Each game has certain matchups within the game that are oh so very important to the outcome. Matchups so important that they can be the difference in a win and a loss. For every game this season, I’ll be taking a look at the three most important matchups regarding an individual or even between position groups.
Missouri’s interior D-Line vs Army’s Offensive Line
It’s been brought up repeatedly, but Army’s offensive line isn’t exactly physically imposing. They’re actually pretty small, but they do their job at a high level. Among the things they do at a high level, is the cut block, which Missouri will have to be aware of.
Part of stopping the triple option is being super patient and doing your job. This makes the interiors job very easy.
Create penetration, and tackle the dive. Don’t worry about anything else, just do your job.
Missouri has had a few notable losses in terms of personnel (which I’ll get to momentarily) but one of the underrated ones has got to be the absence of Akial Byers. He was one of the bigger defensive lineman in the rotation, and was a solid player for them. I’m worried about who is going to step up and replace his reps in a situation in where every time you go out of your position, the offense can make you pay in an embarrassing fashion.
Brady Cook vs The Army Defense
Finally, Brady is going to get a chance to Cook. (Editor’s Note: See what he did there?)
I understood what Drinkwitz was thinking when deciding to stay with Bazelak for most of the season, and I deferred to his knowledge of his team when he made the conscious choice not to play Brady Cook. He is, after all, around this team more than the internet mobs who chastised that choice.
But now, it’s time for Brady to show what he can do with the full offense at his disposal and with the benefit of playing a defense that isn’t Georgia’s. With it being an exhibition and all, I hope Drink goes deep into his bag of tricks and really gives Cook a chance to operate the offense without training wheels.
He brings a different dynamic, that is undisputed. He has pocket passer tendencies, with pretty fast legs and an actual willingness to run. This is a choice to try something different, and it’s a fair one to make.
Lets hope 12 is up to the task.
Missouri’s RB’s vs Army’s Defense
With the news of Tyler Badie not playing in the bowl game, that leaves a massive hole in the backfield. The Tigers just can’t replace that kind of production. They can try, but those tries will ultimately be fruitless.
This does, however, present an awesome opportunity for some of the young running backs in the backfield. Elijah Young, Taj Butts and Michael Cox will probably be worked in with what I would bet is the ceremonial starter, Dawson Downing. I’d also bet that Downing will be the third down back most of the time, as it seems like they trust him to pick up blitzes pretty well. But this game will, in all likelihood, be handed to the young guys, and how they do will determine who has momentum heading into next season and who could be looking for other opportunities to shine. Ball security, vision and pass protection will be what can distinguishes these guys from each other.
As another Missouri running back leaves, could this be the beginning of the next players journey as a great?