From The Coordinator: Tim Beckman

For all of you stat maniacs this is your week. Here are a few numbers. The University of Missouri is first in the Big 12 in scoring offense averaging 53.4 points per game. They are second in total offense averaging 568.8 yard per game and second in passing offense averaging 375.6 yards per game.

Plus, Chase Daniel is tied for third in the Big 12 in passing and is fourth in passing efficiency. Mizzou wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is tops in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards with 186.8 yards per game. Those are all good, but here's the one that cuts right to the heart of a defensive coordinator. In 48 offensive possessions for the number one offense for Missouri they have not been forced to punt after a three-and-out so far this season.

"That's pretty darn good. That's a good stat for them," said OSU defensive coordinator Tim Beckman. "They do an outstanding job and the reason they are rated number two in the country is because they do a good job of moving the football."

In those 48 possessions the Tigers have scored 33 times, 28 of those touchdowns. They have punted five times, but never a three and out. There have been four lost fumbles, three times they have lost it on downs, two missed field goals, and one interception.

Where does an offense this potent come from? Beckman said he knows.

"Sure, Bowling Green, Ohio," answered Beckman. "Missouri used to spend time with Greg Studrawa, who is now the offensive line coach at LSU. I think there are a lot of similarities to what they did at Bowling Green. I think they have made some changes but in the beginning there were a lot of similarities to what they were doing at Bowling Green.

"I know Coach (Dave) Christensen does a great job as an offensive coordinator and when Brad Smith (former MU quarterback) was up there came by Bowling Green once during a spring break and was there to talk about the offense that we were running at that time."

That is the base but there is talk among Missouri insiders that once Daniel came on board and Brad Smith graduated that the Tigers went back to high school, Southlake Carroll, Daniel's alma mater for some additional material.

"Could have been. There are a lot of different things that they are doing and they pulled them from a lot of different people," said Beckman. "That is why they are being so productive offensively."

Here are some more numbers, the Cowboys defense is sixth in the Big 12 in scoring defense (right behind Missouri's 20 points per game) at 23 points per contest. The OSU defense is fifth in total defense, significantly ahead of Missouri and allowing 338.6 yards per game. The Cowboys are actually fourth in pass defense at 196.4 yards per game, and Missouri is last.

However, Missouri doesn't have to stop Missouri, Oklahoma State has to stop Missouri. How do the Cowboys do that?

"You have to do what you do, and what we do well," said Beckman. "The Cowboys are concerned about what the Cowboys do. Defensively, we have to do what we do well. We have to do it exceptionally well and with outstanding effort.

"It goes back to tackling, getting off blocks and making plays in space. That is what the game of football has become and that is what we have to do on Saturday. They can't have the big plays. Give credit to what they do offensively, but we have to control what we do."

I can feel the eyes rolling now. All those armchair quarterbacks or safeties that worry that OSU doesn't have enough sacks and that the Cowboys don't play their cornerbacks up in press coverage to jam receivers and disrupt routes. I got news for you from watching film, not all of this Mizzou offense is timing. I saw some option routes being run and Daniel is doing some passing by sight.

Welcome to defensive football in the new milleneum, releases are so quick that sacks are rare. Points and yards are more plentiful than ever before. Offenses are ahead of defenses, at least in the Big 12. There is a tried and true method of stopping full throttle spread offenses. It's a little like killing a snake, you have to get the head.

"The game is still about affecting the quarterback, and Missouri has a great one," added Beckman. "Each week our number one goal is to affect the quarterback some how, some way. With Chase Daniel you have to affect him also."

Do you ever! Daniel is a cool customer and he has enough confidence for the entire state of Missouri. After last week with five turnovers and two defensive touchdowns the Cowboys have a little confidence too.

"This is what you play and coach college football for," said Beckman. "Our kids will be ready to play. This is what being 17th-rated in the country means, getting ready to play number two in the country. The kids will be ready to play and we will give them the best game plan we possibly can. We'll go out and we'll perform it."

It's really a simple game, pressure the quarterback and disrupt him as much as you can, get off blocks, cover your gap, area, or man, and make every tackle you can, no misses.

Do that and then let Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant, Kendall Hunter, Keith Toston and Brandon Pettigrew do their thing.

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