Offensive Breakdown: Missouri Tigers
Week 2 is upon us and as we get closer to crisp October mornings, the Mountaineers prepare for their first road game of the young season. After a defensive battle for the most part last week, I would expect something similar as we take a look at the Missouri offense.
Of course you have to start with quarterback Kelly Bryant, senior graduate transfer from Clemson. In 2017, Bryant led the Tigers to the national championship game where they lost to the Crimson Tide of Alabama. Last season, Bryant lost his starting job to freshman phenom Trevor Lawrence.
In his Missouri debut last week in a 37-31 loss at Wyoming, Bryant was 31 for 48 while tossing for 423 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. The Cowboys held him in check on the ground, as Bryant only scurried for 20 yards on 11 carries. Bryant also gave away the ball on a 30-yard fumble return for a touchdown, which seemed to shift the momentum of the game.
Bryant completed 31 passes, and the man he went to the most was senior receiver Johnathon Johnson. Johnson caught 59 balls last year, and reeled in seven more against Wyoming for 68 yards. Look for the Tigers to try to get Johnson into space on shorter routes and let him make a play.
Missouri nearly split the carries between Tyler Badie and Larry Rountree III as the two combined for 94 yards on 31 carries with one touchdown each. Badie rushed the ball 16 times for 53 yards and Rountree III ran it 15 times for 41 yards. Kelly Bryant found Badie seven times last week for 49 yards, so expect that to be a part of their game plan once again.
Rountree III is coming off of a tremendous sophomore season after rushing for 1,216 yards and 11 touchdowns. Expect him to get a majority of the carries against WVU, but Badie will still be utilized more in the passing game.
An intriguing matchup to look at is the battle in the trenches. The front seven for the Mountaineers looked solid in the matchup against JMU, but Missouri will bring much more size into this week’s game.
6’5″ 330 pound senior guard Tre’vour Wallace-Simms is the anchor of the lime. He was a first team All-SEC selection a year ago. Going into the final week of the season last year, he had allowed just one hit on the QB, no sacks and committed zero penalties.
The man in the middle is 6’4″ 315 pound junior, Trystan Colon-Castillo. He is one of the better centers in the country, let alone the SEC. He does a fantastic job of getting to the second level to make way for the Tiger’s halfbacks.
Look for the Tigers to establish the run early to open up the passing game and keep West Virginia on its toes with the quarterback run.
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