.8 yards per carry. His longest run from scrimmage has been 15 yards, and he is averaging 31.6 yards per contest. His backups will be Tyrone Roberson, a freshman, and junior Tim Starks. Roberson has no stats on the year, so either the Tigers' are burning his shirt, or he just hasn't carried the ball so far this season. In only one game appearance this season, Tim Starks rushed three times gaining 17 yards, a whopping 5.7 yard average. His longest run was for 12 yards and he had no touchdowns.

In order for the Baylor defense to beat the Tigers, they will need to contain Farmer, deal with the threat of one primary receiver and the tight end in the passing game, and corral the running backs. The Missouri offense has fumbled the ball 9 times, losing 5 of those. They have only given up 6 sacks for 43 yards. They have also surrendered 28 touchdowns, 16 on the ground and 12 through the air.

Click here for the Head to Head

Bears Illustrated Top Stories