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October 10, 2008As the game between Oklahoma State and Missouri inches closer, talk about the game is starting to heat up.
And the big focus about this matchup is the offense of both teams. Missouri is third nationally in total offense, averaging 568 yards per game. OSU is sixth, averaging 530. The Tigers average 53.4 points per game; OSU averages 52.6. When you factor in the defense of both teams (neither are world-beaters), this game looks to have all the makings of a giant shootout.
While this game is sandwiched between a big victory over Nebraska and a contest against Texas, the Tigers aren't overlooking the Cowboys. A lot of talk this week out of Columbia has focused on the Pokes and their high-octane offense. For Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel, the focus is all about stopping the OSU ground attack, which ranks second nationally (315 ypg).
"We're concerned, because they can play," Pinkel said. "They're really good. We'll be tested. No. 1, we'll find out how good we are against the run. That's the tough thing, if you've got a good quarterback that can throw well and great receivers, that's got big play written all over it. It's going to be a real test for us."
Junior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon realizes what he and his 83rd-ranked unit is going up against.
"They're putting up points like no other and I think they're one of the most underrated teams in the Big 12," Weatherspoon said. "Just from watching film so far, I know they've got a lot of playmakers. One of the guys I know pretty well, Dez Bryant, is from the same area I'm from and he's one of their biggest playmakers. They've got a lot of great guys that can make some big plays."
"They're a very well balanced offense," defensive tackle Ziggy Hood said. "(Zac Robinson is a great athlete. Not only can he run, but he can pass as well. Their offensive line is big and athletic, so I'm pretty sure they can move around and shift just as well as anybody else."
The Tiger charged with trying to keep pace with OSU's offense is none other than Heisman Trophy possibility Chase Daniel. While he believes his unit is superior, he acknowledges the offensive weapons the Cowboys are bringing to Faurot Field Saturday night.
"I think it's going to be a great offensive showdown," Daniel said. "We believe we have the better guys but Dez Bryant is unbelievable in his own right and so is (Brandon) Pettigrew and Zac Robinson. Kendall Hunter leads the Big 12 in rushing and we never really heard of him before this year. He's really burst onto the scene and they really trust him in what he does. So it will be a good show for the fans. We don't want it to be a shootout by any means but we feel like every time we touch the ball we want to score. We just have to go out there and be consistent."