Preview 2018: Missouri Tigers. Slower, Steadier ... Better?

Preview 2018: Missouri Tigers. Slower, Steadier ... Better?

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Missouri Tigers. Slower, Steadier ... Better?

What You Need To Know About The Missouri Offense

– You’re doing something right when the nation’s only unbeaten team wants your offensive coordinator as the head coach. Josh Heupel is gone to be the new Scott Frost at UCF, and now things are about to look a whole lot different for the SEC’s top offense.

Derek Dooley – mostly known for doing next to nothing as the Tennessee head man after going 17-20 at Louisiana Tech – is about to slow things down a bit. On the one hand, that’s a concern considering how devastating the offense was at times. However, when you have the ball for just 25 minutes a game, you need to tweak something.

– Fortunately, this is all good for QB Drew Lock. Forget about him approaching the 4,000-yard mark with 44 touchdowns like he did last season, but that’s okay. Even though he’s got the right size, the next-level arm, and is the early favorite to be the first quarterback off the board in the 2019 NFL Draft, he has to be more accurate and has to be better against the good teams. The idea now is to turn him into a more well-rounded quarterback who gets to work with more progressions and a full route tree from his receivers.

Lock doesn’t have leading target J’Mon Moore to throw to, but the corps is loaded. Deep threat Emanuel Hall will do a little of everything now, and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam should once again be one of the SEC’s most dangerous targets.

– Dooley has the line in place to start running the ball more. Mizzou led the SEC in fewest sacks given up and the nation in tackles for loss allowed, but that was mostly because the O went at warp speed. But the offensive line was really that good, too, and now all five starters are back.

Leading rusher Ish Witter is done after a solid career, but the 1-2 rushing punch of Larry Rountree III and Damarea Crockett – who’s expected to be more than fine after missing half of last season with a shoulder problem – will be outstanding in the rotation.

Biggest Key To The Missouri Offense

Stop turning the ball over. Yeah, the Missouri offense might not be all flash and dash like it was under Heupel, but the more deliberate pace isn’t going to bring things to a halt. And if it means the offense stops giving the ball away in bulk, that’s not a bad thing.

Hardly a shocker, the better teams did a stronger job of taking the ball away than the bad ones. But overall, Mizzou did its part to keep everyone fed, giving away an SEC-high 25 turnovers including 14 in the first five games.

This is where we get to see just what type of a true NFL prospect Lock really is – he has to get that completion percentage up, make the right reads, and cut down on the mistakes.

NEXT: Defense Breakdown, Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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