|No. 16 Missouri hits softer portion of schedule|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 24 October 2008 09:39|
The Tigers' homecoming game on Saturday night against Colorado begins a four-game stretch in which their opponents are a combined 13-15, a manageable path that could lead to a return Big 12 championship game appearance despite their recent stumbles.
Missouri (5-2, 1-2 Big 12) is a 22-point favorites against Colorado (4-3, 1-2), and if the Tigers can recapture their early-season groove, Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State will also be underdogs. Run the table, and it sets up a showdown against Kansas on Nov. 29 in Kansas City, maybe with the Big 12 North title on the line.
Embarrassment figures to keep the Tigers humble. They were blown out by top-ranked Texas last week, and upset at home against Oklahoma State the previous game.
last two weeks.''
Missouri's once unstoppable offense has totaled 54 points the last two games, or one point over its average after five games. The offense has gone three-and-out five times all year, all in the last two games.
The Tigers will try to rev things up again against an opponent it hammered 55-10 last year in Boulder, Colo. They've taken three of four from Colorado and are hopeful another win in the series will help them move past their slide.
``What good does it do to worry about it anymore?'' offensive guard Kurtis Gregory said. ``All worrying is going to do is stress you out even more and get your mind off what the next task is. And that's Colorado.''
Colorado might have a tough time keeping up if Missouri's offense is back on its game, given that the Buffaloes have scored 14 points each of the last three games. Coach Dan Hawkins is likely to continue a quarterback rotation with his son, Cody Hawkins, sharing time with freshman Tyler Hansen, a running threat.
``Let's be real here. Missouri is a great team, obviously,'' Cody Hawkins said. ``No lead is safe when you've got a quarterback like Chase Daniel and the receivers he has. We're going to do our best to go out and hit some shots and move our offense up and down the field.''
Hansen's redshirt was pulled last week, and he rushed for 86 yards in a 14-13 victory over Kansas State.
part last week, holding Kansas State to 3-for-15 on third down. And it nursed a 1-point lead the final 25:49 of the game. It's the longest this season by any team in the country leading by two points or less, and the longest by the school in 72 years.
``To have a group go from, 'Hey, we're playing pretty good,' to, 'We're going to win this game on defense,' I think that's an awesome credit to our coaches and our guys over there,'' Dan Hawkins said. ``It's hard when you're not getting production on the other side and you just have to flip that switch and say, 'I'm good winning the game 14-13 or 10-7, or whatever that ends up being.'''
Colorado controlled the ball with 247 yards rushing. The defense forced Kansas State to go three-and-out six times, matching the season total in a single game.
Texas scored on all five of its first-half possessions against Missouri, running up a 35-0 lead. Defense has been a weak link all year and couldn't hold the score down while the offense worked out early difficulties - although coach Gary Pinkel pointed out the Longhorns also scored 45 points against Oklahoma the previous week.
``You've got to consider who we played,'' Pinkel said. ``I think you give them credit, but yeah, we're disappointed. We've got to regroup.''
actor. Daniel said he got the offensive line together and told them not to look at the scoreboard.
``I said, 'I don't care if we're down by 80 or down by two, we're going to go out there, have fun and enjoy the moment,''' Daniel said. ``And I think we played a lot looser in the second half.''