Missouri Bowl Game 2010: Breaking Down the Tigers in the Insight Bowl

James Evens@JamesEvensCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2010

Missouri Bowl Game 2010: Breaking Down the Tigers in the Insight Bowl

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    The Tigers finished the regular season tied for first place in the Big 12 North with a record of 10-2 on the season.

    Now they are looking to win in the postseason as they face the Iowa Hawkeyes in what should be a classic Big 12 vs. Big Ten matchup at the Insight Bowl.

    As we draw near the December 28 bowl, both teams are preparing to win a war.

    This article will break down the Tigers in the Insight Bowl.


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    Missouri's offense has been quite balanced this season. They have a steady running attack but can also air it out if they need to. It creates a tough matchup for opponents.

    The offense is led by junior quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert has thrown for 2,752 yards this season along with 15 touchdowns while only allowing seven interceptions.

    The Tigers average 162 yards on the ground each game.

    They are led in the running game by De'Vion Moore, Henry Josey and Kendial Lawrence. These three combined are the main rushing threats, compiling 16 touchdowns.

    They will need to have a great game because they will be going up against one of the best defenses in the country with Iowa.


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    The Tigers have one of the best defenses in the nation, only allowing just over 15 points per game, which is phenomenal for playing in such an offensive conference.

    Their defense is really the essential component to their team, and it will need to play strong for them to beat a tough Iowa team.

Special Teams

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    The Tigers' special teams have been decent this season.

    Their kicker is one of the best in the nation, only missing two field goals on the season and being almost automatic in extra points.

    Led by Grant Ressel, they will need to have a great game on special teams, because with such a defensive battle, this one could be decided by the special teams.


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    The Tigers are coached by Gary Pinkel. Pinkel is regarded as one of the best coaches in the nation and has been with Mizzou since 2001.

    Pinkel shouldn't make any coaching mistakes, so that shouldn't be a big problem, but did he get his team ready to play is the real question.

Keys to Victory: Stop Ricky Stanzi

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    Stanzi is almost the only offense that Iowa has. He has a great arm and could be considered a deep threat if you let him throw the ball.

    He has thrown for 25 touchdowns this season and only four interceptions.

    It is essential that Missouri put pressure on Stanzi, or it could be a long day for the Tigers.

Keys to Victory: Stop Adam Robinson

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    Robinson has been a constant threat out of the backfield this season. He has run for 941 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season.

    Stopping Robinson is key to stopping Stanzi.

Keys to Victory: Contain Marvin McNutt

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    Iowa had one of the best receiving duos in the nation. Key word is "had." One half of that receiving duo, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, landed himself in some trouble regarding drugs, so that leaves Marvin McNutt.

    Stopping McNutt is no easy task. This season he had 51 receptions for eight touchdown catches while compiling 798 receiving yards.

    If the Tigers can stop McNutt, Stanzi will be in trouble.

Keys to Victory: Run the Ball

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    As tempting as it may seem to just unleash the deep pass, it is essential that the run game is established in this game for the Tigers. If they can establish the run, it will open up that deep pass and allow them to score some serious points.

Keys to Victory: Win the Turnover Battle

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    Against Iowa, winning the turnover battle will be key. The Hawkeyes are able to take away the ball with ease and do not give it up often.

    Winning the turnover margin will be key for Mizzou in this one.