Mizzou football faces West Virginia on Saturday in Columbia, MO. Here are your three keys to a Missouri win over West Virginia.
By Matt Zemek
The Missouri Tigers were part of a horrible Week 1 for the SEC East. They were a 16-point favorite at Wyoming and lost to the Cowboys. They had to do so many things wrong to lose to Wyoming, and they did. Missouri not only made mistakes; it made massive mistakes. That is the first point of emphasis in this week’s three keys against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Key 1 – Have A Sense Of Timing
The Tigers and all other Week 1 teams are going to make some mistakes in a season opener. That is part of life and college football. The mistakes Mizzou made, however, were enormous. Coaches hope that their teams’ mistakes are either mild in their severity or timed more reasonably. It is far better to commit a turnover near midfield than near either goal line. Missouri fumbled at the Wyoming 1-yard line in a game it lost by six points. Timing of mistakes is an underrated feature of football games. The mistakes will happen. They just can’t happen in certain situations. Missouri has to be able to take care of the ball when it is about to score. As we can see, the defense isn’t likely to be good enough or strong enough to compensate for poorly-timed miscues.
Key 2 – Have Some Pride
Missouri’s defense was gashed by Wyoming for much of last week’s game – not in the first quarter, but certainly in the second quarter and portions of the second half. The Tigers surrendered far too many large running plays, giving up two runs of over 60 yards. Sean Chambers of Wyoming averaged 10 yards a carry on 12 carries. Xazavian Galladay averaged 7.9 yards per carry on 15 carries, both because they busted loose on long runs. Allowing 297 rushing yards to a Mountain West Conference offense is plainly unacceptable. There is no way an SEC defensive line should be knocked around like that, and there is also no way Wyoming should score 27 points on Missouri in the second quarter, which is exactly what happened last week in Laramie.
Key 3 – Win First Down
One of the especially annoying aspects of the loss to Wyoming is that the Cowboys didn’t even throw the ball well. Chambers, their quarterback, completed just 6 of 16 passes. Missouri stopped Wyoming’s passing game yet STILL got hammered on the ground. Mizzou needs to win first down on defense and force West Virginia into predictable passing situations. West Virginia’s offense struggled last week against James Madison, so Missouri can win this game if it forces WVU to pass on 2nd and 3rd and long.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the ESPN2 Network.
SEC Football Stories For This Week
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|W. Virginia vs. Missouri||W. Virginia||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 38, WVA 7||Stats|
|C. Southern vs. S. Carolina||C. Southern||USC||Preview||USC 72, CSU 10||Stats|
|Tulane vs. Auburn||Tulane||Auburn||Preview||Auburn 24, Tulane 6||Stats|
|N. Mexico St vs. Alabama||NMSU||Bama||Preview||Alabama 62, NMSU 10||Stats|
|USM vs. Mississippi St.||Southern Miss||MSU||Preview||MSU 38, USM 15||Stats|
|Texas A&M vs. Clemson||Clemson||Texas A&M||Preview||Clemson 24, A&M 10||Stats|
|E. Michigan vs. Kentucky||E. Michigan||Kentucky||Preview||UK 38, E Michigan 17||Stats|
|UT Martin vs. Florida||UT Martin||FLA||Preview||Florida 45, UTM 0||Stats|
|BYU vs. Tennessee||BYU||TEN||Preview||BYU 29, TEN 26||Stats|
|Arkansas vs. Ole Miss||OM / ARK||ARK||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Arkansas 17||Stats|
|Murray State vs. Georgia||Murray St||UGA||Preview||UGA 63, Murray St 17||Stats|
|LSU vs. Texas||Texas||LSU||Preview||LSU 45, Texas 38||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Purdue||Purdue||Vandy||Preview||Purdue 42, Vandy 24||Stats|