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It’s time to get Albert O involved in the passing game again

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Albert Okwuegbunam is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. It’s time to unleash the beast.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

A week ago, I wrote an open love letter to Missouri’s offensive coordinator, and today I’m ready to criticize him.

Sports are weird, my friends.

Mizzou has one of the biggest mismatch weapons in the country, and they’re not using him enough. His name is Albert Okwuegbunam. You may have heard of him. Out of his 90 career receptions, 23 have resulted in a touchdown.

The second part of that stat is remarkable. The first number in the stat is the reason for this column.

Okwuegbunam is one of the biggest mismatches in the country, and Missouri only seems to take advantage of that advantage in the red zone. I want to be clear, I’m not suggesting Derek Dooley should target Albert O less in the red zone. I just want to see him target Albert O more in the open field.

I went back and watched every catch Okwuegbunam has made this season against power-five opponents (+ Wyoming) that didn’t come in the red zone. It didn’t take me long. The full video is less than three minutes long.

I would recommend watching it. He’s a pretty impressive fellow, this Albert O.

He’s considered to be one of the top tight end prospects for the 2020 NFL draft class. But despite his obvious talent, he’s yet to be targeted more than five times in any game this season.

Albert O’s targets by game:

Wyoming - 5

West Virginia - 4

SEMO - 2

South Carolina - 4

Troy - 4

Ole Miss - 5

Vandy - 5

Okwuegbunam is currently 35th in the SEC in receptions, 31st in receiving yards, 12th in yards per reception (min. 10 receptions) and tied for 5th in receiving touchdowns. His efficiency is ridiculous. His touchdown production is off the charts. But his volume simply isn’t where it needs to be.

The way to get the offense back on track this week against Kentucky is simple. Get the ball into your best players’ hands. Those players include Kelly Bryant, Tyler Badie, Larry Rountree III, Johnathon Johnson and Albert Okwuegbunam.

If the Tigers do that consistently on Saturday, they’ll have a good opportunity to get things back on track.

I still think Dooley has done a good job this season, but one of his weaknesses seems to be utilizing his greatest mismatch.

It’s time to right that wrong.