The Buck Stops Here: Missouri

Every Friday at, Buck Suhr takes a look at the upcoming IU football opponent after watching them on tape. Here is what he thought about Missouri.

Buck Suhr knows Indiana football.

Suhr spent 18 seasons on the IU football staff as either an assistant coach or administrator. He was the running backs coach for 12 years under Bill Mallory. Among the running backs he coached was IU All-American Anthony Thompson.

Every Friday before an IU football game this season, Suhr will take a look at the upcoming IU opponent after watching film during the week in our The Buck Stops Here feature.

The first question I had for Buck with regards to Missouri had to do with the Tigers’ two defensive ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray, who have combined for nine sacks in the first three games.

“They’re both really talented which gives them an advantage in most games,’’ Suhr said. “They’re better than most tackles that Indiana will play against particularly in terms of pass rushers. People screen them because they do get up the field quite a bit. They look like they could be susceptible to some trap stuff though we don’t do a lot of that.

“They’re up the field rushers and they’re pretty good at it. They’re better than you’d like them to be. Let me just put it that way.’’

I also asked Buck for his impression of Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk. In the first three games, he has completed 48-of-77 passes for 647 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.

“I think he’s really, really good,’’ Suhr said. “He is really talented. I compare him to the kid at Penn State but probably a little bit more mature than him. He has a really good arm, he makes really good decisions. He buys time with his feet. He’s always looking downfield. I think he’s probably an upgrade from Franklin based on a short amount of data any way. He’s probably the best quarterback that Indiana is going to face this season.

“He has a lot of confidence you can tell that. He really just plays the game. He’s not afraid of just driving it in there.’’

Suhr is was really impressed watching Missouri on film on how well the Tigers take care of the ball and how disruptive they are on the other side of the ball.

“As a team, they’re as good as anybody in the last five years and maybe longer in turnover ratio,’’ Suhr said. “They just take a lot of balls away and they protect the ball really well. They’re better than anybody in the country at that. So that’s kind of where their philosophy is.’’

Suhr said there were two things in particular that he really liked about Missouri after watching the Tigers on film.

Their offensive line is really good,’’ Suhr said. “I mean really good. That’s what I always look at first and that’s a little concerning because I think they’re really good. The other thing is the flexibility of their defense. They can do a lot of different things. They are equally good at playing both man and zone coverage. The play more out of a 4-3 but they can flip into some ‘3’ stuff with the nose guard over center. This is a really, really, good football team that Indiana will play on Saturday.’’

That’s our third installment of The Buck Stops Here at Look for the next one on Friday, Sept. 26 previewing the IU-Maryland game.

Follow Terry Hutchens at Top Stories