Mizzou Scouting Report

The Ole Miss Rebels hit the road this weekend for the first time in 2006 to face their second set of Tigers in as many games. This Missouri series has very little history as the two teams have played only four times with the Tigers holding a 3-1 advantage over the Rebels.

By Don Sheffield

Mizzou won both games played in Columbia, 17-0 in 1973 and 45-14 in 1978. The Rebels won 10-0 over the Tigers in Jackson in 1974, then lost 33-7 in 1979 also in Jackson. In four games, the Tigers have outscored Ole Miss 85 to 31.

Missouri opened their season last weekend with a 47-7 drubbing of Division I-AA Murray State. Sophomore quarterback Chase Daniel, 6-0, 225, connected on 23-of-32 passes for 320 yards and five touchdowns. Junior running back Tony Temple, 5-9, 200, led the Tigers in rushing with 119 yards on 15 carries. Marcus Woods, also a junior running back, added 53 yards rushing on five carries. Junior wide receiver Will Franklin caught four of Daniel's passes for 138 and two touchdowns. That's a 34.5 yards per catch average. The Tigers ran up 27 first downs, 256 yards rushing and 333 yards passing for a total of 589 yards of total offense. Sophomore tight end Chase Coffman was Daniel's leading receiver with seven catches. Missouri has two tight ends who are each 6 feet, six inches tall.

Gary Pinkel, a 1976 graduate of Kent State, is in his sixth year as head coach of the Missouri Tigers. He is 31-30 as the Tiger's head coach going into this week's game versus Ole Miss. Pinkel came to Mizzou from Toledo where he was 73-36-3 in 10 years as head coach. Prior to taking his first head coaching job at Toledo, Pinkel was the offensive coordinator for the legendary Bob James at the University of Washington.

The Missouri Tigers run a spread offense very similar to the Memphis Tigers. They spread the ball around to a variety of receivers, running backs and tight ends. The Tiger's offensive coordinator is Dave Christensen, who has been with Gary Pinkel 10 years. Christensen is the assistant head coach and coaches the offensive line along with his coordinator duties. Christensen has Washington ties like Pinkel because he played for the Huskies between 1980 and 1982. Missouri has excellent size at their wide receiver position very similar to Memphis. Besides their two tall tight ends, the Tigers can run out two wide receivers at 6-4, Brad Ekwerekwu or Danario Alexander, Will Franklin is 6-2, Jared Perry and Jason Ray are 6-1 and Tommy Saunders at 6-0. The Tigers offensive line averages 312 from tackle to tackle. Christensen will likely start 3 seniors, 6 juniors and 2 sophomores against Ole Miss.

Defensively, the Tigers shut down the Murray State running game. The Racers managed only 27 yards in 25 rushing attempts. The Rebel rushing game should put a lot more pressure on the Tiger defense than the Racer's running game managed. The Racers had a little success throwing the football but only managed 123 total yards on 20-of-30 completions. Coordinating the Missouri defense is Matt Eberflus. Eberflus came with Gary Pinkel to Missouri from Toledo. In 2004, Eberflus' pass defense led the Big 12 and finished third nationally allowing only 149.3 yards per game.

Leading the Tiger defense is senior Will linebacker, Marcus Bacon, 6-2, 220. Bacon, like Patrick Willis, finished the Murray State game with 12 tackles and one fumble recovery. Senior nose tackle, Jamar Smith, was the Tigers' second leading tackler versus the Racers. Smith, 6-1, 290,

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