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Mizzou-Oklahoma Preview

Willie Springer
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Mizzou-Oklahoma

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The Missouri Tigers (2-1, 0-0) enter the Big 12 portion of their 2011 schedule, perhaps for the last time, with a visit to Gaylord Family-Memorial Stadium in Norman to play the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners (2-0). The Saturday evening nationally televised showdown will be the 96th all-time meeting between these two programs with the Sooners leading 66-24-5. During the Bob Stoops and Gary Pinkel era, Stoops leads 6-1.

Looking at the Tigers:

Was a 69-0 thrashing of the Western Illinois Leathernecks a good or bad thing for the Tigers a week before the Sooners? Mizzou certainly did not look past WIU as they quickly won that game last Saturday night in Columbia. The main positive from that game is there were no more major injuries. The Tigers actually get players back this week and they include DE Jacquies Smith and C Travis Ruth.

For Missouri to even sniff a victory at Oklahoma, they have to play nearly flawless football for 4 quarters plus catch some breaks from the Sooners. Plays like Gahn McGaffie’s opening kickoff return and Jerrell Jackson’s move to the end zone after receiving a pass from last season’s 36-27 win need to happen.

Tail back Henry Josey, who can be explosive as seen last week with 263 yards on 14 carries, needs to keep getting the ball. Not letting Oklahoma have the ball is a way to beat them, but then the defense needs to hold their offense and prevent big plays. If they are unable to do so, then the Tigers will not have to abandon the run game. Having James Franklin pass all night will not work especially since the Sooners have a fierce pass rush and excellent secondary.

Looking at the Sooners:

Under Bob Stoops, the Sooners are 72-2 at home and currently have a 37-game win streak in Norman. The last time Oklahoma lost to Missouri at home was in 1966. Most odds makers have made the Sooners a favorite to win this contest by nearly three touchdowns. Considering their 36-27 defeat last season at Faurot Field, the Sooners are looking for some revenge since that lost knocked them off the top of the BCS Standings. Coming off a 23-13 road win over then #5 ranked Florida State, the Sooners are prime for their first BCS National Championship run since Sam Bradford and company lost to Florida in 2009.

QB Landry Jones is among the best in all of college football. Maybe that’s because of his deep support cast that includes WR’s Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills plus RB’s Brennan Clay and Dominique Whaley. Last week they did not overly impress, but took control at the end with ten unanswered points after FSU tied the game 13-13.

The Sooners’ defense will get after James Franklin. Through 2 games, they have 9 sacks, and six of those came last week against the top ranked Seminoles. They have allowed 78 rush yards per game, only 27 yards last week, and have not allowed a touchdown on the ground this season. Really the only thing Oklahoma has let slip by are big plays, but they have not happen often this season.

Staff picks:

Tom Ackerman: 42-21, OU

Kevin Wheeler: 42-17, OU

Dan McLaughlin: 42-14, OU

Scott Warmann: 48-21, OU

Willie Springer: 49-17, OU

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