Why Missouri Tigers' Spread Offense Style of Play Will Never Work in the SEC

Luke PashkeCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 22:  Brison Williams #12 of the South Carolina Gamecocks breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Dorial Green-Beckham #15 of the Missouri Tigers during play at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Well, after two SEC games, it looks like the Tigers might want to revise their game plans to better fit their new conference. In the Big 12, Missouri could be content with "run and gun" shootouts with high powered, finesse offenses that could put up a lot of points through the air in a short amount of time. Clearly this will not work in the SEC.

The problem isn't that they run a spread offense but the type of spread they run. Urban Meyer dominated the SEC with a spread attack but his was based on mismatches and more power running.

Missouri's spread attack just isn't consistent enough and the Tigers constantly find themselves in third and long situations. If you put yourself in third and long over and over again against some of the D-Lines in the SEC you'll be eaten alive and you won't win games. Flat out.

Another problem with the Tigers' offense is there lack of consistency on the ground. When the going gets tough and Missouri is either backed up near their own endzone or knocking on the door of their opponent's, they have no power running game to turn to.

Earlier today, the Tigers were stuck on their own two yard line and they looked lost from the start. After a quick three and out that looked effortless for the Gamecocks, Missouri punted close to their endzone and gave up great field position. In order to succeed in this conference, the Tigers must establish some sort of reliable and productive rushing attack and it doesn't look like they'll be getting that from the system they run or the personnel they possess.

The Tigers have to realize that the defenses in the SEC are just flat out way more talented than the Big 12. That's not a knock on the Big 12 either. The Big 12 is just a different kind of football where spread systems and quick skill players  dominate.

The SEC,on the other hand, is all about defense and team speed. Spread systems that prey on space and one-on-one situations are owned by elite SEC defenses because the defensive ends are almost as fast as the secondary. You can't capitalize on space when it gets closed before you can blink.

Now a lot of these problems must be healed through recruiting. Right now Missouri is an SEC team with Big 12 personnel and until that is solved, they will continue to struggle. They must reevaluate their system and scrap the stuff that just won't work.

They need to find themselves a consistent running game that doesn't rely on gimmicks or tricks and they must fine tune their passing game and stop relying so much on their spread system.

I'm not saying to trash the whole playbook but at least flip through it again and adjust. If not, what happened today will just repeat each weekend.