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K-State Wildcats Vs. Missouri Tigers: Stopping Daniel Thomas

The Missouri Tigers will host the Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday in Columbia and there's no doubt what Mizzou's game plan will be: stop the running game. KSU has yet to declare a starter -- it'll be Collin Klein or Carson Coffman -- who will line up in front of RB Daniel Thomas.

Thomas is one of the best running backs in the nation and it's a tall order for any team to stop him. Mizzou's defense has been a major bright spot for much of the season as they started 7-0. The first loss, though, the defense failed big time. Nebraska's Roy Helu, Jr. ran all over the Tigers surpassing 300 yards.

Daniel Thomas, if given the opportunity, could do that. More than likely though Mizzou won't give him the opportunity. I'm not sure that they can stop Thomas but they can slow him down.

"We have to stop the run," Mizzou DE Aldon Smith said. "If we all stay in our gaps and handle our assignments, everything should turn out all right. We should stop the run."
If Klein plays QB, that becomes easier and harder ... if that makes any sense. Klein doesn't have to pass the ball to be effective which means Mizzou could line up to stop the run (facing two good runners instead of one). On the other hand, if Klein can pass the ball, Mizzou's defense could be exposed if they're selling out to stop the run.

It'll be an interesting chess match as Gary Pinkel tries to shut down Kansas State's run game.