The Xtra Point: Tigers Face Toughest Test Of The Year

3 years 2 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
COLUMBIA - As President Donald Trump prepares an alternate version of a temporary travel ban on refugees and members of... More >>
4 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Planned Parenthood opponents are planning a month of protests after a march that drew between 50 and 100... More >>
4 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:57:00 PM CST in Continuous News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to neglect after authorities say she left her 2-year-old boy... More >>
4 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 5:30:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- Local dog boarding facilities are amping up their luxury of care for your pet. Several big city boarding... More >>
11 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:23:11 AM CST in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say they've arrested a suspect in connection with a weekend shooting death south of... More >>
12 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Residents of older homes in Columbia could be eligible for free water testing for lead. The My... More >>
13 hours ago February 26, 2017 Feb 26, 2017 Sunday, February 26 2017 Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:58:00 AM CST in News
LACLEDE COUNTY — A man accused of assaulting and sexually abusing his 5-month-old daughter nearly eight years ago finally has... More >>
23 hours ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 11:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — United Airlines flight schedules posted to its website Saturday night showed two new flights out of Columbia Regional... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:48:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., announced Saturday that his local office space will be relocated from its current... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 9:11:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — This weekend Missourians came together to give the Loos family a home makeover. Rhyan Loos, 7, was... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:21:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — There is a significant "values gap" between employers and the millennials who work for them, according to a... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 7:05:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Boone County experienced at least a dozen fires Feb. 18, a number that did not surprise fire officials.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — People from all over mid-Missouri gathered at the Miller Performing Arts Center Saturday to listen to local... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A crash involving an anhydrous ammonia trailer killed one person in Jefferson City Saturday morning. According... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:44:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Representatives from two East Campus housing associations spoke at the Unified Development Code public forum Saturday and found... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 1:36:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Hundreds of mid-Missourians attended the 6th Annual Fitness for a Cure event Saturday, an event that benefitted the... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 12:01:00 PM CST in News
ST. CHARLES (AP) — A woman has been accused of stabbing a worker at a General Motors plant near St.... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:27:08 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — It could soon be legal for travelers to take their booze from the bar to their... More >>
1 day ago February 25, 2017 Feb 25, 2017 Saturday, February 25 2017 Saturday, February 25, 2017 10:04:05 AM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 38°
11pm 39°
12am 38°
1am 37°
2am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
11:05p
The Simpsons
10:00p
Family Guy
10:30p
Family Guy
11:00p
Heartland

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
8:00p
Neighbors
6:00p
Alfie
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld