Missouri staying vanilla for now

Missouri fans are wringing their hands. Yes, the defense and special teams are clearly improved. But what has happened to that explosive offense from 2002? Yes, what indeed...?

In this observers opinion, Gary Pinkel is lulling the Big 12 to sleep with his offense. At times this season, I'll have to admit, it has almost worked on me as well.

However, what offensive gameplan has Missouri given the rest of the conference to prepare for? Let's see:

1. Zack Abron running powerfully...check!

2. Brad Smith running draws...check!

3. Brad Smith throwing eight yard passes...check!

So far, not much to keep defensive coordinators up at night from a strategy standpoint. And there will likely be even less shown by Missouri this Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee State.

An observant 6th grader could have mapped out that those are the basics of Missouri's attack.

We're talking an offense that makes vanilla taste like rasberry sherbet!

And what of Damien Nash? Has it bothered any of you that he has received so few reps so far this season? Here is the perfect weapon to make Pinkel's offense hum and he has been pacing the sidelines waiting for his turn.

If you had Damien on your team, wouldn't you be finding ways to get the ball in his hands? Yeah, I would too.

My fellow Missouri fans, there can be no other explanation to Pinkel's melba toast, ball control offense other than Missouri wants to ensure that game films delivered to Lincoln, Nebraska are nothing but garbage.

Can you imagine Franch Solich's face the first time Brad Smith actually pump fakes another short pass to the flat and launches a bomb to a streaking Thompson Omboga who is 25 yards down the field?

It appears obvious that Missouri has taken the non-conference portion of the schedule as an opportunity to work on the basics: blocking, power running, short controlled passing...the bread and butter.

However, with the exception of the swinging gate, or "pole cat" run in the Illinois game, Missouri has been obviously avoiding any creativity in its approach.

Pinkel's plan is clear: work on winning with a basic offense, develop discipline, and show absolutely nothing in the process.

The first test will come at Lawrence in two weeks. Can Missouri stay vanilla and pull out a win in a stadium where many bad things have happened to favored Missouri teams of the past? Probably so.

My prediction is that there are some cool things planned for Nebraska. However, Pinkel knows that tricks and gimmicks aren't going to get you wins against the top teams in the league.

By that time, his team will know the basics like the back of their hands.

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