Missouri vs. Oklahoma: A Closer Look

Doug ZerjalContributor IISeptember 19, 2011

Mizzou upset number one Oklahoma in 2010
Mizzou upset number one Oklahoma in 2010Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

National pundits will scream a similar phrase over the next week, "Tiger fans beware: Oklahoma will trounce Tigers in revenge game."

After last year's 36-27 loss in Columbia, many expect Oklahoma to trounce Mizzou this weekend in their rematch in Norman. A closer look at the contest says otherwise.

Oklahoma did lose last year to Missouri. That may prompt an extra focus for America’s current top-ranked team. That being said, they are also coming off a huge showdown win against Florida State on the road. A down game against Missouri is not out of the question. Even though Missouri played Western Illinois Saturday (a 69-0 drubbing), in all reality they've had two weeks to prepare for the Sooners. Two weeks to prepare for any opponent is usually an advantage, and there are countless examples of teams winning a big game one week (Oklahoma vs. FSU) and losing to a seemingly inferior opponent the next. 

A comparison of statistics from recent games also gives hope to the Tigers.

Take for example Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel. Manuel ran for 49 yards on 8 carries in less than three quarters of action this past Saturday against Oklahoma. Tiger quarterback James Franklin is a far better runner and scrambler than Manuel. Franklin totaled an impressive 403 total yards (passing and running) against an attacking Arizona State defense two weeks ago. 

It is important to note the problems for Missouri as well. Oklahoma’s receivers are sensational led by All-American Ryan Broyles and speedster Kenny Stills. The secondary is obviously a problem for Missouri after watching the Arizona State game. No amount of statistics can argue that.

However, don’t be surprised if an Oklahoma letdown, two weeks of game planning, and a running quarterback equate to a closer game than many experts think. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to foresee a Tiger upset for the second year in a row.