What You Need To Know About The Missouri Defense
– It’s Missouri. Don’t worry about the defensive end situation. The Tigers led the SEC in tackles for loss, to go along with a solid 33 sacks. But now Marcell Frazier and Jordan Harold are gone from the outside. Tre Williams is a rising star – as long as his banged up foot is okay – and Chris Turner has a world of upside. The big plays are going to come from the outside, partly because the inside is so nasty.
Terry Beckner and Walter Palmore form the foundation of one of the SEC East’s better defensive tackle situations, and there’s a whole lot more talent waiting to fill in the rotation. Even considering all the talent back on the offensive side, the DTs might just be the team’s biggest position strength.
– Can the corners ball out a bit more? DeMarkus Acy and Adam Sparks were more than just passable, but they each have to be more consistent and can’t give up so many key plays. They can both tackle – and so can Christian Holmes, who’s back from injury – and now they’re experienced. The pressure is on, though, with the safety situation a question mark.
It would’ve been wonderful to have Kaleb Prewett back, but he’s suspended from the team. Throw in the loss of Anthony Sherrills, and there’s work to be done to find the right tandem. Cam Hilton is experienced – even if he’s not all that consistently productive – with fall camp needed to find the right pieces for the two spots.
– The linebackers aren’t household names, but they’re going to be statistical superstars – again. Cale Garrett led the team in tackles, and Terez Hall was second. Start with those two who mostly work on the inside, get even more from Brandon Lee after a good 42-tackle season, and expect a whole lot of big things behind a line with the DTs Mizzou will boast.
Biggest Key To The Missouri Defense
Get off the field faster. To be fair, the Tiger defense didn’t get many chances to breathe thanks to a high-powered offense that held the ball for just 25 minutes per game. Now that the pace is being slowed down a bit, the third down production might be there on the defensive side.
Awful on third downs and even worse on big fourth down plays, the Tigers allowed teams to convert over 43% of their chances. Georgia ripped up the D converting 13-of-18 tries, and South Carolina, Auburn and Purdue all fired away at will.