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September 18, 2010

One game, two guys, three keys

Saturday's Keys to Victory
Key No. 1

Gabe Says: Put the pressure on. Ryan Lindley is having a good season and looks like a good quarterback. But he hasn't been sacked and hasn't faced a very good defense yet (and is still completing only 54.4% of his passes). Missouri needs to bring pressure from all over and make Lindley make plays. If the corners are better--as it has looked--let them prove it in some man coverage and let Aldon Smith terrorize the Aztec offensive line.

Pete Says: Be physical in coverage. The Aztecs have a good quarterback, and two dynamic receivers. If this was last year, Missouri's cornerbacks might play the the whole game without coming close to the line of scrimmage before the snap. In two games this year, the corners have lined up in press coverage with more regularity. On Saturday, Carl Gettis and Co. can't let the receivers easily get into their routes. Missouri's secondary could turn this game early. .

Key No. 2

Gabe Says: Air it Out. Word is that the Aztecs like to blitz, much as defensive coordinator Rocky Long did at New Mexico. If they do, let Blaine Gabbert show off his arm and see if you can get some plays downfield. Jerrell Jackson could have a big day and this might be a game I put Rolandis Woodland out there as a deep threat.

Pete Says: Unload the cannon. Gabbert and the offense have settled for short, quick passes as the previous two defenses dropped plenty of players back into coverage. As Gabe said above, the Aztecs love to blitz, and a by-product of that could be open men downfield. Let Gabbert show off the arm that has scouts drooling.

Key No. 3

Gabe Says: Hold on to the ball. The easiest way for an underdog to stage an upset is with turnovers. The Tigers have done a pretty good job of holding on to the ball this season (and an even better job of taking it away on defense). If Missouri simply stays even in the turnover department, it seems unlikely the Aztecs have the horses to pull of the upset. But lose that battle and you open up a can of worms you'd like to keep closed.

Pete Says: Dominate the line of scrimmage. The Aztecs run a three-man front, and Missouri has a distinct size (and numbers) advantage there. The offensive line needs to worry about blitzes, but on run plays out of the spread, defenders getting too far up field (especially from the outside) isn't necessarily a bad thing. Continually drive those three defensive linemen off the ball on runs play, and the Tigers' tailbacks could have a big day.

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