Thursday, October 12, 2006

Myths and Facts

As we prepare for Saturday's game, let's take a look at a few myths floating around about the MU football team.

Myth: Chase Daniel has not faced a lot of blitzes this season.

Fact: Chase Daniel has, in fact, faced significant blitzing schemes. New Mexico blitzed on almost every play, and almost every team Missouri has played has used several blitzes. The Missouri offensive line has done a nice job picking up the blitz, and Daniel has done a good job hitting his short options. Daniel has great accuracy on short patterns and fantastic touch over the middle, and he is calm and collected. He is fully equipped to handle the blitz.

Myth: The Missouri offense didn’t play well against Texas Tech.

Fact: It is silly to interpret Missouri’s yardage total from the Tech game as Missouri not moving the ball offensively. When your defense returns two interceptions for scores, that eliminates two offensive possessions. When your defense causes fumbles and you recover them at the 14 and the 44, that’s going to limit yard totals. When Daniel and the Tigers needed to move the ball, they did. Tech in no way shut down the Missouri offense.

Myth: Graham Harrell handed the game to Missouri

Fact: Only one of Harrell’s turnovers came on a play he wasn’t feeling significant pressure (the second interception). On the screen interception, Harrell had to release the ball because he had Brock Christopher in his jock. The three fumbles, obviously, were caused by pass rushes. The second pick was simply a fantastic athletic play by Willy Moore. Moore was at least 15 yards away from the ball when Harrell threw it, but he read the play, made a great break and wrestled the ball away. None of Harrell’s turnovers were Neil O’Donnell-to-Larry-Brown-in-the-Super Bowl interceptions. Turnovers don’t happen by accident, folks. Something forces them.

Myth: The crowd noise will affect Missouri’s playcalling.

Fact: I’ll present two arguments. Argument No. 1: Missouri couldn’t hear against Texas Tech, and it didn’t cause any problems. This team has faced a loud crowd. Argument No. 2: Missouri’s offense is called in by arm signals from the sideline. All the players are looking over every play – crowd noise has no effect on that. Missouri made it through the Tech game without a false start, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

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