Give Larry Smith credit for one thing, at least: he isn’t afraid to change. Most football coaches can’t say the same thing. But Smith watched a Missouri offense that couldn’t move the ball last season, and said enough. Enter Bill Cubit. After watching Cubit’s Western Michigan offense run up and down the field against his Tigers last year, Smith decided to make Cubit his new offensive coordinator. And things are going to change in Columbia. The Tigers will come to the line of scrimmage with four wideouts on occasion, maybe even five. That is offensive football in the year 2000, and Smith wasn’t too stubborn to recognize it. No, they won’t abandon the running game, and they shouldn’t. But just look at what the Rams did last year. They spread the field with quick receivers and then handed the ball to Marshall Faulk, or tossed him short passes, and Faulk ran up a huge year. It’s easier to run up the middle when the defense has six defensive backs in the game. The Tigers probably won’t have a great season. Their schedule is daunting. But they’ll be more fun to watch and they’ll move the ball, which is a step in the right direction.
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