Keys to the Game

RaiderPower takes an in-depth look at the keys to the game for the Texas Tech - Missouri matchup, while avoiding the usual common sense analyses. What must the Red Raiders do to keep up the home winning streak at Jones Stadium? Come inside to find out.

1. Limit Chase Daniel's productivity.  I'm trying to avoid using the "stop (insert quarterback's name)" cliche as much as possible, but this week, it is unavoidable.  Chase Daniel is the heart and soul of the Missouri Tiger offense, and everything revolves around him.  Daniel is truly a dual-threat QB, and Missouri has designed an offensive system which does an excellent job of utilizing his talents.  Expect to see a lot of bootlegs, draws, screens, etc.  Chase Daniel may very well be the best quarterback that we face all year, and Missouri's offense could be the most versatile of the season as well.

2. Expose the Tigers' defense.  Missouri has a highly-rated defense statistically, but much like A&M, it might be a skewed stat.  Anyone who watched their game against Colorado saw the weaknesses in the defense, as the struggling Buffs put up some impressive numbers against Mizzou.  Colorado actually outgained the Tigers and won the turnover battle as well at +2.  The Buffs accomplished this through offensive balance.  Now, I'm far from advocating that we give up our Air Raid, but we need to make Shannon Woods a big part of this game to keep their defense on their toes.  I want to see more shovel passes, more catches out of the backfield, and more running to the outsides.

3. Capitalize in the Red Zone.  This hasn't been that much of a problem outside of the TCU game, but this is a game in which we must make the most out of our opportunities.  Missouri's defense has been guilty of a bit of the "bend but don't break" defense that Red Raider fans are all too familiar with.  I think we should be able to move the ball well, but I'm worried about getting kept out the end zone.  After all, it is tougher for our offense to work with less field, so I would like to see more Shannon Woods touches and more fade patterns to our big receivers in the Red Zone.  Wait, "red zone" doesn't need to be capitalized.  Damn you, Old Spice!

4. Improve the special teams play.  Alex Reyes' punting, Trlica's extra points, and Blake Collier's punt coverage have been the only consistent bright spots of the special teams.  The 99-yard kick return by Kerry Franks last week was inexcusable.  He didn't even get touched, and he basically ran straight up the middle of the field.  I think I could have scored in his position on that return.  Seriously.  Furthermore, the blocking for Amendola on punt returns and Woods/Walker on kick returns needs to improve.  All of these players are explosive enough to take one of these to the house if they get the blocks.

5. FOCUS!!  We absolutely cannot take the Tigers lightly.  The fact that we are coming off of a good road win over A&M scares me to no end.  Make no mistake, Missouri will punish us every time we let up on them.  If we get out to an early lead, I don't want to see us quit trying like we did last week.  I hope the team was forced to watch the 62-31 game a few years back over and over again.  We're happy we beat the Aggies, now let's move on.  The fans must do their part as well by showing up and being loud for the season's first conference game at the Jones this year.  Let's keep the home winning-streak alive.


-Trent Wycoff

(Questions, comments, praise, and constructive criticism can be directed to Trent within the forums or through email at

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