High-scoring Missouri barely needs punter Print
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Monday, 06 October 2008 21:47
NCAAF Headline News

 COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -Unbeaten Missouri's offense is so potent, players rib well-rested punter Jake Harry that he's a waste of a scholarship. The third-ranked Tigers did not need Harry at all Saturday against Nebraska, and most of their 10 punts this season have come during garbage time.
``We're always joking with him,'' quarterback Chase Daniel said Monday. ``He's cool about it. He's like, 'Just miss this pass on third down, just let me get on the field once or twice a game.'
``Would we like to punt once or twice a game?'' Daniel said. ``No, not at all.''
Missouri (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) is averaging 53 points, second most in the nation, and has yet to go three-and-out in 48 series heading into Saturday's game against No. 17 Oklahoma State. The first-string offense had eight possessions in Saturday's 52-17 blowout at Nebraska and scored on seven of them - six touchdowns and a field goal.
field goal attempt at the end of the first half, his first missed kick in three Big 12 seasons.
In a three-game span earlier in the season, Missouri scored on 15 consecutive possessions - all but two of them touchdowns. Sophomore running back Derrick Washington, in his first year as starter, leads the nation in scoring with 12 touchdowns.
``Every time we touch the ball, we want to score - no matter who we go against,'' Daniel said. ``When we kick goals, we're like, 'OK, it's a B maybe.' We want A-plusses every time we step on the field.''
The Tigers have scored on their opening possession in all five games. They score touchdowns fast, too, making a mockery of the time of possession statistic. They're 118th in the nation at 26:07 minutes per game.
The defense barely gets to rest, given 17 touchdown drives that have lasted less than two minutes. Missouri had six sub-two-minute drives against Nevada and had three against Nebraska.
``We try to score as quickly as possible,'' Washington said. ``We want to score on the first play.''
The quick-strike offense is partly a product of Missouri's no-huddle, spread offense, with the play clock usually in double digits when the ball is snapped. Daniel's bottomless list of options is also a major factor.
is fifth in the NCAA with 186.8 all-purpose yards. Maclin and tight end Chase Coffman each are averaging six catches per game, and Tommy Saunders and Jared Perry are effective secondary targets.
``With our offense the way it is, you can't be concerned about time of possession,'' coach Gary Pinkel said. ``The bottom line is when you get opportunities, you want to score.''
The tests figure to start getting stiffer in the coming weeks. Oklahoma State (5-0, 1-0) brings its own spread offense, one designed more to generate the running game, to Columbia on Saturday night, and Missouri is at No. 5 Texas in two weeks.
Oklahoma State is averaging 32:47 in time of possession, 10th best in the country. The Cowboys average 315 yards rushing, second best in the country, but also have a quick strike component with 13 touchdown drives clocking in under two minutes.
 

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