at Folsom • Nov. 5 • 1:30 p.m. (MT) • ABC
Head Coach: Gary Pinkel (5th year)
2005 Record: 5-3, 3-2
It's no secret Missouri's offense revolves around the considerable talent of senior quarterback Brad Smith. With just five rushing yards Saturday, he will break the NCAA rushing record for quarterbacks (he's at 3,891). He's already become the only player in NCAA Division I history to pass for 8,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards.
Missouri runs mostly out of the shotgun formation, and when Smith is getting others involved, that usually means he's handing off to tailbacks Marcus Woods (a 5-8, 185 pound sophomore) or Tony Temple (a bigger back at 5-9, 200), or throwing to a bevy of big receivers.
Missouri usually doesn't use a huddle on offense, and they average nearly 83 plays a game, far and away more than any other team in the Big 12.
Player to Watch: Coffey injured a shoulder in the team's opener against Arizona State, but has been on a tear since returning to the lineup vs. Texas Oct. 1. The senior is averaging 65 yards receiving per game.
Key for Colorado
The Buffs are 1-1 against two high-caliber dual-threat quarterbacks this season, beating Reggie McNeal's Texas A&M team, and losing to Vince Young and the Texas Longhorns. Colorado went after McNeal, but turned conservative against Young, who picked them apart through the air. The Buffs need to be aggressive against Smith and the Tigers offense, while playing disciplined at the same time. That means pass rushers staying in their lanes, and defensive backs staying with their assignments when Smith starts to scramble.
The Tigers run a basic 4-3 front, and like to be aggressive rushing the passer. MU's 22 sacks is third in the conference. Like Colorado, the Tigers aren't that big across the front, but try to rely on quickness. End Brian Smith, 225 pounds, is good off the edge and has collected 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Despite some solid individual efforts, the Tigers have given up some big numbers on defense. Only Oklahoma State has given up more rushing yards and more yards per catch (7.0) from the Big 12.
Player to Watch: At 6-0, 210 pounds, Overstreet has been a playmaker this fall. The former quarterback, who switched to safety his redshirt-freshman season, has five takeaways and six passes broken up.
Key for Colorado
The Buffs have been good protecting quarterback Joel Klatt from heavy pressure this season, and Klatt's played a big role in that as well, getting rid of the ball in a timely fashion. CU has the opportunity to take advantage of MU's aggressiveness with some good playcalling. It may also be the week to get a stalled running game back in gear.
Marcus Woods has had some big punt returns and is averaging a whopping 26.9 yards on seven returns. However, MU has given up some yardage on punts, averaging just 31.9 net punting yards. Colorado's John Torp's ability to dictate field position gives CU a big advantage here.
PASSING: Brad Smith 167-274-1,542, 6 INT, 8 TD
RUSHING: Brad Smith, 156-906/5.8, 9 TD
RECEIVING: Franklin Williams, 33-314, 1 TD
KOR: Tony Temple, 11-262/23.8
PR: Marcus Woods, 7-188/26.9, 1 TD
PUNTING: Adam Crossett, 31/43.0
TACKLES: David Overstreet, 69
TFL: Brian Smith, 15-57
SACKS: Brian Smith, 8-45
INT: David Overstreet, 2
Prediction: Colorado 37, Missouri 30