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GDT: #4 Mizzou (4-0) @ Nebraska (3-1) (8 CT, ESPN)

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  • GDT: #4 Mizzou (4-0) @ Nebraska (3-1) (8 CT, ESPN)

    So I started this thread to pre-emptively complain.

    This game is scheduled for Sat night on ESPN. Great. However, the scoring orgy that is the Auburn/Vanderbilt tilt will take place at 5 CT on ESPN. So are we going to miss part of the Mizzou game?

    Why don't they put more of a cushion in between these games? So damn aggravating.

    Anyway, Mizzou hasn't won up there since the Carter administration, but they are 10-point favorites to break that streak.
    Dude. Can. Fly.

  • #2
    excellent preview from

    (warning, very long)

    First and foremost: This ain't your daddy's Missouri.

    NU hasn't lost to Mizzou in Lincoln since 1978. That was a huge upset, 35-31.

    If MU wins in Lincoln 30 years later, however, it won't be an upset at all.

    Mizzou hammered NU 41-6 last season in Columbia, its third straight 17+ point win against the Huskers in Columbia. Mizzou hasn't broken through in Lincoln yet under Coach Pinkel, though, but Saturday represents the Tigers' best shot. Mizzou is an 11-point favorite, perhaps the first time Mizzou has been favored in Lincoln since 1960.

    Mizzou is for real. NU definitely has a chance at home to win this one, but Mizzou is a double-digit favorite for several legitimate reasons, led by QB Chase Daniel, who's been almost flawless this season. He looked like a skittish sophomore during his 2006 trip to Lincoln. This time, however, he enters Memorial Stadium as a steady senior.

    NU will have to play significantly better than it has at any point this season -- or probably over the past 2 or 3 seasons -- to pull the upset.

    MIZZOU IN 2008

    Mizzou 52, Illinois 42
    Mizzou dominated the Illini for most of this game, although UI caught Mizzou sleepwalking a bit in the third quarter and pulled to within 10. Illinois had two possessions trailing by 10, but Mizzou's defense woke up in time to turn the Illini away.

    Mizzou 52, SE Mo St 3
    This was an utter mismatch. No point in discussing it any further.

    Mizzou 69, Nevada 17
    MU hammered Nevada, again an utter mismatch. It's just depressing to discuss this one further, especially if you watched it. Mizzou's dominance was downright frightening, especially in the 2nd half.

    Mizzou 42, Buffalo 21
    Coach Gill's Bulls made Mizzou sweat, employing an interesting strategy from d-coordinator Jimmy Williams. Buffalo allowed Mizzou's receivers to catch the ball short and then punished them, causing three fumbles. They also hit Daniel a lot. It didn't result in a win, and Mizzou still had almost 600 yards in total offense, but Mizzou scored only 42 points, its lowest total of the season.

    NU and Mizzou have played somewhat similar schedules: Va Tech and Illinois are comparable and W Mich and Buffalo are comparable. Nevada is better than San Jose St & N Mex St, but SE Mo St is worse. What does all of that mean? These statistical measurements should provide a meaningful comparison.

    MU...........Stat Category...........NU
    191.3 (31st)....Rush Off...(57th) 155.5
    404.3 (2nd).....Pass Off...(24th) 265.5
    595.5 (2nd)....Total Off...(33rd) 421.0
    53.8 (2nd).....Score Off...(17th) 37.5

    99.0 (24th)....Rush Def...(35th) 109.8
    (58th)........Pass Eff Def.......(55th)
    378.5 (79th)...Total Def...(64th) 354.8
    20.8 (47th)....Score Def...(40th) 19.5

    +0.5 (40th)...Turnovers...(75th) -0.25
    9.00 (2nd).......TFL.......(29th) 6.50
    2.75 (14th).....Sacks......(14th) 2.75
    0.50 (8th)..Sacks Allowed..(35th) 1.25

    48.8 (17th)...3rd Down Off...(85th) 35.6
    34.3 (45th)...3rd Down Def...(63rd) 38.5
    73.7 (14/19)..Red Zone TD Off. (12/17) 70.6
    40.0 (4/10)...Red Zone TD Def.. (8/20) 40.0

    Some statistical oddities:

    Daniel completed a Big XII record 20 consecutive passes against Buffalo.

    Daniel ranks 4th nationally with a passer rating of 193.4 ... but he's only 3rd in the Big XII. He ranks 4th nationally in total offense at 371.5.

    Maclin is 5th nationally in all-purpose yards (193.5 per game).

    Mizzou ranks first in the Big XII in total offense and last in total defense. However, Mizzou ranks 6th in the Big XII in scoring defense, meaning they give up some yards, but not many points.

    MU's offense almost looks like a video game, because they make it look so easy. Their passing game is lethal, but if you forget about the run game, they'll hurt you there, too. Their O-Line uses the wide splits very efficiently, and Mizzou's offense is designed to pass the ball quickly, making it tough to sack the QB (Mizzou ranks 8th nationally in fewest sacks allowed). Their special teams are dangerous behind Jeremy Maclin, too. And defensively, they give up a lot of yards, but they force turnovers and score defensively - high risk, high reward type of defense.

    But Mizzou's success over the past 1 1/2 seasons is all about the offense. The Tigers have scored a ton of points against everyone the past 20 games, and this year might be their best offensive team yet.

    The Tigers don't miss Tony Temple much; Washington has been very good, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He has good quickness and can get tough yards when needed ... and he's scored 8 rushing TDs in just four games along with a receiving TD, ranking him 2nd nationally with 13.5 points per game. Daniel also is a very good runner, although MU hasn't used him much to carry the ball this season ... they haven't had to. The Tigers will use Maclin on reverses, too, although he hasn't broken a big gainer yet.

    Washington 53-361, 8 TD
    Jackson, Jimmy 20-129, 1 TD
    Daniel 14-74, 0 TD
    Maclin 8-43, 1 TD

    Chase Daniel is as good of a QB as there is in college football. He understands Mizzou's offense, he spreads the ball around, he's very accurate both on the run and in the pocket, he's elusive and can run for first downs when needed, and he eats his ... never mind. The guy has completed 75.9% of his passes this season, and he'd be well over 80% if he hadn't had several dropped passes. Not only does he complete passes, but his pin-point accuracy usually hits his receivers in stride, which makes blazing fast guys like Maclin absolutely lethal. Daniel rarely gets sacked, just once all season, in 133 pass attempts. His TD-to-INT ratio is 12-to-1.

    The best news about Daniel? He graduates this season.

    Daniel 101-for-133, 1 INT, 12 TD, 1412 yards, 353 yd per game

    Mizzou has plenty of targets for Daniel, and he spreads the ball around well. Four Mizzou WRs have more than 65 yards per game receiving this season and at least 13.5 yards per catch - I'm counting Coffman as a WR ... a really big WR. Coffman is surprisingly elusive as a runner after the catch, and he's hurdled at least three defenders while advancing the ball downfield that I've seen this season. Maclin might be the most dangerous player in college football - a tremendous mixture of speed and elusiveness. Thanks to the first two receivers, Saunders and Perry both see a ton of single coverage, and they take advantage, getting down the field. The Tigers also throw to the running backs on occasion, although they really don't need to, maybe 2-3 times per game.

    Coffman 28-379, 3 TD, 13.5 per catch
    Maclin 26-391, 4 TD, 15.0 per catch
    Saunders 19-308, 2 TD, 16.2 per catch
    Perry 16-270, 2 TD, 16.9 per catch
    Washington 7-79, 1 TD, 11.3 per catch

    Maclin might be the most dangerous return man in the entire country. With NU's struggles on punt and kick coverage so far this season, NU will want to kick away from him whenever possible, especially on kickoffs, where Maclin already has a 99-yd TD this season. Hopefully Adi can keep banging kicks into the end zone Saturday. Maclin hasn't scored yet on a punt return, but his longest return this season is 46 yards. He had 2 TD punt returns last season and 1 TD kickoff return last season.

    PUNT-Maclin 12 ret, 10.2 avg, 0 TD
    KICK-Maclin 7 ret, 31.0 avg, 1 TD

    Jeff Woffert is a very good kicker for Mizzou, having hit 6 of his 7 FGs already and all 27 extra point attempts. Woffert ranks 1st nationally among kickers in scoring with 11.25 points per game. More impressively, Woffert has made 3 of 4 FGs from 43+ yards out - his only miss of the season was a 53-yarder against Buffalo. Woffert was outstanding last year, too, hitting 21-of-25 FGs and all 67 of his XPs.

    Woffert has shown a strong leg on kickoffs, too, with 22.9% of his kickoffs going for touchbacks. Mizzou's opponents have started their drives after kickoffs on average at the 27-yard line, as Mizzou has struggled a little bit in covering kickoffs, including giving up TDs to both Illinois and Buffalo.

    Contrary to rumors, Mizzou does have a punter. Jake Harry has hit 3 of his 9 punts inside the 20 yard line (33%).

    PK-Woffert 6-7 FG, 27-27 XP
    PUNT-Harry 9 punts, 42.6 avg, 0 blocked ... OPP 3 returns, 4.7 avg
    KICKOFF-Woffert 35 kickoffs, 8 touchbacks

    Mizzou's defense is the team's weakness, but when your offense and special teams are as good as the Tigers' units are, the defense almost can't help but be the third best unit. Weatherspoon is the heart of this defense - he leads the team by a mile in both tackles and tackles for loss, and he ranks 4th nationally in tackles per game with 12.0. He's scored twice on INT returns, which leads the nation. He led Mizzou in tackles last season with 130. He's also a very emotional, bordering on cocky, player, who, on occasion, will lose his cool. However, his multitude of good plays easily surpasses any negatives he brings.

    The safety Moore is outstanding, too, even though the numbers aren't great this season. He has 16 tackles, but he did not play against Buffalo because of injury. He should be OK for the NU game.

    One area where Mizzou's defense hasn't been great is in forcing fumbles - Mizzou has forced only 3 in four games, recovering 2.

    Weatherspoon 48
    Garrett 27
    Christopher 25
    Gettis 23

    Tackles for loss
    Weatherspoon comes on the blitz quite a bit for Mizzou, and he's effective with 8 tackles for loss in 4 games. (He'll also draw the TE in man-to-man coverage at times, he's a very versatile player. However, he will bite on play action at times.) Sulak and Christopher put great pressure on the QB from the DE spots as well, combining for four sacks. Mizzou has 11 sacks already. Mizzou brings a ton of pressure from LBs and DBs, and they're always going after the QB. High risk, high reward type of defense much of the time. So far this season, the risks have paid off most of the time.

    Weatherspoon 2.5 sacks, 8 TFL
    Sulak 3.0 sacks, 5.5 TFL
    Christopher 1.0 sacks, 4.0 TFL
    Hood 2.0 sacks, 4.0 TFL
    Chavis 2.0 sacks, 3.0 TFL

    Passes defended
    Weatherspoon is very good in coverage, too, with the 3 INTs mentioned earlier and with 3 other passes broken up. Rutland and Bridges have combined to have seven passes broken up.

    Mizzou is one of the top teams in the country in converting 3rd downs, ranking 17th at 48.8%. Defensively, Mizzou is closer to the middle of the pack, allowing opponents to convert 34.3% of 3rd down plays (45th nationally).

    What's a little frightening is that Mizzou hasn't faced many 3rd downs - especially considering how many plays the Tigers run in their spread attack. Probably the most interesting aspect of this statistic is how rarely Mizzou faces 3rd and long, especially for a team that throws it so much. Of course, when you rarely have incomplete passes, you don't have many 3rd & 10 situations, even if you throw on almost every down.

    When MU does face 3rd & long, they're converting 56% with Daniel in the game. Not much bothers Mizzou under Daniel.

    Here's how Mizzou's 3rd downs offensively have looked on possessions with Daniel in the game, where they've converted 56.3% of their 3rd downs, which would rank #6 in the country.

    TOTAL: 18-of-32, 56.3%
    3rd & short - 3 yds or less - 10-of-13, 76.9%
    RUSH (80%, 4-of-5)
    1* 1* 1* 2* 2
    PASS (75%, 6-of-8)
    2* 2* 2* 2* 3* 3* 3 3
    3rd & medium - 4-7 yds - 3-of-10, 30.0%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-2)
    5 7
    PASS (30%, 3-of-8)
    4* 4 5 5 5 6* 6* 6
    3rd & long - 8+ yards - 5-of-9, 55.6%
    RUSH (100%,2-of-2)
    9* 10*
    PASS (42.9%, 3-of-7)
    8* 8 9* 10* 11 12 12

    Here are Mizzou's tendencies on 3rd down when Daniel is in the game...

    TOTAL, 6-of-9, 67%
    Daniel, 3-of-6, 50%: 1* 1* 2 5 7 9*
    Washington 1-of-1, 100%: 1*
    Maclin 1-of-1, 100%: 2*
    Jackson 1-of-1, 100%: 10*

    TOTAL, 12-of-23, 52%
    Coffman 4-of-8, 50%: 2* 4 6* 6* 6 8 10* 11
    Saunders 4-of-5, 80%: 2* 2* 3* 3 8*
    Maclin 2-of-3, 67%: 4* 5 9*
    Perry 2-of-3, 67%: 2* 3* 12
    Alexander 0-of-2, 0%: 5 5
    Washington 0-of-1, 0%: 3
    1 sack


    Daniel is running less this season overall, but he still will scramble or run QB draws or sneaks on 3rd down. Mizzou still throws most of the time on 3rd down, however, and Coffman is Daniel's favorite target. He also prefers to go Saunders on 3rd down.

    Mizzou's defense is very good on 3rd & medium and 3rd & long - they bring the pressure, and they've come up with 6 sacks on 3rd down plays in the I-A games looked at here (vs Illinois, Nevada, and Buffalo). Unfortunately, NU has faced a ton of 3rd & medium/long situations this season - if Mizzou can keep up these numbers vs Nebraska on 3rd & medium/long, NU could be in for a long night.

    I did not include the game against I-AA SE Mo St in these stats.

    TOTAL: 18-of-53, 34.0%
    3rd & short - 3 yds or less - 10-of-14, 71.4%
    RUSH (87.5%, 7-of-8)
    1* 1* 1* 2* 2* 3* 3* 3
    PASS (50%, 3-of-6)
    2* 2 3* 3* 3 3
    3rd & medium - 4-7 yds - 4-of-18, 22.2%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-3)
    4 5 7
    PASS (26.7%, 4-of-15)
    4* 4 4 4 5 5 5 6* 6 6 6 7* 7* 7 7
    3rd & long - 8+ yards - 4-of-21, 19.0%
    RUSH (50.0%, 1-of-2)
    8* 11
    PASS (15.8%, 3-of-19)
    8* 8 8 9 9 10* 10 10 11 11 12* 12 12 12 14 14 17 20 25


    Nebraska - 3rd downs in 2008

    Offensive numbers are only with Ganz in the game. I've mentioned quite often in these previews how NU is facing far too many 3rd & long situations this season (caused in large part by poor rushing numbers), and Va Tech killed NU Saturday on 3rd & longs.

    After facing 3rd & short on each of its first two possessions -- and failing to convert either one when choosing to throw on both plays, which was beyond odd -- NU had only one 3rd & short the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, NU faced 3rd & 6 or more eight times the rest of the game vs Va Tech, converting only two, one of those on Ganz's desperation scramble. Out of its base offense, NU didn't have an answer for VT's pressure packages on 3rd & medium and 3rd & long. That's a very distressing sign heading into a game against a team that pressures the QB as much as Mizzou.

    On 3rd down, Ganz was just 1-for-6 throwing, scrambling twice and being sacked once. He was very uncomfortable against VT's 3rd-down pressure, and Mizzou will be bringing the heat, too.

    NU must do a better job on 1st & 2nd downs vs Mizzou, or it will be a long night.

    OFFENSE (only with Ganz in game)
    3rd & short - 3 yds or less - 6-of-9, 66.7%
    RUSH (83.3%, 5-of-6)
    1* 1* 1* 1* 1* 2
    PASS (33.3%, 1-of-3)
    2 3* 3
    3rd & medium - 4-7 yds - 1-of-12, 8.3%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-2)
    4 7
    PASS (10%, 1-of-10)
    5 5 6* 6 6 6 6 7 7 7
    3rd & long - 8+ yards - 8-of-20, 40.0%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-1)
    PASS (42.1%, 8-of-19)
    8 9* 9* 9 9 10* 10* 10* 11* 11 11 11 12* 13 14* 14 22 24 25

    With the pressure VT brought on third down against Ganz, he threw to the WRs only twice in the 6 passes he attempted. Peterson, who had been his favorite 3rd down target, did not have a 3rd-down pass thrown his way in the VT game. Ganz's only 3rd-down completion vs VT was the 29-yard play to Lucky, which he appeared to catch one-handed. It was a rough, rough night for Ganz on 3rd down.

    100%, 3-of-3, Castille
    66.7%, 2-of-3, Lucky

    PASS (with Ganz in game)
    66.7%, 2-of-3, Swift
    57.1%, 4-of-7, Peterson
    25%, 1-of-4, Holt
    20%, 1-of-5, Lucky
    0%, 0-of-2, Henry
    0%, 0-of-1, Castille
    0%, 0-of-1, Gilleylen
    0%, 0-of-1, McNeill
    0%, 0-of-1, Paul
    0%, 0-of-1, Young
    2 sack
    4 scrambles (2 converted)
    0 INTs


    Obviously, VT did a very nice job of moving into 3rd & short opportunities vs NU, converting 5 of 7 of them.

    Mizzou faces so few 3rd down plays that, when you get the chance to make them kick, you'd better cash in.

    3rd & short - 3 yds or less - 16-of-25, 64.0%
    RUSH (75%, 9-of-12)
    1* 1* 1* 1* 1* 1* 1* 1* 2* 3 3 3
    PASS (53.8%, 7-of-13)
    1* 1* 1* 1 1 2* 2* 2 3* 3* 3 3 3
    3rd & medium - 4-7 yds - 3-of-14, 21.4%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-3)
    5 5 5
    PASS (27.3%, 3-of-11)
    4* 4* 5 5 5 6* 6 6 7 7 7
    3rd & long - 8+ yards - 5-of-24, 20.8%
    RUSH (0%, 0-of-3)
    9 9 10
    PASS (23.8%, 5-of-21)
    8 8 8 9* 9 9 9 10* 10* 10* 10 11 11 12 15 15 16 16 18 22 23*


    "THE NUMBER" - Mizzou by 11
    Completely new territory all the way around for NU in this game, as an 11-point underdog in Lincoln.
    • NU hasn't been an underdog this season.
    • Mizzou hasn't been favored over NU by this much since ... well, ever, perhaps? My historical point spread results only go back to 1985 and I'm not sure how far back in time point spreads go, but I can't imagine since Bob Devaney arrived on campus that Mizzou has been favored by double digits against NU, in Lincoln, in Columbia, on the moon, wherever.
    • NU hasn't been such a big underdog at home since ... well, since before Devaney again, perhaps? NU was close at +10 vs USC last season.
    • Coach Bo hasn't been associated with a college team that's an underdog in almost two full calendar years, since Oct. 7, 2006, at Florida.
    • Coach Bo has never been associated with a college team that's a double-digit underdog.
    As a college coach, Bo's teams have rarely been an underdog, let along an 11-pt dog. However, the results have been ugly, 1-5 both outright and against the spread. However, Bo's defenses played very well in the three games where LSU was an underdog the past three seasons, allowing only 12 ppg. (outright win in bold)

    +1 at Florida (06 with LSU) (L), 10-23
    +3.5 at Auburn (06 with LSU) (L), 3-7
    +6 vs Miami (05 with LSU) (W), 40-6
    +1 vs USC (04 with OU) (L), 19-55
    +2.5 vs Kansas St (03 with NU) (L), 9-38
    +5 at Texas (03 with NU) (L), 7-31

    In NU's eight most recent games as a home underdog, NU is just 2-6 outright, but is 4-3-1 against the spread. (outright win in bold)

    +7.5 Kansas St (07) (W), 73-31
    +10 USC (07) (L), 31-49
    +5 Texas (06) (W), 20-22
    +5 Tex Tech (05) (W), 31-34
    +2 Oklahoma (05) (L), 24-31
    +2.5 Missouri (04) (W), 24-3
    +2.5 Kansas St (03) (L), 9-38
    +3 Texas (02) (P), 24-27

    In the Mizzou-NU games the past six years, the home team(*) has always covered and won outright. Road favorites are 0-3 outright in this series since 2002. NU did win as a big road favorite in 2001 at Columbia.

    2007: Mizzou* (-6.5) 41, NU 6
    2006: NU* (-6.5) 34, Mizzou 20
    2005: Mizzou* 41, NU (-2.5) 24
    2004: NU* 24, Mizzou (-2.5) 3
    2003: Mizzou* 41, NU (-7.5) 24
    2002: NU* (-9.5) 24, Mizzou 13

    Mizzou hasn't been the kind of team that's a big favorite over and over until the past couple of seasons, but they've adjusted to that role very well. Mizzou has won 8 straight games outright as a favorite of a TD or more, including all seven games in 2007-08.

    However, Mizzou was a road favorite of 7 or more points only once in 2007, a win at K-State.

    Mizzou's results as a favorite of at least a TD in the past three years (road games in bold) are: 13-1 outright (2-1 road outright), 9-5 vs the spread (1-2 road vs the spread), and 6-1 outright in Big XII games (1-1 road vs Big XII).

    -31.5 Buffalo (08) (L), 42-21
    -26 Nevada (08) (W), 69-17
    -9.5 vs Illinois (08) (W), 52-42
    -7 at Kansas St (07) (W), 49-32
    -19.5 Texas A&M (07) (L), 40-26
    -28.5 Iowa St (07) (L), 42-28
    -20.5 W Michigan (07) (W), 52-24
    -7 Kansas (06) (W), 42-17
    -13.5 at Iowa St (06) (L), 16-21
    -14.5 Kansas St (06) (W), 41-21
    -14.5 Colorado (06) (W), 28-13
    -22.5 Ohio (06) (W), 31-6
    -14 at New Mexico (06) (L), 27-17
    -10 Mississippi (06) (W), 34-7

    Perhaps most impressively, Mizzou is in the midst of a 14-4 stretch against the spread. That's unbelievable. Las Vegas has been slow to adjust to Mizzou's sudden success.

    NU certainly looked a bit sluggish after its bye week. Here's how Mizzou has performed in recent years after a bye week.

    (W) 2007: Bye before home game vs Nebraska, 41-6
    (L) 2006: Bye before at Iowa State, 16-21
    (L) 2005: Bye before home game vs Texas, 20-51
    (L) 2004: Bye before home game vs Kansas, 14-31
    (W) 2004: Bye before home game vs Colorado, 17-9
    (W) 2003: Bye before home game vs Nebraska, 41-24
    (L) 2003: Bye before at Colorado, 16-21

    MU is 3-4 after a bye week in the past five seasons, but is 2-0 vs NU. The Tigers have lost three of their past four games after a bye week. In their two road games after bye weeks in the past five seasons, MU is 0-2.

    Hopefully Mizzou spent the bye week reading its press clippings and watching NU struggle against Va Tech, so they'll be overconfident coming into Lincoln.

    Here's a news flash: Mizzou knows how to score. Mizzou's scoring numbers over the past 20 games:

    69 55 52 52 52 49 42 42 42 41 41 40 40 38 38 38 38* 36 31* 17*

    true road games underlined

    If there's another team in the country that has been held to less than 31 points only once in their past 20 games, I'd be stunned. For comparison Tex Tech has had four under-31 point games in the past 20 games.

    As this shows, you'd better hold Mizzou under 40 points if you want to have any chance to win. Mizzou is 4-3 in its past 20 games when scoring under 40 points; 13-0 when scoring 40+ points.

    Somewhat surprisingly, Mizzou has played only four true road games in its past 20 contests (underlined above), but, as you can see, true road games don't seem to affect the Tiger offense much. In that stretch, they had only one true road game (at OU) in an atmosphere that will match what they'll see in Lincoln Saturday night, and they did score "only" 31 points in that game.

    However, I don't think anyone is confusing NU's current defensive situation with what Oklahoma was able to put on the field last season.

    OU also held Mizzou to 17 points in the Big XII championship game last season and to 10 points in Columbia in 2006 (Mizzou's worst performance at home since the end of the 2002 season), so you have to think Bo will be picking the brain of Coach Stoops to see what might work against Mizzou.

    So what did OU do?
    • In the 2007 Big XII title game, Daniel was only 23-of-39 with 1 INT, and MU gained only 9.5 yds per completion. OU sacked Daniel twice and limited Temple to 13 carries for 26 yards. MU did not fumble.
    • In 2007 in Norman, Daniel was 37-of-47 with 2 INT, and, again, MU gained only 9.5 yards per completion. OU had 3 sacks of Daniel and he fumbled twice, losing 1. Mizzou's rushing game was non-existent with Jackson and Washington subbing for the injured Temple, gaining just 26 yards.
    • In 2006 in Columbia, Daniel was 23-of-44 with 3 INTs. Mizzou gained 12.3 yards per completion. OU had 1 sack of Daniel, and he fumbled once. Again, Mizzou's rushing game was non-existent with 76 yards, 75 of which came from Daniel.
    In 31 games a starter, Daniel has completed 772 of 1148 passes (67.2%) for 9245 yards, 73 TDs, and just 22 INTs. That's 11.98 yards per completion.

    But in the three games against OU, Daniel completed 83 of 130 passes (63.8%) for 10.28 yards per completion. He threw 6 INTs in three games vs OU ... versus 16 INTs in his other 28 games as a starter. Obviously, OU tackled well, limiting yards after the pass was completed, and OU limited Daniel to numbers below his normal averages in completion percentage.

    However, where OU appeared to slow MU's offense was in shutting down Mizzou's rushing attack. MU's running backs were invisible against OU in all three of those games. Daniel almost carried the ball more in those three games combined (44) than Mizzou's other backs/WR/whomever did (45). Considering OU only sacked him 6 times in those games, that means he carried it 38 other times on scrambles, QB runs, etc., giving OU more chances to punish the Mizzou QB. Those hits add up, possibly leading to some of the uncharacteristic INTs Daniel had against OU.

    Mizzou hasn't had Daniel run with the ball much this season, he has only 14 attempts; it'd be nice if NU can force him to run it a bit more Saturday and lay some hits on him.

    This season, Buffalo had some success in forcing Mizzou to complete passes underneath the linebackers and then drilling the receivers, forcing 3 lost fumbles in that game, one each from Maclin, Perry, and Coffman. (Saunders also lost a fumble against Illinois, but that's all Mizzou has fumbled this season - just four times.) UB couldn't limit Daniel's accuracy as OU did, however, as he completed 36-of-43 passes. MU averaged 12.2 yards per completion. Buffalo also did not sack Daniel, but they did hit him more than any of Mizzou's other three opponents this season have managed to do. Hopefully Bo is picking the brains of Coach Gill and Coach Williams at UB this week, too.

    I think NU has six areas where it needs to win the battle Saturday to have a shot at the upset.

    1--Open-field tackling. NU's tackling in the secondary has been much better this season, and that's a good sign. MU is going to complete passes - even in the two losses to Oklahoma last season, Daniel hit 69.8% of his passes. You have to prevent MU from running after the catch.

    2--Stop Washington. OU beat Mizzou in large part by negating MU's running backs and making Mizzou one-dimensional. MU's rushing game doesn't put up eye-popping numbers typically, and it seems like an after thought for the Tigers, but it's a key part of their offensive scheme. Washington has had a great start to the season, with 6.8 yards per carry and 8 TDs. NU must stop him.

    3--Take advantage of MU's aggressiveness. MU will blitz more than almost anyone on NU's schedule this season. NU has to find a way to exploit that with its play-calling. Mizzou is going to put on the pressure, figuring that even if they give up some big plays, their offense will answer. But, if they can force just as many mistakes as big plays, they can get the ball back to their offense more quickly. Give up a score or force a turnover or a 3 & out ... just do it fast and get the ball back to that O. It's a strategy that has worked extremely well for Mizzou over its past one-plus seasons (16-2 record).

    4--Avoid 3rd and long. NU cannot run the ball as poorly as it did against Va Tech on 1st & 2nd downs. Not only will NU be unable to shorten the game without an effective rushing game, but NU will end up in 3rd and longs over and over, just as it did against Va Tech. If you're in 3rd and long all night, you're going to have trouble sustaining drives, which is a recipe for disaster vs Mizzou.

    5--Shore up the coverage teams. Harris & Lewis really hurt NU with their returns Saturday, giving Va Tech great field position over and over. Maclin, however, might go beyond hurting NU's field position and score 6 points if he has those kinds of lanes on returns and if NU doesn't tackle better. NU has to punt and kick almost perfectly against Maclin.

    6--Protect Ganz. This might be the most important one. NU must do a better job of keeping traffic away from Joe Saturday night. VT harrassed him over and over, especially in obvious passing situations, batting down a few passes, sacking him, forcing him to scramble. He did not look comfortable at all against VT's pressure in the pocket. Mizzou will try to bring even more pressure than Va Tech did. NU must find a way - either through better offensive line play, through keeping a RB or TE in to pass block, through more bootlegs and rollouts, or through better play-calling - to give Ganz more time and clearer throwing lanes.

    NU played with great effort against Va Tech, which was a very encouraging sign, and NU did some nice things against the Hokies. Obviously, they lost, so they didn't do enough of them, and there are plenty of areas in which to improve, both for players and coaches. I liked hearing the players talk about how they need to practice much better and with a more physical attitude this week. That shows they're buying into Bo's philosophies.

    It will take a mix of outstanding execution and effort from NU to pull the upset Saturday night. Mizzou isn't unbeatable, but the Tigers are for real. I don't care what the recruiting rankings say, Mizzou is extremely talented - they look like they have better players than NU at a variety of positions. The Tigers also know their offensive and defensive schemes in and out, and their execution, especially offensively, is simply amazing. They have game-breakers all over the field.

    Meanwhile, as we saw Saturday, NU still has a ways to go under a first-year coaching staff.

    Beating Mizzou, even in Lincoln, will be a tall order for the current edition of NU. It's the first time NU has played a Top 5 team to open conference play since a road trip to Oklahoma State in 1985, when NU won 34-24. Of course, NU was a Top 10 team at that time; NU isn't close to that level right now.

    I think Vegas has hit the point spread fairly closely at 11 ... if anything, Mizzou probably deserves to be an even bigger favorite.

    Hopefully NU can pull the upset, but the Huskers probably are going to need some help from Mizzou mistakes. Hopefully Mizzou is a little stale after the bye week, maybe the offensive timing is a bit off. And, hopefully, NU, after facing a tough opponent Saturday, will be more prepared for Mizzou's speed and athleticism, and maybe Mizzou will be a bit rusty after playing lesser opponents the past 3 games.

    It's the toughest Big XII opener NU has ever played, but, at home, NU has a shot.


    • #3
      btw, as noted in that thread, Mizzou has yet to go 3 and out in 40 drives lead by Chase Daniel this year.


      • #4
        I just went blind.
        Dude. Can. Fly.


        • #5
          Originally posted by dvyyyyyy View Post
          I just went blind.
          hey, i warned you.


          • #6
            Mizzou 56
            Nebraska 35
            Make America Great For Once.


            • #7
              Mizzou 10.5? I want to put a grand on that shit.
              Official Sponsor of Jim Edmonds & John Smoltz


              • #8
                I am retiring off this line.
                Official Lounge Sponsor of Candy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by El Birdo 1 View Post
                  I am retiring off this line.
                  why so low? "rivarly, night game, havent won there in forever, homecoming blah blaj"

                  Mizzou will get 40 in 3 quarters and nebraska wont score more than 28 so i dont get the spread.

                  Where are you betting?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dvyyyyyy View Post
                    So I started this thread to pre-emptively complain.

                    This game is scheduled for Sat night on ESPN. Great. However, the scoring orgy that is the Auburn/Vanderbilt tilt will take place at 5 CT on ESPN. So are we going to miss part of the Mizzou game?

                    Why don't they put more of a cushion in between these games? So damn aggravating.

                    Anyway, Mizzou hasn't won up there since the Carter administration, but they are 10-point favorites to break that streak.
                    Don't they sometimes show the following game on ESPN2 until the first one is over?
                    Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                    • #11
                      espn2 has a game on from 6-9
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jack Sparrow View Post
                        espn2 has a game on from 6-9
                        well crap
                        Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jack Sparrow View Post
                          why so low? "rivarly, night game, havent won there in forever, homecoming blah blaj"

                          Mizzou will get 40 in 3 quarters and nebraska wont score more than 28 so i dont get the spread.

                          Where are you betting?
                          Husker fans love to bet (every one I knew when I was a youngen in Nebraska had a bookie) and there are surely many of them delusional enough to think they have a chance.

                          If I had the money, I'd put a lot on a Mizzou blowout. Baring 2 or 3 pick-6 against Daniels, this one is easy and no way is Pinkel going to call off the dogs on the Huskers. 52-24
                          Sketch in STL
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                          • #14
                            I think kickoff is at 8:20. I could be wrong, however.
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                            • #15
                              --Official Lounge Sponsor of Coach Mike Anderson, Colby Rasmus, and Pearl Jam.
                              --Suck it cubbies.
                              --Thanks to RBB for my kick ace avatar!!** --RETIRE #51!!!