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Mizzou Links, 11-6-12

Tennessee blitzes 38 percent of the time, James Franklin's fingers are falling off, and Mizzou Soccer hosts Illinois in the NCAA Tournament.


Mizzou Football Links

Per the Post-Dispatch article below, I just have one thing to say about T.J. Moe's quotes: a) If James Franklin was indeed breathing fire, and b) If his fingers indeed look like they're falling off (???) ... he should really get that checked out. Of course, I guess perhaps he just breathed on his fingers...

  • Game Week Road Show Continues in Knoxville

    Saturday's game between Mizzou and Tennessee will feature a pair of teams in very similar circumstances. Both teams will take the field fighting to finish the year strong for a push to a bowl game, and they will carry identical 4-5 records into the matchup.

    The game might not register high on the national radar, but it offers one of the more intriguing matchups in the country, with Mizzou's highly-touted defense looking to match wits with Tennessee's explosive and high-powered offensive attack.

    The teams couldn't come into Saturday's game having possibly played more diametrically different games than they experienced last week. Mizzou went into the Swamp and lost a tough defensive struggle to the Florida Gators, 14-7. Mizzou gained 335 yards of total offense and held Florida to just 276 overall. On the flipside, Tennessee won the type of shootout that gives stat geeks a thrill up their leg, as they amassed 718 yards of total offense in their 55-48 win. The Volunteer defense allowed 721 yards of offense to Troy, however, including 496 yards passing and 225 yards rushing, while UT totaled 530 in the air and 188 on the ground. Mizzou Media Day Coverage - Nov. 5

    On how close the game was last week
    "I think we've learned some lessons as the seasons gone on there. Our preparation was really good, and I think that's probably the difference. We were in a great college football environment. If you're a competitor, you love being in places like that. Our football team, if we prepare and we do the right things, I think we can compete with anybody, and certainly we're as physical as anybody. But, we've got to finish. I think that's kind of the lessons we've learned from that game."

    On our great defense for the past 3 years
    "Of course, the coaching staff does a great job, but I think they'd be the first to say that we've got a lot of great players. So we've got good coaches and we've got good players, and we've been very healthy, except losing Will or Xavier for a game here or a game there, we've been across the board healthy. That's just the way it goes. And this is perhaps the best defense we've had since I've been here. It's great to see."

    The Trib (Dave Matter): Tigers Meet the Press

    Coaches from both sides of the ball had lots to say about Tennessee's schemes and personnel. Just a few samplings: Tennessee has blitzed only 38 percent of the time this season, Walker said, but the Vols are a heavy blitz team in the red zone. Yost said Tennessee will regularly pressure with six or seven defenders when the opponent crosses the 30-yard line. … Yost read the comments Vols Coach Derek Dooley made earlier in the day about making changes to the defense. "I just watched 300 of their snaps," Yost said. "I hope they don't change a whole bunch." … With the Vols throwing the ball so often this year, cornerbacks coach Cornell Ford said this week takes the defensive staff and players back to the days of the Big 12 days. Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson will all be playing in the NFL, Ford said, but MU doesn't expect the week of preparation to be a major adjustment. "We practice against our offense all the time, so our kids are used to this style of offense," he said.

    The Missourian: Pinkel, Missouri players back James Franklin after Florida loss

    Cornerback Kip Edwards took the same stance as linebacker Will Ebner, saying the defense should take the blame for the loss.

    When asked if he was concerned about Franklin's confidence heading into next week, Edwards simply said, "James is a boss, so I'm not worried about it."

    Franklin might have lost the game with his four interceptions and other missed throws, but he hasn't lost his team.

    "(They) are all just encouraging me. Telling me, 'Just try not to worry about it and prepare for this week,' cause they will need me to step up and keep being a leader," Franklin said. "So they just gave me some encouragement, told me not to hold onto it."

    The Tigers are backing Franklin as their starting quarterback, and he'll have an opportunity to redeem himself when the Tigers play the Tennessee Volunteers at 11:21 a.m. Saturday at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.

    If there is ever a game for the Missouri offense to get going, this is it. Tennessee's defense has allowed at least 38 points in each of its past five games.

    Post-Dispatch: Heat on Franklin from outside, warmth for him on inside

    there was an entirely different view of Franklin and the game he had in the 14-7 loss to the Gators on Monday at the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, and it went well beyond any reflexive, hollow defense of him.

    "The kid came out breathing fire … He's the only reason offensively we were in that game," said receiver T.J. Moe, referring to Franklin's effective scrambles, 236 passing yards and sheer attitude. "He's not healthy right now.

    "But he played like he was healthy on Saturday. He didn't care about his knee (a strained MCL on Oct.6). He didn't care about his shoulder (two separate injuries, including major surgery in the spring).

    "He didn't care about his fingers that look like they're (going to fall off). There are so many things wrong with the kid right now, but he gave us a chance to win."

    PowerMizzou: PMTV-HD: Week Ten Media Day
  • Next Week
    The Trib (Dave Matter): Evening kickoff for MU's home finale vs. Syracuse
  • Britt
    The Trib: Missouri's Britt will miss rest of season
    KC Star: MU's Justin Britt out for rest of the season
    Post-Dispatch: Mizzou's Britt is out for the season

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