The Mizzou defense impressed in a blowout win over West Virginia, but there is still room for improvement against Southeast Missouri St.
Missouri’s defense dominated West Virginia in every way possible. They forced turnovers, shut down the run and scored a touchdown. So while it may seem like they played a flawless a game in Week 2, there is still room for improvement.
Here are three goals for the Tiger defense in their matchup against Southeast Missouri St.
1.) Win the turnover battle
Turnovers have single handedly decided both games for Mizzou this year. In Week 1, turnovers cost them against them Wyoming. In Week 2, however, The Tigers’ three forced turnovers turned a good Power-5 matchup into a one-sided blowout.
The SEMO offense has accumulated nearly 800 yards of offense in two games this season. They have only turned the ball over twice, yet they have only forced two turnovers so far.
If the defense can force takeaways and give their offense extra opportunities, the Tigers should win handily.
2.) Cut down on the penalties
Offsides kept many drives going for the Mountaineers. Careless mistakes like this must get cleaned up before SEC play, and a contest SEMO provides an opportunity to play a clean game defensively.
Avoiding silly penalties will help keep the defense off the field, giving them more rest going into their first conference game against South Carolina in Week 4.
While the defensive line could improve in many ways, eliminating costly penalties is a good place to start.
3.) Wake up Jordan Elliott
Elliott was supposed to be the elite defensive lineman that typically resides on a Mizzou roster. However, in two games this season, he hasn’t yet to made his presence felt.
If Elliott can tap into the pass rushing abilities the team knows he possesses, the entire team will improve on that side of the ball.
Elliott should use this matchup to build steam going into conference play. Racking up a few sacks and tackles-for-losses could energize the team going into the games that really matter.