October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tiger Notebook

It is one of the two games Missouri fans have had circled on their calendars for months. Yes, the weekend has lost a little bit of luster with the Tigers sitting at 3-and-3 and still winless in the Southeastern Conference. But the No. 1 team is coming to town.

Missouri's players are doing their best to treat it as just another week of work.

A year ago, Alabama led the country in run defense, pass defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense, giving up a ridiculous 8.15 points per game. Some forecasted a dropoff for the unit this year, having lost a multitude of players to the NFL Draft.

All Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have done this year is field a defense that leads the nation in total defense (191 yards), scoring defense (7 points) and turnover margin (+2.4). The Tide is third in the country in run defense, third in pass defense and 12th in sacks.

Pinkel was asked if Ole Miss, which put together two long scoring drives in a 33-14 loss against the Crimson Tide and actually led for the entirety of 15 seconds, provided any sort of a blue print for his struggling offense.

"You saw two drives the entire year against those guys," Pinkel said. "I better go look at those again and again and again."

The offense hasn't been bad either. The Tide come in as the nation's number one team at 5-and-0. They have given up 35 points all season and are averaging better than 40 themselves. But Richardson says the Tigers won't put any more pressure on themselves than they do any other week.

"Nothing really," he said. "We just going in with our game plan, heads up and gonna go head at this big old elephant, man."

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