|Washington eager to shake off poor game|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 15 October 2008 21:13|
Missouri's tailback is eager for a bounceback game at top-ranked Texas on Saturday after getting stifled in the Tigers' first loss of the season. The 218-pound sophomore scored his 13th touchdown and still leads the nation in scoring, but was held to just 11 yards on eight carries by Oklahoma State.
``I don't think the run game was working much from the start,'' Washington said. ``My first carry, I think I got about 4 or 5 yards, and that's not the way I wanted to start off.''
Washington was actually moving backward on the Tigers' opening drive, which stalled inside the 1, ending with minus-6 yards on three carries. The line had trouble all night opening holes, and No. 11 Missouri (5-1, 1-1 Big 12) largely abandoned the run except for quarterback Chase Daniel's scrambles.
start with a more balanced attack, and a lack of success on the ground no doubt contributed to Daniel's three interceptions.
``I wouldn't say too predictable, too one-dimensional,'' Daniel said. ``But we never want to get to where we're 85 percent throw and 15 percent run. If the running backs are running well, it opens up things a little bit better for the passing game.''
Easy to say, tough to execute against Texas. The Longhorns (6-0, 2-0) are allowing only 51 yards rushing per game, third stingiest in the nation, and are the only team that has not allowed a rushing touchdown.
Oklahoma totaled 48 yards on 26 carries last week, surrendering the top ranking in a 45-35 loss to Texas. The Sooners had been averaging 179 yards rushing. Rice and Arkansas both had more carries than yards.
Daniel said Texas is good enough defensively to be effective without blitzing.
``They've got physical specimens everywhere,'' Daniel said. ``We're going to have to be firm up front and I've got to stand in the pocket knowing I'm going to get hit.''
Stunts on the line and almost constant blitzing helped Oklahoma State limit the Missouri ground game to 64 yards, well below the previous season low of 132 yards against Buffalo.
``You could tell he wanted to be part of the game,'' Daniel said. ``We had to do a little more play action, roll me out a little bit more, and he realizes that.''
entered the game averaging 7 yards per carry, scoring multiple touchdowns in every game even while getting limited playing time in the second half of blowouts. He averaged nearly 10 yards the previous week in a rout at Nebraska, and has often marveled at the huge holes he's motored through.
The only way to get him free at all against Oklahoma State was in the passing game, and he totaled a season-best seven catches for 52 yards.
``It was completely different from previous weeks, so we've got some things to work on,'' Washington said.
Daniel's pass total was a season high, seven more than in the opening 52-42 shootout win over Illinois. He was 39-for-52 for 390 yards, but the imbalance left him throwing too often into traffic.
``I knew the coverages on pretty much every snap. They were just able to fly around and I made some inadvertent throws that I didn't really want to make,'' Daniel said. ``We didn't block well all over the place.''
Missouri went 3-and-out its first two times all season and ended up 30 points below its average in a game that had been anticipated as another shootout.
Washington believes the Tigers can bounce back in a hurry, even if they can't revive the running game this week. Dropping from a No. 1 contender to No. 11 in a single week will serve as motivation.
``We're not really supposed to be paying too much attention to that, but we kind of took that hard,'' Washington said. ``I think we can beat Texas. If we come back, we should move right back up.''