Know Your Opponent Week 4: Missouri Tigers

 The Hoosiers will invade what is aptly called "The ZOU" on Saturday in hopes of a win over 18th ranked Missouri

The Hoosiers will invade what is aptly called "The ZOU" on Saturday in hopes of a win over 18th ranked Missouri

Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)

This Years Record: 3-0 (0-0 T-1st in SEC East)

Head Coach: Gary Pinkel (14th Year)

Overall: 178-100-1 (.637)

At Missouri 105-63

Bowls: 5-4

Last Years Record: 12-2 (7-1) Won Cotton Bowl 41-31 over Oklahoma State

Bowls Since 2000: 9 Appearances (5-4 Record)

Mascot: Truman Tiger

Colors: Black and MU Gold

Outfitter: Nike

National Titles: 2 Unclaimed (1960, 2007)

Conference Titles: 15

Heisman Winners: 0

Fun Fact: Missouri went 5-1-2 with no coach in 1919

1. The Tiger Defense Pounces at Opportunities to Grab the Ball Back-

Missouri has a streak of 47 games with forcing a turnover. Most recently the Tiger defense forced four turnovers in their win over Central Florida. The defense is led by safety Braylon Webb, who has started 33 games in his career and recorded his first interception of 2014 in last week’s win, linebacker Michael Scherer, who in second in the SEC with 28 tackles, and defensive ends Markus Golden and Shane Ray. Golden has for sacks so far in 2014, while Ray is coming off a career game versus UCF with seven tackles, four TFL’s, two sacks, and a forced fumble. This defense is fast and aggressive and may be better than last year’s squad.

2. Maty Mauk is the Real Deal-

Much of the concern for Missouri coming into the season was how he was going to replace James Franklin at quarterback. So far in the 2014 Mauk has done a terrific job as he ranks first nationally in points responsible for with 78. Through three games this season Mauk has an efficiency rating of 176.56 while completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 647 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mauk, who is a talented runner as well, has added 83 yards and a score on the ground. However, he has thrown three interceptions in the first three games and has a reputation as a gun slinger who will take risks.

3. Running Backs Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy Create a Two-Headed Monster-

The Tigers have a star studded backfield as well, even with the loss of Henry Josey. Hansbrough and Murphy will create problems for the Hoosiers in the running game. Hansbrough is a quick back who can run it to the outside. He has 258 yards and two scores on the ground. He is complemented by Marcus Murphy is a threat on the ground as well as through the air, totaling 273 yards in three games.

4. The Tigers have a Receiving Trio as Good as Any-

Receivers Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt, and Darius White have combined for 11 touchdowns and 517 yards through the air. They have made the Tiger faithful forget that they lost Dorreal Green-Beckham in the offseason. This will be a tough make up for a secondary who was picked on by Bowling Green the week before. Sasser is a 6’2” speedster who can break a huge play at anytime, while White at 6’3” is more of a possession receiver who is targeted in the red zone, but White can still stretch the field.

5. Mizzou has Kicking Woes As Well-

Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett has only hit two of his four field goal attempts in 2014 with a long from 44 yards. Don’t be surprised if both teams scrap the kicking game in this matchup as neither can afford to lose points off the board because of a missed kick.