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Summer Preview: Missouri Tigers

Team: Missouri Tigers

Conference: Big 12 - North Division

Location: Columbia, Missouri

2006 Record: 8-5 (4-4)

Coach: Gary Pinkel

2007 Schedule:

Date Opponent
9.1 Illinois (@ Kansas City, MO)
9.8 @ Ole Mississippi
9.15 Western Michigan
9.22 Illinois State
10.6 Nebraska
10.13 @ Oklahoma
10.20 Texas Tech
10.27 Iowa State
11.3 @ Colorado
11.10 Texas A&M
11.17 @ Kansas State
11.24 Kansas State (@ Kansas City, MO)

In no particular order, 5 players of interest from Missouri:

  1. Lorenzo Williams, NT, Sr.: There are few returning starters on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers and Williams is one of them. Williams played in every game last year and was part of an 8 man rotation, which is why his numbers aren't as impressive as your typical defensive tackle. In limited action, Williams had 53 tackles to go with 6 sacks. The most surprising stat: 10.5 tackles for a loss. For a team that's being picked to finish first by a number of pundits, Missouri is a relatively thin defensive team (yes, this theme is apparently repeating itself with teams like Texas Tech and Oklahoma State). Williams best game was against Oklahoma: 7 tackles, 3 for a loss and 1 sack. The Tigers will be looking to Williams to stabilize Missouri's front four.
  2. Chase Daniel, QB, Jr.: Daniel was good last year, real good. He just wasn't good in the air (passing for 3,527 yards) but also rushing for almost 400 yards. The funny thing about the Texas Tech game last year was that Daniel didn't even have that good of a game. His completion percentage was good (15-22), threw for only 173 yards and he only had 1 passing touchdown pass and no rushing touchdowns. But his Tigers against Tech was very opportunistic and perhaps the biggest reason for that is Daniel. For Daniel to take another step he might look for a few more passing touchdowns, but that's just being picky. He did have 6 games where he threw for only 1 or 0 touchdowns (Mississippi, New Mexico, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Iowa State). Granted, Missouri has a fairly balanced offense so if Daniel isn't scoring it's not necessarily a bad thing, but I think being more assertive on the offensive end could certainly benefit Daniel and Missouri.
  3. Chase Coffman, TE, Jr.: It's difficult choosing between Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, but there's no doubting that Missouri is blessed with 2 very talented tight ends. Coffman led the team with 58 receptions (yes, led the team). Perhaps more impressive was the 9 touchdown he scored, but it's quite obvious that the Missouri coaching staff and Daniel to an extent, feel that Coffman has to be involved in the offense. Coffman had 9 games of 4 or more catches and had 7 games where he had a touchdown. Missouri believes, and the stats prove this out, that Coffman is an incredibly talented receiver and at 6'6" he's a large target (I'm already thinking about the potential match-up nightmares for Texas Tech).
  4. Tony Temple, RB, Sr.: Temple is a talented runner who had games where he rushed for 119, 168, and 194 yards. In other words, Temple can absolutely explode as an offensive player, but then there are games where he is relatively average. Except for the games mentioned above Temple only managed 64 yards a game. In this mix of games, Temple had rushing totals of 37 and 36 yards against Texas A&M and Iowa State respectively. Temple was injured earlier this week and he shouldn't be held out of any games, especially conference games. Out of the backfield, Temple isn't utilized at all, only catching 6 passes and wonder why the coaching staff doesn't see Temple as more of a passing threat. Despite being a part of a high scoring offense, Temple only had 7 rushing touchdowns.
  5. Brock Christopher, LB, Jr.: As mentioned with Williams, Christopher is one of the few returning defensive starters and the only returning linebacker. Christopher finished last year with 87 tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss. Christopher's best game was probably against Texas A&M where he finished with 13 tackles, but tended to disappear in other games. In fact, Christopher had games of 4 or less tackles in the following games: Mississippi, Colorado, Texas Tech, and Kansas State. Christopher has got to be a bigger factor for this defense and he needs to make more plays.

In no particular order, key Missouri Tiger statistics:

  1. 425.62: This was for 8th in the country in total offense. Missouri can put up the yards.
  2. 320.23: Good for 39th in the nation in total defense for the Tigers.
  3. 2.69: Missouri was 22nd in the nation in sacks and would be surprised if the Tigers repeat that feat.
  4. 17.08: Missouri 115th in the nation in kickoff returns (remember, Texas Tech was 117th).
  5. 276.15: Mizzou was 10th in the nation in passing offense (for comparison purposes, Texas Tech and Harrell was almost 100 yards better at 369.5).

Previous Summer Previews:

Date Opponent
9.3 @ SMU Mustangs
9.8 UTEP Miners
9.15 @ Rice Owls
9.22 @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
9.29 Northwestern State Demons
10.6 Iowa State Cyclones
10.13 Texas A&M Aggies
10.20 @ Missouri Tigers
10.27 Colorado Buffaloes
11.3 @ Baylor Bears
11.10 @ Texas Longhorns
11.17 Oklahoma Sooners