Springfield, Mo. (OzarksSportsZone.com) -- Missouri hits the road for the first time this weekend to play its first opponent from a BCS conference against a 2-1 Indiana team.
An offensive explosion is expected.
“There are a lot of different things they play. Fastball, they play fast,” Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said. “They certainly get their reps in, and they are very, very potent.”
The Hoosiers rank 8th in the NCAA in total offense at 571.3 yards per game and 11th in the NCAA in passing, which puts Indiana all the way up at No. 6 in the NCAA in scoring offense at 50-points-per-game.
The Mizzou secondary is outside of the top 40 in both total defense and passing defense, so the Tigers’ secondary will be tested.
The fast paced offense is a challenge senior defensive back E.J. Gaines is ready to meet.
"I love it as a cornerback,” Gaines said. “It really takes me back to playing in the Big 12 and the way they like to throw the ball."
Missouri will look to get pressure on likely starter Nate Sudfeld and try to force him into bad decisions.
"We would like to have more sacks,” Pinkel said. “I think people have been pretty good about getting rid of the football, and the only issue has been the Toledo guy. He played really well. He did not put him in the position to stand back there very long. That ball was gone. I think he did a good job on getting rid of it. I think we created some poor throws and that lead to two interceptions. So, I think we are doing some good things but we certainly would like to get more sacks."
Mizzou has fared well in the turnover category with six interceptions this season for a turnover margin of plus-two per game, which is fourth-best in the NCAA.
"There is nothing in my business that determines winning more than that stat. Turnovers and turnover margin, there is no stat that comes close to that," Pinkel said.
Offensively, the Tigers should have no issues moving the ball against a Hoosier defense that ranks 108 out of 123 in rushing defense and 77th in total defense.
Indiana does like to bring pressure, which will force quarterback James Franklin to make some quick decisions.
"Predominately, on second down they bring pressure. For the most part they play a 4-3 scheme, but if it is second down, from what I have seen it is 70-80 percent pressure,” Franklin said. “They are always going to bring someone. They seem to have basic corner coverage, and we just have to outplay them."
Mizzou kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Bloomington, Ind.
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