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Defensive Matchups | Missouri Tigers Offense vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Defense

TEXAS TECH RUSH DEFENSE VS.  MISSOURI RUSH OFFENSE | Were it not for a 54 yard run by Cyrus Gray, I might be writing that the defensive line held an opponents' running game in check for yet another week, but those yards count. If you were to take away the 54 yard run, the Texas Tech defensive line did a pretty good job, and in listening to the radio broadcast, OLB Brian Duncan missed an assignment. It's those type of mistakes that seem to have plagued this team for each and every one of their losses. And it's not as if that long run would have made a difference, but is perhaps indicative of where this defense is. Individual mistakes are made on the field and those mistakes are producing devastating results, whereas in some years those mistakes are somewhat mitigated or different.

This is the second week in a row that you'll see DT Colby Whitlock, NG Pearlie Graves, and DE Donald Langley. We also continue to see Brett Dewhurst get the call at OLB, while Duncan remains a main-stay at OLB and Tyrone Sonier and Bront Bird continue to get the starts inside.

The Missouri rushing offense starts with an excellent center, Tim Barnes, and it will be interesting to see if and how Graves and Whitlock are able to get the same type of production that they have over the past few weeks.  The line is rounded out by LT Elvis Fisher, LG Jayson Palmgren, RG Austin Weubbels and RT Dan Hoch.  And over the last 5 games the Missouri rushing offense has been pretty darned good, except for a bad performance against TAMU (56 yards rushing):  236 vs. Miami (Ohio); 119 vs. Colorado; 178 vs. Oklahoma; and 142 vs. Nebraska.  Both Henry Josey and De'Vion Moore are splitting the carries for the Tigers, for the most part.

More after the jump.


TEXAS TECH PASS DEFENSE VS.  MISSOURI PASS OFFENSE | By watching last week's game or just looking at the boxscore, we know that it's the pass defense that's got problems, significant problems. And although people don't like to say that injuries should have an affect on a team, the Texas Tech secondary should be proof that it does. Losing players, like CB Will Ford and CB D.J. Johnson does have an affect on depth and it does have an affect on who gets those plays when when the starters need a break. Although D.J. Johnson is listed as the starter, a hamstring is a bad injury to have as a defensive back and behind him is former walk-on Eugene Neboh. Honestly, I'd look for LaRon Moore get the start at cornerback over Neboh, and behind Neboh, I really don't have a clue, although early in the week WR Derrick Mayes was moved to cornerback this week to help with depth. Again, you can say that injuries shouldn't matter, but they do. With Franklin Mitchem breaking his thumb against TAMU and if he plays, he plays with one hand, it leaves this depleted secondary is an even worse spot.

QB Blaine Gabbert is the star of the offense and is averaging over 270 yards a game, although he's only had 3 games of 3 or more touchdowns.  He's only thrown 5 interceptions, although he had a very rough game against Nebraska last week, completing only 18 of 42 passes for 4.7 yards per attempt, but to be fair, the entire team struggled against Nebraska.  There are 4 main receiving threats for the Tigers:  WR T.J. Moe (58 receptions, 696 yards, 4 TD); TE Michael Egnew (63 receptions, 515 yards, 3 TD); WR Jerrell Jackson (29 receptions, 404 yards, 3 TD); and WR Wes Kemp (29 receptions, 321 yards, 3 TD).   Missouri always seems to have a pretty good tight end receiving option and with Egnew 2nd on the team with in catches and yards continues that tradition.  If I had to guess, I'm thinking that Dewhurst may get the cal on Egnew, but Dewhurst gives up 4 inches and 35 pounds to Egnew.  At this point, I'm not sure if there other options, other than Daniel Cobb or Julius Howard.

No Key Matchup or Player Spotlight this morning, very much running short of time.  I'll open it up to you as to what you think is Key Matchup is and who the Player Spotlight should be focused.