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Old 11-05-2017, 12:07 AM
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Default Missouri 45 Florida 16
COLUMBIA, Mo. In recent weeks, the hype surrounding Mizzou Football's midseason resurgence had centered around the passing game, and the skill players that have been contributing to the explosive aerial attack. That recognition has been well deserved.

Quarterback Drew Lock leads the nation in touchdown passes, freshman tight end Albert Okwuegbunam is tops in the country in receiving touchdowns at his position, while five different receivers have caught at least three touchdowns for the Black and Gold.

However, as the Tigers battled the Gators, it became clear how much of a role the offensive line has played during Mizzou's three-game winning streak. It was just a little more obvious against Florida, as the veteran group dominated the game from start to finish. The group doesn't necessarily want the attention, but they did want to set the tone against an SEC foe.

"We wanted to make a statement," junior guard Kevin Pendleton (Lee's Summit, Mo.) said. "We wanted to come out and punch them in the mouth. We knew that if we could give our tailbacks some creases, we'd be able to run it down their throats."

Playing against a physical Florida defense, the group - headlined by Pendleton, senior tackle Tyler Howell, redshirt senior tackle Yasir Durant, junior tackle Paul Adams, sophomore guard Tre'Vour Sims, and redshirt freshman center Trystan Castillo - was the focal point for the offensive explosion. They were able to control the game up front, as the Tigers were able to rack up 227 rushing yards, while not surrendering a tackle for loss all game.

This was the second straight week the offense topped 200 yards rushing, but this performance came against a stout Florida front that had been allowing just 157 yards per game on the ground in conference play. Even despite the Gators' defensive reputation, head coach Barry Odom and his staff had made it a point during the week that the focus had to be controlling the line of scrimmage. The offensive line was able to execute that strategy.

"We knew we needed to play physical," Odom said. "We felt that we had an advantage in the run game. I thought our linemen did a nice job of getting a hat on a hat, and getting up to the second level. Anytime you can control the line of scrimmage, it allows you to do more things. I thought our guys up front played pretty darn good."

As good as they were at opening holes in the run game, the offensive line was also flawless in pass protection, allowing zero sacks for the third time this season. The offense was able to remain balanced, as the Tigers were able to gain 228 yards through the air. The group recognized that the players on the outside had been playing well in recent games, so they wanted to step up their play to match that production.

"We talked all week about putting this game on our backs to take pressure off of the other guys," Pendleton said. "Guys on the outside are working really hard, and we just wanted to make their lives easier. We wanted to take charge today."

The Tigers offense has been absolutely dominant over this three game winning streak, and that all starts with the play of the offensive line. Even in their losses, the massive group, that averages 6'5" and 326 pounds, has been the most consistent unit for Head Coach Odom's offense. Looking ahead, Odom knows that this group has a chance to be special, and help turn the tide as the Tigers make the turn for home this season.

"I really think they have developed trust in each other," Odom said. "They have an opportunity down the stretch here to become a big advantage for us. They are working extremely hardl, and they take ownership in running the football and protecting the quarterback. Our staff has done a heck of job in pushing those guys and putting them in position to help our guys make plays."

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Old 11-05-2017, 05:57 PM
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Congrats to Missouri
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:45 PM
RunItUpTheGut RunItUpTheGut is offline

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Even Kentucky could have done this had they played florida this week
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Old 11-06-2017, 12:21 PM
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With the recruiting classes Florida and UTee have had the last 4 years you would think they could overcome bad coaches...
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