Reese and Davis talk Missouri

The Texas coordinators talk about Colorado:

Carl Reese on Missouri's offense (and other things Missouri): This game is a homecoming of sorts for the Texas defensive coordinator. Reese played for Missouri, graduating from the school in '66, and he had three coaching stints at the Columbia school -- running backs coach in '66, defensive coordinator and DBs coach from '77-'81 and again as DC and LBs coach from '86-'88. The Texas DC was born in Springfield in the southern part of the state and he spends his brief summer free time near there at his lake house. Reese said he doesn't know any of the current Mizzou coaching staff or administrators, but he still has a lot of friends in the area. His mother-in-law, he said, has already hit him up for 12 tickets. . . . The Texas defensive coordinator said the Mizzou O is centered around five guys -- QB Kirk Farmer, RBs Zack Abron and Zain Gilmore, TE Dwayne Blakeley and WR Justin Gage. Reese liked the Missouri offense to that of Oklahoma State and said the Tigers will look to play ball control on offense with the running game. But Reese called Farmer a "QB that can control the game" because of his experience, his scrambling ability (as evidenced by his 12-carry, 82-yard rushing performance last week vs. Kansas) and his soft touch on the deep ball (although his longest pass of the year is 42 yards to Gage). Reese said the Tigers will run some option, generally audibled to at the line of scrimmage, if the Horns line up in an option-susceptible defensive formation. Missouri, though, will "run the ball first (and) run right at us with zone play out of one-back," according to Mack Brown. We'll also see a lot of play action plus misdirection and bootleg, according to the DC, in an effort to slow down the fast Texas D. In the passing game, the Tigers use a lot of "quicks, stop and gos, out and ups," the head coach said. The biggest challenge in the passing game will be controlling Gage, who is "as good as anyone in conference," Reese said. "He's an exceptional athlete and he's their go-to guy. When the ball goes up, he's going to catch the darn thing." The coordinator said stopping Gage will be a similar challenge to stopping OSU's Rashaun Woods. Woods, you'll remember, caught three passes for 53 yards on the Cowboys opening scoring drive (and eight for 81 in the game) in Stillwater and Gage is capable of a comparable performance if the Texas defensive backfield is not sharp. Reese said Gage can burn bump-and-run coverage, particularly from shorter DBs like UT's Rod Babers, with his speed and his basketball-like leaping ability. Texas, though, will defend Gage with a mix of defensive looks, just as it did with Woods after manning-up vs. him on Oklahoma State's successful opening drive. Reese also reemphasized the need for the D to create turnovers as it has done for the last two games (four in each).

Greg Davis on Missouri's defense: The Texas offensive coordinator said the Tiger defense is similar in philosophy and in scheme to both Houston and Oklahoma State. That could bode well for the Longhorn offense, which racked up 534 yards against the Cougars and 479 vs. the Cowboys. Mizzou is an eight-man front team, Davis said, with four down linemen, two linebackers and two safeties playing on the edge (of the eight, four line up on the strong side and four on the weak side) backed up by three other DBs. Mack Brown called the LBs "physical" and the front "quick, but not as big as some we've played." The OC specifically mentioned DE Antwaun Bynum, LB Sean Doyle and FS Clarence Jones as players to watch. Jones plays very low (close to the line of scrimmage), according to Davis, and the Tigers "try to funnel things to him." Missouri is "not a huge blitz team," he said. "They pick their spots, but when they come they come with urgency." When the Tigers do blitz, their preferred method is to bring WLB No. 15 Kevin Johnson and rover No. 20 Tauras Ferguson. They'll send those two both inside and outside. Missouri plays predominately zone but will mix in some man. Davis said the biggest difference he sees in this year's Mizzou team vs. last year's is the amount of speed the Tiger D will put on the field. Overall, the philosophy is to guard against the big play, which could mean the middle of the field will be wide open for the Texas receivers.

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