The stage has been set for Friday night's huge showdown between the Missouri Tigers and the Arizona State Sun Devils. Both squads are 1-0, defeating Miami (OH) and UC Davis, respectively. While the Sun Devils rolled 48-14, Missouri had some difficulty finding their groove in their eventual 17-6 victory in Columbia.
The hardest thing for the Tigers to fix? Their passing game needs a lot of work. No one doubts that quarterback James Franklin is an incredible athlete, but in his first career start, the team struggled to figure out an offensive gameplan that suited his talents.
Franklin himself was very disappointed with his performance, grading his play as a "D" and noting that much improvement is necessary.
We saw a lot of short passes and a reliance on the running game. Perhaps because of the transition to a brand new offensive scheme, the Tigers ran the ball 37 times while only attempting 26 passes.
These struggles are a dream come true for ASU, a team that features one of the best run defenses in the nation and a middle linebacker (Vontaze Burfict) that looks forward to taking down big game such as Franklin. If Mizzou cannot find a way to strike downfield, they will have trouble moving the ball on Friday night.
Remember, the Sun Devils are asking for fans to come out wearing black for the 7:00 PM kickoff, and the team will introduce to the world their all-black uniforms. The "Blackout" has players amped up and there will be an air of importance to this game that hasn't been seen in Tempe since the 2008 matchup against Georgia.