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Kentucky's bend-don't-break D will force Mizzou to execute on screens and runs

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Here are today's Mizzou Links.

Derrick Forsythe / Rock M Nation

Mizzou Tigers pennant What's On

Sam share (Michael Sam's doing some work for Mizzou Network now)!

Stat share (Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo talked Mizzou at KTGR)!

Self share (I talked with some Florida radio folks about non-Mizzou things)!

Mizzou Tigers pennant Everybody say nice things about each other!

The Trib (David Morrison): Gary Pinkel on the SEC Teleconference: Kentucky Week

On how, or if, Kentucky is turning the corner as a program...

"In our business, time tells everything. We'll see where that goes. I just think they had a really good win against South Carolina in a very difficult place. Last week, they were in it against a good Florida team. They're very well-coached. His footprint is on it. You can see it in the consistency of how his players play, the discipline in how they play, all those things are in place. They've got a returning starter at quarterback, good skill players, they're good up front. So a lot of things in place. It takes a while to get your footprint in and to change the environment and the culture. He has a vision for what that is, like I had a vision here. Any head coach does for their program. And I think they're starting to realize it. You can see it by those things I just mentioned."

Post-Dispatch: UK's Stoops on Mizzou: 'They don't get enough credit'

"They have a lot of good players, though," he said. "Schematically, they’re still the same. What I like about them I really appreciate the way Missouri plays hard, aggressive, tough football all the time. Really, they don’t get enough credit. They’re a tough hard-nosed football team that finds a way to win. They’ve won an awful lot of games. I don’t think much has changed with them."

Stoops is especially impressed with Missouri’s defense. With a revamped front four, Stoops said the Tigers compare favorably to Florida’s defense, which sacked quarterback Patrick Towles six times last week.

Post-Dispatch: Williams brings a Boom to Kentucky’s offense

Mizzou Tigers pennant We'll talk about this more today and tomorrow...

...but a quick perusal of Kentucky's stat profile tells you a lot about the Wildcats' defense -- they're eighth in big-play prevention so far (IsoPPP) and 118th in efficiency (success rate). That's an extreme bend-don't-break defense. Whereas UConn caught Mizzou off-guard by sitting back and swallowing up longer passes, there will be no surprise when Kentucky does the same thing. It will be up to Mizzou to execute well in the run game (gulp) and on screens. And maybe actually go over the middle once or twice.

The Trib: With offense in a rut, MU leans on screens, short-passing game

The Tigers aim to gain at least 4 yards on screens, wide receivers coach Pat Washington said. Nine of Missouri’s 12 passes that didn’t travel past the line of scrimmage generated at least 4 yards.

"Anything over 4 is like icing on the cake," Washington said.

Washington said there are two key factors to making wide receiver screens successful. One, the defense has to be using a scheme that cooperates. Two, the other wideouts have to block well and not draw flags.

Mizzou Tigers pennant Recruiting ICYMIs

Willie Jackson!
PowerMizzou: Jackson joins the Tigers
The Trib: Ohio wing Jackson commits to Missouri
Post-Dispatch: Cleveland's Jackson commits to Mizzou basketball

Albert Okwuegbunam!
PowerMizzou: Film Room: Albert Okwuegbunam

He needs to develop his technique on his releases and route running, but he displays excellent quickness and change of direction; traits that should help him excel in those areas in the future with further instruction. He displays excellent strength for his relatively narrow frame, but will need to add some bulk as well.

Mizzou Tigers pennant A dud to finish non-conference

MUtigers.com: @MizzouVB Falls 3-0 At Saint Louis

Mizzou Tigers pennant WHATNOT

Tip times
MUtigers.com: Nonconference Game Times Take Shape for @MizzouHoops

Buckeyes comin'
The Trib: MU wrestling to host defending national champion Ohio State

Letters