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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

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The Missouri Defense is Overrated

So, I used to always think about Drake’s first full-length album, “ Thank Me Later,” as this classic album that was the rapper’s major statement that he was one of the best young MC’s in the game.

Then, over the years I looked back and realized, maybe “Over” was the only actually good song on there.

Yeah, sure there were some other quality songs but nothing that is going to stand the test of time.

I feel the same way about “ Thank Me Later” as I do about the Missouri defense.

The pass rush is their one classic song. The rest is nothing to be worried about.

To be clear, it is a really good song though.

Shane Ray and Markus Golden are ferocious with their four sacks a piece through only three games. They highlight a pass rush that is fourth in the nation with 11 sacks.

The rest of the defense, on the other hand, is not as good as they seem. Hear me out.

This Mizzou defense has played South Carolina State, Toledo and University of Central Florida thus far. Toledo and UCF are quality teams but Toledo is 1-2 and UCF is 0-2.

Through these three games, Missouri has not been able to stop the run.

In the first quarter of games, when the game is still close, the Tigers have given up 6.6 yards per carry. That is absurd.

For reference, even the IU defense only gives up 4.4 YPC early in games.

With the exception of the UCF game, the Mizzou offense had already pulled away with a comfortable lead by the second quarter, making the opponent’s run game effectively irrelevant.

The UCF run game, though, is one of the worst in the nation anyway.

In the passing game, the Tigers have caused five interceptions in three games. This is an impressive number, no doubt, but three of those came in the second half and four of five came in the second quarter or later.

This is when these teams were already in pass first situations due to being behind by a large margin.

This is where the Missouri defense is able to thrive because they know their opponents are passing and they can send their violent pass rush in full throttle to try and create chaos for their mediocre secondary.

The pass defense, when not bringing down opposing quarterbacks, gives up a passer rating of 114.7 in the second half. When quarterbacks have time, they have been able to pass effectively against this defense.

IU has one of the most experienced offensive lines in college football.

This same offensive line actually did not give up one sack last season against a Missouri defensive line that had a SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a second-round NFL draft pick.

This same offensive line has only given up two sacks on the season, both of which were in an Indiana State game where Sudfeld was holding onto the ball for a long time. The offensive line wasn’t exactly getting beat.

This Missouri defense is simply beatable. If IU can hang in this game, or maybe get up early, they can control this defense all day.

The Hoosiers happen to have one of the best running backs in college football in Tevin Coleman, who leads the nation with 218.5 yards per game.

Does this change the fact that I think Maty Mauk and company will have a field day with the IU defense? Not one bit.

I will say to keep an eye on if — one huge if — the Hoosier 3-4 defense creates havoc for Mauk in the backfield. As talented as he is, he is very prone to poor ?decisions.

The Tiger defense may prove to me that they are more “ Take Care” than “ Thank Me Later,” but only time will tell.

My prediction: Mizzou still wins 45-38.

P.S. Feel free to post comments about disagreements on Drake albums.

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