The Missouri Tigers face the Nebraska Corn Huskers on Saturday and Mizzou's defense is the focal point heading in. Through seven games, the Tigers have shown they're among the elite defenses in the country. The nation finally saw Mizzou's defense last week when the Tigers beat the Oklahoma Sooners on ABC's Saturday night game.
As Kirk Herbstreit said during the broadcast, this isn't anything new for Mizzou. Its defense has been playing like that all season long. Apparently the Huskers agree because offensive line coach Barney Cotton says they're focusing on the Tigers defense, particularly their movement and blitz packages.
"I think the biggest challenge they present is their base defense is probably a movement defense," Cotton said. "They don't sit still. Their ends, tackles, noses, linebackers, everybody's involved in movement of some sort. I would expect them very rarely to line up and play a straight defense, so that's going to be our biggest challenge, getting a hat on a hat."
Mizzou's defense is even better with DE Aldon Smith's return. LB Luke Lambert, who was ruled out last week, won't be returning for this game. Playing with backups is nothing new for Mizzou this season so it shouldn't affect the game much.
It seems strange to say that a game between Mizzou and Nebraska will be about the defense.