Game Week: Tiger Team Preview

A detailed look at the Tigers as they prepare to face off against the Colorado Buffaloes

On Saturday night (6:00 P.M., FSN), the #22/#24 Missouri Tigers (4-0) play host to the Colorado Buffaloes (3-1) in the conference opener for both teams. Missouri enters this game off of a bye week, after completing their out-of-conference schedule undefeated for the fifth straight season. Coach Pinkel's Tigers have had extra time to heal up, and to prepare for the Buffs.

In this, the final season of division play in the current Big 12, Missouri faces a much-improved division foe in Colorado, in a game that is a must win for Missouri, if the Tigers are going to make a serious run at their first Big 12 Championship. Earlier this week, Coach Pinkel talked about entering conference play against Colorado.

"We're excited about getting into conference play," began Coach Pinkel. "Now, it's eight weeks, with the desire to try to play our very, very best eight weeks in a row. Playing in the Big 12 Conference, as you all know, is every single week, you're going to play a great football team. And, we start with Colorado, who's playing very, very well.............. Our challenge is to work hard, and try to play our best football game."

Missouri's 431.5 yards of total offense/game ranks 32nd in the NCAA, and the Tigers' 37.75 points/game ranks 17th in the country. On defense, Missouri ranks 35th in the NCAA in total defense, surrendering 320.5 yards/game, but are 10th in the country in scoring defense, yielding just 14 points/game. The Tigers are 7th nationally in pass efficiency defense, and 7th in turnover margin. This week, the Missouri defense is without its best player, in Aldon Smith, and are also missing starting safety Jasper Simmons, and back-up defensive tackle, Jimmy Burge.

Missouri's defensive line has performed well throughout the Tigers' non-conference slate, disrupting opposing offenses, as well as getting pressure on the QB, and doing a pretty good job of keeping containment on the edges. Missouri needs outstanding play from Dominique Hamilton, Terrell Resonno, Jacquies Smith, Brad Madison, and Michael Sam to overcome the absence of their leading play maker up front.

Missouri's linebackers are led by senior Andrew Gachkar, who thus far is having a career year, and big-hitting junior Will Ebner, who adds another dimension with his physical play. Sophomore Zaviar Gooden, aka. "the bullet" is currently tied with Gachkar for the team lead in tackles. The Tigers have gotten a big lift from the somewhat unexpected early contribution from RSF Andrew Wilson, who's just been outstanding early on in his Missouri career. The Tigers will "probably" get another lift this week, with the return to action of senior Luke Lambert.

The Missouri linebackers face a big challenge this week, in trying to contain and slow down Colorado's dual-threat QB, Tyler Hansen, and their dynamic TB, Rodney Stewart. Missouri will have to be especially alert for draw plays, either QB draws or scrambles, or delayed hand-offs to Stewart or one of the other CU backs. An especially dangerous aspect of the Buffaloes' offensive attack, for which Missouri's LBs and DBs will have to be on the lookout for, are the swing passes out in the flat, and the screen passes, to Stewart. With his speed and quickness, those plays represent potential game breakers, so Missouri will need to pay special attention to Stewart's whereabouts.

Even in the absence of their senior starting safety, Jasper Simmons, Missouri is playing with the best secondary of Coach Pinkel's tenure. Senior corners Carl Gettis and Kevin Rutland are playing great, and junior safety Kenji Jackson has been playing outstanding. And, he's lighting people up! The entire Missouri secondary is playing at a very high level, covering and tackling well, and creating turnovers. This is an area where the Tigers may have an edge, matching up against the CU receivers. Look for the Missouri secondary to have a big impact on Saturday's game.

"It's going to be a challenge this week," answered Coach Pinkel, when asked about Missouri's improved defensive play. "But, I'm pleased that we're playing better, that we're more aggressive, and more physical."

Blaine Gabbert and the Missouri offense haven't played up to most Missouri fans' expectations, yet the Tigers are ranked 17th nationally at 37.75 points/game. T.J. Moe leads the country with 9.25 receptions/game, and Michael Egnew's 8.25 receptions/game ranks 5th in the NCAA. Coach Pinkel talked about the Tigers' passing game.

"Our passing game, at times, gets out of sync," said Coach Pinkel. "Whether it's a protection breakdown a little bit, or just the inability to play catch. Where you got a player open, and you might miss the throw, or you got a player open, and he drops the football. Our offense, you've got to be able to play catch................... But, I think (Blaine's) doing well. And, I think that as we mature, with our receivers, that we expect a lot of great things with him."

Coach Pinkel has indicated in recent interviews that he wants his team to run the ball better, and that they're going to continue to try to get the ball down the field more in the passing game. Coach Pinkel talked about his offensive line, and the Tigers' running game.

"The whole thing is about consistency (along the offensive line)," said Coach Pinkel. "I think that's where it certainly all starts. Not only for us in running the football, and getting hats on hats, and sustaining blocks, but certainly in protection, which is a big part of what we do. Our offensive linemen have to be very athletic, because we ask so much of them................. Certainly, our running game isn't where we want it to be, but we're working to improve."

In his closing statements this week, Coach Pinkel talked about the importance for the Tigers of winning the turnover margin, and of reducing the number of big plays by their opponents. He talked about the importance for the Missouri defense of stopping the run, and of getting off field on third down. He emphasized the importance of consistency, of "playing catch", and of being able to run the ball, and of converting third downs.

Coach Pinkel also emphasized the importance of the role that the fans can play at home, and talked about how much that can help his team's performance.

Missouri Overall Team Statistics

All games

Team Statistics MU OPP

SCORING 151 56

Points Per Game 37.8 14.0

FIRST DOWNS 94 70

Rushing 32 25

Passing 57 35

Penalty 5 10

RUSHING YARDAGE 616 585

Yards gained rushing 699 680

Yards lost rushing 83 95

Rushing Attempts 124 141

Average Per Rush 5.0 4.1

Average Per Game 154.0 146.2

TDs Rushing 12 3

PASSING YARDAGE 1110 697

Comp-Att-Int 111-161-3 75-132-8 Average Per Pass 6.9 5.3 Average Per Catch 10.0 9.3 Average Per Game 277.5 174.2 TDs Passing 5 3

TOTAL OFFENSE 1726 1282 Total Plays 285 273 Average Per Play 6.1 4.7 Average Per Game 431.5 320.5

KICK RETURNS: #-Yards 11-193 26-544

PUNT RETURNS: #-Yards 11-88 8-28

INT RETURNS: #-Yards 8-153 3-23

KICK RETURN AVERAGE 17.5 20.9

PUNT RETURN AVERAGE 8.0 3.5

INT RETURN AVERAGE 19.1 7.7

FUMBLES-LOST 7-4 10-5

PENALTIES-Yards 26-286 29-238

Average Per Game 71.5 59.5

PUNTS-Yards 17-730 21-872

Average Per Punt 42.9 41.5

Net punt average 40.1 36.4

TIME OF POSSESSION/Game 28:05 31:55

3RD-DOWN Conversions 21/53 25/61

3rd-Down Pct 40% 41%

4TH-DOWN Conversions 1/2 1/5

4th-Down Pct 50% 20%

SACKS BY-Yards 9-49 4-28

MISC YARDS 0 0

TOUCHDOWNS SCORED 18 6

FIELD GOALS-ATTEMPTS 8-9 5-7,

ON-SIDE KICKS 0-0 0-0

RED-ZONE SCORES (19-22) 86% (7-10) 70%

RED-ZONE TOUCHDOWNS (12-22) 55% (4-10) 40%

PAT-ATTEMPTS (17-18) 94% (5-6) 83%

Score by Quarters 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Total

Missouri 45 36 50 20 0 151

Opponents 10 20 3 23 0 56

Missouri Overall Individual Statistics All games

Rushing gp-gs att gain loss net avg td lg avg/g Josey, Henry 4 - 0 26 224 12 212 8.2 4 62 53.0 Moore, De'Vion 4 - 2 31 187 4 183 5.9 3 27 45.8 Lawrence, Kendial 3 - 1 16 115 3 112 7.0 1 39 37.3 Murphy, Marcus 3 - 0 13 85 4 81 6.2 1 30 27.0 Franklin, James 2 - 0 8 37 0 37 4.6 1 10 18.5 Moe, T.J. 4 - 4 1 7 0 7 7.0 0 7 1.8 Culver, Jared 4 - 0 1 2 0 2 2.0 0 2 0.5 Davis, Matt 2 - 0 1 0 3 -3 -3.0 0 0 -1.5 TEAM 3 - 0 4 0 5 -5 -1.2 0 0 -1.7 Gabbert, Blaine 4 - 4 23 42 52 -10 -0.4 2 11 -2.5 Total 4 124 699 83 616 5.0 12 62 154.0 Opponents 4 141 680 95 585 4.1 3 93 146.2

Passing gp-gs effic comp-att-int pct yds td lg avg/g Gabbert, Blaine 4 - 4 132.96 103-151-3 68.2 1039 5 68 259.8 Franklin, James 2 - 0 139.64 8-10-0 80.0 71 0 27 35.5 Total 4 133.38 111-161-3 68.9 1110 5 68 277.5 Opponents 4 96.55 75-132-8 56.8 697 3 45 174.2

Receiving gp-gs no. yds avg td lg avg/g Moe, T.J. 4 - 4 37 394 10.6 2 68 98.5 Egnew, Michael 4 - 4 33 298 9.0 1 29 74.5 Jackson, Jerrell 3 - 3 11 140 12.7 1 24 46.7 Kemp, Wes 4 - 4 9 104 11.6 1 33 26.0 Washington, L'Damian 4 - 1 5 35 7.0 0 11 8.8 McGaffie, Gahn 4 - 0 5 31 6.2 0 19 7.8 Gerau, Brandon 4 - 0 3 67 22.3 0 28 16.8 Woodland, Rolandis 4 - 0 2 14 7.0 0 9 3.5 Lawrence, Kendial 3 - 1 2 1 0.5 0 3 0.3 Josey, Henry 4 - 0 1 8 8.0 0 8 2.0 Jones, Andrew 4 - 0 1 7 7.0 0 7 1.8 Lucas, Marcus 3 - 0 1 6 6.0 0 6 2.0 Murphy, Marcus 3 - 0 1 5 5.0 0 5 1.7 Total 4 111 1110 10.0 5 68 277.5 Opponents 4 75 697 9.3 3 45 174.2

Punt Returns no. yds avg td lg Gettis, Carl 9 76 8.4 0 31 Edwards, Kip 1 4 4.0 0 4 Sam, Michael 1 8 8.0 0 0 Total 11 88 8.0 0 31 Opponents 8 28 3.5 0 13

Interceptions no. yds avg td lg Jackson, Kenji 2 48 24.0 0 32 Rutland, Kevin 2 39 19.5 0 24 Gettis, Carl 1 2 2.0 0 2 Gachkar, Andrew 1 2 2.0 0 2 Sam, Michael 1 62 62.0 0 62 Simmons, Jasper 1 0 0.0 0 0 Total 8 153 19.1 0 62 Opponents 3 23 7.7 0 23

Kick Returns no. yds avg td lg Murphy, Marcus 5 83 16.6 0 24 Simmons, Jasper 3 60 20.0 0 22 McGaffie, Gahn 2 39 19.5 0 24 Gettis, Carl 1 11 11.0 0 11 Total 11 193 17.5 0 24 Opponents 26 544 20.9 0 35

Fumble Returns no. yds avg td lg Gettis, Carl 1 19 19.0 1 19 Total 1 19 19.0 1 19 Opponents 0 0 0.0 0 0

Missouri Overall Individual Statistics All games

PAT Scoring td fg kick rush rcv pass dxp saf pts Ressel, Grant - 8-9 17-18 - - - - - 41 Josey, Henry 4 - - - - - - - 24 Moore, De'Vion 3 - - - - - - - 18 Moe, T.J. 2 - - - - - - - 12 Gabbert, Blaine 2 - - - - - - - 12 Franklin, James 1 - - - - - - - 6 Murphy, Marcus 1 - - - - - - - 6 Jackson, Jerrell 1 - - - - - - - 6 Lawrence, Kendial 1 - - - - - - - 6 Egnew, Michael 1 - - - - - - - 6 Kemp, Wes 1 - - - - - - - 6 Gettis, Carl 1 - - - - - - - 6 Sam, Michael - - - - - - - 1 2 Total 18 8-9 17-18 - - - - 1 151 Opponents 6 5-7 5-6 - - - - - 56

Total Offense g plays rush pass total avg/g Gabbert, Blaine 4 174 -10 1039 1029 257.2 Josey, Henry 4 26 212 0 212 53.0 Moore, De'Vion 4 31 183 0 183 45.8 Lawrence, Kendial 3 16 112 0 112 37.3 Franklin, James 2 18 37 71 108 54.0 Murphy, Marcus 3 13 81 0 81 27.0 Moe, T.J. 4 1 7 0 7 1.8 Culver, Jared 4 1 2 0 2 0.5 Davis, Matt 2 1 -3 0 -3 -1.5 TEAM 3 4 -5 0 -5 -1.7 Total 4 285 616 1110 1726 431.5 Opponents 4 273 585 697 1282 320.5

Field Goals fg pct. 01-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 lg blk Ressel, Grant 8-9 88.9 0-0 2-2 5-6 0-0 1-1 50 0 FG Sequence Missouri Opponents Illinois 37,(33),(27),(34) (21),(52) McNeese State (27),(32) 42 San Diego State (34),(38) (25) MIAMI (50) (23),46,(40) Numbers in (parentheses) indicate field goal was made.

Punting no. yds avg lg tb fc i20 50+ blk Grabner, Matt 16 689 43.1 58 1 3 7 2 0 Barrow, Trey 1 41 41.0 41 0 1 1 0 0 Total 17 730 42.9 58 1 4 8 2 0 Opponents 21 872 41.5 67 1 5 4 5 1

Kickoffs no. yds avg tb ob retn net ydln Barrow, Trey 30 2000 66.7 3 1 Total 30 2000 66.7 3 1 20.9 46.5 23 Opponents 15 961 64.1 4 0 17.5 45.9 24

Missouri Overall Defensive Statistics All games

Tackles Sacks Pass defense Fumbles blkd ## Defensive Leaders gp-gs ua a tot tfl/yds no-yds int-yds brup qbh rcv-yds ff kick saf 25 Gooden, Zaviar 4-4 12 12 24 1.0-3 . . . . 2-0 . . . 13 Jackson, Kenji 4-4 19 5 24 2.5-5 . 2-48 1 . . 1 . . 6 Gachkar, Andrew 4-4 17 7 24 3.0-7 . 1-2 3 . 1-0 2 . . 1H Harrison, Jarrell 4-3 15 7 22 . . . 1 . . . . . 48 Wilson, Andrew 4-1 8 9 17 0.5-6 0.5-6 . . . . . . . 8S Smith, Aldon 3-3 8 7 15 4.0-18 3.0-15 . . 1 . . . . 90 Hamilton, Dominique 4-4 7 7 14 . . . . . . . . . 32 Ebner, Will 2-2 5 8 13 . . . . . . 1 . . 19 Gettis, Carl 4-4 12 1 13 1.0-1 . 1-2 2 . 1-19 . . . 20 Rutland, Kevin 4-4 9 3 12 . . 2-39 2 . . . . . 1E Edwards, Kip 4-0 7 2 9 3.0-5 . . 2 . . . . . 57 Madison, Brad 4-1 8 1 9 4.0-17 1.0-6 . 1 . 1-0 1 . . 31 Gaines, E.J. 4-0 6 2 8 . . . . . . . . . 33 Lambert, Luke 2-1 4 4 8 0.5-2 . . . 1 . . . . 3S Smith, Jacquies 4-4 6 2 8 2.5-7 1.5-6 . 1 . . . . . 93 Resonno, Terrell 4-4 . 7 7 0.5-0 . . . . . . . . 5S Sam, Michael 4-0 2 5 7 1.5-6 1.0-6 1-62 . 1 . 1 1 1 5T Tatum, Josh 2-0 4 3 7 2.0-2 1.0-1 . . . . . . . 3G Gettys, Jeff 4-0 2 5 7 0.5-1 . . . . . . . . 17 White, Matt 4-0 3 4 7 . . . 1 . . . . . 10 Bolden, Tavon 4-0 3 3 6 . . . . . . . . . 14 Clark, Jaleel 4-0 2 3 5 . . . . . . . . . 9S Simmons, Jasper 1-1 2 3 5 0.5-1 . 1-0 . . . . . . 38 Culver, Jared 4-0 2 2 4 . . . . . . . . . 18 Malbrough, Marcus 4-0 . 4 4 . . . . . . . . . 91 Burge, Jimmy 4-0 1 2 3 . . . 1 . . . . . 2S Steeples, Robert 4-0 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . . 2H Hobson, Trey 4-0 3 . 3 . . . . . . . . . 35 Davis, Matt 2-0 . 2 2 . . . . . . . . . 55 Burnett, Brayden 4-0 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . 58 Donaldson, Brendan 2-0 2 . 2 1.0-9 1.0-9 . . . . . . . 86 Brinkley, Beau 2-0 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . 3 McGaffie, Gahn 4-0 . 1 1 . . . . . . . . . 97 Barrow, Trey 4-0 . 1 1 . . . . . . . . . 11 Gabbert, Blaine 4-4 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Total 4 174 124 298 28-90 9-49 8-153 15 3 5-19 6 1 1 Opponents 4 153 150 303 23-69 4-28 3-23 10 3 4-0 3 . .


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