(Missouri Football App) – The Mizzou defense is facing its toughest test of season.
Stopping Johnny Manziel is priority #1 #2 and #3 for Dave Steckel’s defense. “Stopping” isn’t the right word. You can’t really stop Manziel; you can only contain him.
“He’s a great player, we all know that. I don’t know if you ever truly stop him,” Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel said. “LSU did a good job though. Everybody will say do exactly what LSU did. I don’t think every team and every player is perfect all the time. He’s such a great player. “
The biggest key to holding the Heisman winner in check is to force him to stay in the pocket. Opposing defenses should not allow him to use his legs to extend plays. Missouri is equipped to do just that. It features a defense line that gets up the field and applies pressure.
The Tigers must also stay disciplined in their pass coverage. Even if they are able to keep Manziel in the pocket, they will still be dealing with a good pocket passer.
Finally, the defense must continue to take the ball away. Manziel has thrown 13 interceptions in 2013 and is turnover prone on both good and bad days.