Missouri faces Troy on Saturday in Columbia, MO. Here are your three keys to a Missouri win over Troy.
By Matt Zemek
The Missouri Tigers watched film of Troy’s game against Arkansas State and saw one of the most entertaining games of 2019. The Trojans put up a fight the whole way but lost 50-43 to spice up a Week 5 slate which lacked a lot of sizzle.
Now Missouri must figure out how to contend with Troy. The Tigers don’t want to lose a second game of 2019 to a school from a Group of Five conference. Let’s see what the Tigers need to do in Week 6:
Key 1 – Attack Troy relentlessly
This is a soft defense which got torched for half a hundred points this past weekend. Kelly Bryant should feel emboldened to attack Troy’s defense early and often. Naturally, he can’t make lazy reads and assume his receivers will bail him out. That’s not what it means to be aggressive; that is merely being foolish. However, Bryant should certainly look down the field and see if there are opportunities to “throw open” his receivers against Troy’s coverage.
Let’s consider the larger value of this next point: Missouri NEEDS an aggressive mindset on offense. Yes, the Tigers can’t be reckless. They need to exhibit vigilance and care. However, vigilance and care are not the same thing as timidity. The Tigers need to balance good instincts and a high football IQ with the very real need to hit big plays in a vertical passing framework.
Why? They will need to play this way against Georgia and Florida, their two foremost obstacles in the SEC East. Missouri cannot expect to beat Georgia or Florida with 15-play drives. UGA and UF are too physically imposing for Mizzou to beat them playing grind-it-out football.
Missouri needs to rely on the big play as the centerpiece and staple of its offense. Troy is a great opponent against which the Tigers can further develop a big-play mentality, albeit within a context of responsibility and good habits.
Key 2 – Sure tackling in the back seven
Missouri will be tested by the Troy passing game. This offers the Tigers’ back seven a very good opportunity to polish their tackling skills. This game could become uncomfortable if Troy’s receivers are able to run after the catch. Missouri’s foremost goal is to therefore make the sure tackle immediately after the catch. If Missouri’s offense is built on the big play, the defense’s main focus is to make sure opposing offenses don’t hit those same big plays. Stopping an intermediate route right after the catch is an important building block for what Missouri wants to achieve in 2019.
Key 3 – Respect Troy
Neal Brown no longer coaches Troy – he is at West Virginia – but the Trojans have won at LSU and Nebraska in recent years. They are not a pushover. Missouri has to very consciously absorb that reality in this game… and play with an appropriate level of urgency.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 3:00 PM CT (4:00 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.
This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|Auburn vs. Florida||Florida / Auburn||Florida / Auburn||Preview||Florida 24, Auburn 14||Stats|
|Utah State vs. LSU||Utah St.||LSU||Preview||LSU 42, Utah St. 6||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss||Ole Miss / Vandy||Ole Miss / Vandy||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Vandy 6||Stats|
|Troy vs. Missouri||Troy>||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 42, Troy 10||Stats|
|Georgia vs. Tennessee||Georgia / Tennessee||Tennessee / Georgia||Preview||Georgia 43, Tennessee 14||Stats|