The Xtra Point: Tigers Face Toughest Test Of The Year

3 years 3 months 4 weeks ago November 29, 2013 Nov 29, 2013 Friday, November 29 2013 Friday, November 29, 2013 5:34:00 PM CST in Sports
By: Mark Kim, KOMU 8 Sports Columnist

This is it. This is the game fans have been fearing all year. Johnny Manziel, one of the best quarterbacks in college football, and the Texas A&M Aggies will come to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers. But now, this game has bigger implications. This game is the one thing standing in Missouri's way from reaching the SEC Championship game.

This could actually be Missouri's biggest challenge all year and it's because Missouri has never faced a quarterback with the same caliber as Manziel. The last quarterback Missouri faced that was even close to Manziel's talent level is Connor Shaw from South Carolina and he burned Missouri's defense en route to a double overtime win over the Tigers. Especially with Missouri's poor pass defense, you can expect Manziel to burn the Tigers in the passing game. The first step for the Tigers to limit Manziel's passing game is to lock down on wide receiver 6' 5" wide receiver Mike Evans, one of the best wide receivers in college football and Manziel's favorite target. He needs to constantly be double covered. After locking out Evans, the Tigers need to constantly force three-and-outs. Forcing turnovers can only do so much. Sure he may lose a possesion here or there, but when Manziel gets the ball, he usually capitalizes. So forget going for the interception and getting burned, play it safe.

The one thing going for the Tigers is that the Aggies can't run the ball. The team's leading rusher is Manziel. Because of that, expect to see a three man rush and a quarterback spy and have the rest of Missouri's defense in coverage whether it's man defense or zone. When they do plan to run the ball, the rusher will meet the bear hugs of Missouri's highly touted defensive line. 

While Manziel and the Aggies offense is solid, Missouri's isn't too bad itself. James Franklin is still shaking off the rust, but against this very weak Aggies pass defense, he should be able to capitalize as well. But Franklin and the passing game isn't the key to the game. The key for Missouri is the running attack. Texas A&M's rush defense is even worse than their rush defense and right now, Missouri's backs are on a roll. Running back Henry Josey is having a great comeback campaign, most recently burning the Ole Miss Rebels for 95 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy are having solid seasons as well. The reason these three need to be the focus of the offense is for ball control. The more time that's shaved from the clock, the less time Manziel has to score. Missouri needs to run a conservative west-coast style offense. Go for the first down, not the home run play. Keep the ball out of A&M's hand.

The Aggies may be ranked 24th in the nation, but they are a lot better than their rank. This will be a high octane shootout between these SEC newbies, but Missouri will choke when it matters: the fourth quarter. The game will be close and whether it's a defensive collapse or a missed field goal by Andrew Baggett, the Tigers will find a chance to throw the game away. It would be nice if Missouri wins this game, but temper your expectations.

More News

Grid
List
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors say a Nigerian citizen living in St. Louis was part of a stolen identity fraud... More >>
1 hour ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:35:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - An area man was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of stealing, trespassing and property damage. The Fulton... More >>
1 hour ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:20:00 PM CDT in Coverage From Callaway
HOLTS SUMMIT - Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows colon cancer rates have been steadily... More >>
1 hour ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 6:15:00 PM CDT in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Two teenagers were arrested Wednesday and accused of ATV theft. According to a release, Callaway County... More >>
1 hour ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 5:56:00 PM CDT in Coverage From Callaway
COLUMBIA - Former MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley has accepted the position of president at the New York Institute of... More >>
2 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:56:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
CALIFORNIA - Three people were arrested on drug charges Tuesday at the Moniteau County Jail. According to a release... More >>
3 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:26:00 PM CDT in News
LAKE OZARK - Police arrested a man Wednesday morning following a vehicle chase in which the suspect allegedly hit a... More >>
3 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:03:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City's transit system, JEFFTRAN, wrapped up a series of six public meetings on Wednesday. JEFFTRAN... More >>
5 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 2:08:00 PM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A suburban Kansas City police office is hospitalized after being injured in a confrontation after short car... More >>
5 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:56:10 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are advancing a proposal to ban Missouri cities and counties from using red-light cameras. ... More >>
6 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:48:48 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chuck Berry fans will have their chance to pay their respects to the late rock 'n'... More >>
6 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:45:11 PM CDT in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - Police caught a Kansas City man who is accused of multiple burglaries across Missouri, Pennsylvania and Arkansas... More >>
6 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 1:33:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Only one state spends less per capita on its public defender system than Missouri: Mississippi. That could... More >>
8 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:27:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a proposal to spend roughly $242 million more than planned this... More >>
8 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:23:07 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Department of Social Services Acting Director Jennifer Tidball said Missouri still is giving money to Planned... More >>
10 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:49:00 AM CDT in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are investigating after a private security guard shot an armed man at the... More >>
10 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:47:37 AM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with the 2014 southwestern Missouri shooting... More >>
10 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:42:50 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Four St. Louis officers are suspended without pay amid internal and criminal investigations over whether they... More >>
10 hours ago March 29, 2017 Mar 29, 2017 Wednesday, March 29 2017 Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:36:25 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
8pm 61°
9pm 60°
10pm 59°
11pm 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Blindspot
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld