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at Oklahoma 38 … Missouri 28
Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 24, 2011


Week 4 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Missouri at Oklahoma


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 4 - Missouri at Oklahoma

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Sept. 24 at Oklahoma 38 … Missouri 28
CFN Analysis: Oklahoma might have won the game against a strong team, but it showed a few holes. Last week, the offense couldn’t seem to get working against a good Florida State defense that got ripped apart by Clemson. This week it was the defense that had the big problems handling the option on the outside and the passing of James Franklin. While the final defensive stats might not seem that great, an explosion after getting down 14-3, with 28 straight points, put the game away as Ryan Broyles put on a show. Landry Jones was great, throwing for 448 yards and three scores, but this was Broyles’ game with 13 catches for 154 yards and three scores. Next week against Ball State is about keeping everyone healthy, and then it’s Texas time.

Missouri might have lost, but it found its stars to work around for the next few years. This was James Franklin’s coming out party, showing he could produce against a top defense in a hostile environment, and Henry Josey was terrific inside and out. The problem at the moment is Grant Ressel, who missed a huge kick against Arizona State and missed two 46 yarders in key spots this week. He’s good enough to get it back and go on a run, but Mizzou needs him to be automatic like he was last year.

(AP) NORMAN, Okla. -- James Franklin and Missouri fared better than most opponents on Oklahoma's Owen Field and still didn't come away with a victory. 0-2 against the good teams on the schedule, Mizzou has to show it can beat someone with a pulse in two weeks at Kansas State.

The Tigers (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) became the first team since 2007 to hold a lead on the Sooners' home field but couldn't sustain a strong start and lost 38-28 on Saturday night.

Franklin scored on a 1-yard sneak and found L'Damian Washington open with a seam up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown pass to stake Missouri to an 14-3 first-quarter lead. But Oklahoma (3-0, 1-0), led by Landry Jones' 448 yards passing and Ryan Broyles' 154 yards receiving and three touchdown catches, stormed back with 28 straight points to claim its 38th straight victory at home.

"We thought we could beat them. Everybody talked about how this place was crazy and people don't win in Norman," Missouri receiver T.J. Moe said. "We didn't come out with a victory, but it wasn't any different than any other place I've played."

Only Texas Tech in 2006 had held a larger lead at Oklahoma during its best-in-the-nation home winning streak, and Baylor had been the only opponent to hold a lead in Norman since Mizzou led by one in the fourth quarter in its last visit in 2007.

"I would say we beat ourselves tonight. We know we're way better than that and can bring more to the table," said Henry Josey, who finished with 133 yards on 14 carries.

"It's just those little things that we have to fix."

The Sooners had gone 20 straight home games without trailing before coming out flat and falling behind.

"To be a top-caliber team and to win a national championship and play like this, it's not going to happen," defensive captain Travis Lewis said. "Hopefully it's a reality check to these players and to this team that it's going to take our best every week."

Despite an unsatisfying effort, the Sooners avenged a loss in Columbia last year when they were first in the BCS standings.

"Definitely the OU on the side of your helmet doesn't realy speak for your play and you've got to bring it every week, especially in the Big 12 and against good teams," said Jones, who had his fifth career 400-yard passing game.

"It was definitely a wake-up call for us."

With two starting receivers out of the lineup, Broyles had to play up to his usual All-American standard without proven sidekicks. Kenny Stills, who caught the go-ahead touchdown in a win at then-No. 5 Florida State last week, was out with a head injury and Trey Franks is suspended indefinitely.

He got Oklahoma's rally started by scoring from 25 yards out on a throw that initially went through his arms. Broyles was able to cradle it along his leg and then secure it long enough before falling out of bounds that the touchdown call was upheld on review.

"I just felt it, I just grabbed it. I can't even tell you how it happened but it worked," Broyles said.

He followed that three drives later with a 4-yard TD catch in the right side of the end zone, on a pass that wasn't even intended for him.

"Don't tell anyone that," he joked with a cluster of reporters.

The Sooners went up 17-14 and never looked back.

Missouri also had a hot start in last season's upset, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but then was able to close strong with 16 straight fourth-quarter points for a 36-27 victory.

This time, the Sooners were able to prevent any late heroics by the Tigers.

Josey took an option pitch and raced 47 yards down the left sideline for a score to make it 31-21 with 6:44 left in the game, and it could have been even closer if not for a pair of missed 46-yard field goals by Grant Ressel.

The Sooners eliminated any drama by answering immediately with a 62-yard scoring drive, capped by Broyles' twisting 4-yard grab in the back of the end zone.

"Against a great football team like this, certainly every opportunity you get, you've got to take advantage of," Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel said.

Ressel also missed a potential game-winner in the Tigers' overtime loss at Arizona State two weeks ago. He had missed only three of 46 field-goal attempts entering this season, but has missed four already in four weeks.

"We have to work on Grant. He's struggling a little bit," Pinkel said. "He's got a lot of ability. We've got to help him get his confidence back."

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops had proclaimed during the week that "revenge doesn't win" and encouraged his team to focus on correcting mistakes from last year's disappointing loss instead. Still, he showed the team a video of Tigers fans storming Faurot Field to celebrate their win last October and a picture of a fan riding the goal posts was hanging in the team's meeting room.

"For whatever reason, there just wasn't quite as much energy and emotion, and that's disappointing in my eyes because I thought we were more mature than that and beyond that," Stoops said.

After completing his first five passes, Franklin -- the son of former Sooners tight end Willie Franklin -- misfired on 15 of his next 19 attempts and finished with 291 yards on 16 for 33 passing. He also had another 1-yard TD sneak with 32 seconds left to provide the final margin.

Michael Egnew, the Tigers' All-American tight end, didn't make his first catch until his team was down 17 in the fourth quarter. He ended up with two catches for 40 yards.

"We've just got to be more consistent," Pinkel said. "You're not going to beat a good football team unless you play consistently."

Missouri lost its 18th straight game on Owen Field, with its last win coming in 1966.

The schools played just two days after their leaders had an apparent misunderstanding over the state of the Big 12. Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton announced that the league's remaining nine members planned to pursue committing their television revenues to the Big 12 for the next six years. As Deaton was talking, a speakerphone blasted out Oklahoma president David Boren's voice with a different message.

Boren claimed that the members had all agreed to the powerful step that would make it far more difficult for another conference to draw them away.

Missouri (2-1) at Oklahoma (2-0) Sept. 24, 8:00, FX

Here’s The Deal … Missouri stopped an eight-game losing streak to Oklahoma last year beating the then-BCS No. 1 ranked Sooners in a scintillating 36-27 win. Now it might be payback time.

Oklahoma might be too big to care about a silly grudge.

Mizzou gets another No. 1 ranked OU again, this time in the human polls, but things are different. These Sooners are coming off a very tough, very emotional road win over Florida State to go along with the flash and explosion that everyone knows is there, and while this might be a big game to open up the new Big 12 season, they’re not going to try to win this game just because they’re grouchy over losing in Columbia last year. They’re going to try to win this game because they’re shooting for a national title.

The Big 12 has been terrific so far with just two non-conference losses among all ten teams, but OU appears to have the make-up and the talent to get through a tough weekly schedule, helped by getting the Tigers at home this week and with Texas Tech and Texas A&M also coming to Norman. The Oklahoma State game is on the road, but that doesn’t come until the end of the season, and the Texas showdown comes up in a few weeks after getting a tune-up against Ball State. In other words, the schedule isn’t all that bad considering the conference looks great.

For Mizzou, it could really use a huge, splashy road win to show that it belongs among the elite of the Big 12. After giving away the Arizona State game in overtime two weeks ago, getting blown out by OU would all but kill the season. Just 4-31 against their old Big 8 foe going back to 1970, the program hasn’t had too much luck in the series and hasn’t won in Norman since 1966. No one’s giving Gary Pinkel’s program a shot, but the talent is there and the athletes are in place to make this a battle.

Oklahoma has the talent in place to solidify its spot at No. 1.

Why Missouri Might Win: How did Florida State keep the game so close last week and how did the defense keep the Sooner O under wraps? The great Seminole defensive front shut down the OU running game, allowing just 111 hard yards and not allowing any big plays. The secondary managed to take away Ryan Broyles, holding the star to a pedestrian seven catches for 55 yards, and while that opened things up for Kenny Stills on the other side, Missouri will take its chances if Broyles is held down. And most importantly, the pressure was decent on Landry Jones. FSU only came up with one sack, but it did a nice job of throwing his timing off and not allowing the OU deep patterns to develop.

Missouri has a strong pass rush and has a tremendous defensive front that should stuff the good, but not great OU ground game. The Tiger front four might not be as explosive as Florida State’s but it’s just as strong and deep on the inside and is almost as athletic across the front. Arizona State’s offense might have moved the ball well in the win in Tempe, but star running back Cameron Marshall was held to 61 yards on 22 carries and the toughest runs ended up coming from quarterback Brock Osweiler panicking and escaping the pass rush. However, as good as the run defense should be …

Why Oklahoma Might Win: … the passing game should work. Missouri’s weakest defensive link is in the secondary, and it showed against an Arizona State passing game that was ultra-efficient completing 25-of-33 passes for 388 yards and four scores. Jones had a nice game against the Tigers last year throwing for 303 yards and three touchdowns as he kept pressing and kept pushing the ball down the field to try to keep up with Blaine Gabbert and the Tiger offense. This year, if he gets time, his receivers should come up with even bigger days against the MU corners. Florida State might have gotten in the backfield last week, but the Sooner O line only allowed one sack.

On the other side, the OU pass rush has been phenomenal over the first two games ripping up Florida State for six sacks and 12 tackles for loss after coming up with three sacks against Tulsa. The production is coming from several spots and it’s being mixed up, and while Mizzou quarterback James Franklin is smart enough to sniff out the pressure and mobile enough to take off when needed, he’s not going to get any time to get comfortable. The Tiger line has been missing all-star tackle Elvis Fisher, who’s out for the year with a knee injury, and the depth is thin.

What To Watch Out For: Each team has talent, explosion, and enough firepower to make this a shootout, but field position should play a huge role for Missouri, who can’t be pinned deep on a regular basis. Oklahoma’s punting game has been fantastic so far, with Tress Way doing a terrific job against Florida State putting three of his punts inside the 20 and averaging 46.3 yards per kick. Seven of his eight punts so far have been placed inside the 20, while Missouri’s Trey Barrow is fifth in the nation averaging 48.5 yards per kick airing it out for 58 yards per kick against Arizona State and bailing the offense out in a tough game against Miami University averaging 44.7 yards per kick putting three inside the 20.

To win, Missouri has to get the ground game working to take the pressure off of Frankin, and that means Henry Josey needs to come up with another big performance. With De’Vion Moore out with an ankle injury, Josey has picked up the slack with a 263-yard, three score performance last week against Western Illinois after running nine times for 94 yards against Arizona State. Great in the open field, he has to get there first and has to avoid the swarming OU linebacking corps that has its leader back.

Linebacker Travis Lewis returned from a broken foot sooner than expected and came up big against Florida State with eight tackles and a tackle for loss, while Tom Wort has picked up his play making eight tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss against the Seminoles. These two have to keep Josey in check, and they have to keep Franklin in the pocket as much as possible.

What Will Happen: Oklahoma will flex its muscle. After battling hard against Florida State, the Sooner offense will be balanced, effective, and explosive with Broyles opening things up a bit early on and the ground game gashing the Tigers in the second half. Missouri will have its moments and will keep the game interesting for a half, but it won’t be able to keep up the pace.

CFN Prediction: Oklahoma 41 … Missouri 23
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