COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After watching Missouri's inconsistent inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference, new offensive coordinator Josh Henson wanted to tweak a few things.
One of those was the Tigers' passing game.
The team averaged 217.9 yards through the air last year, its worst output since 2004. That number has ballooned to 297 yards after three games this season, thanks in large part to four experienced receivers who are all at least 6-foot-4.
Dorial Green-Beckham and Marcus Lucas both set career highs with 105 yards and 101 yards, respectively, in a 45-28 win at Indiana last week. Jimmie Hunt caught a personal-best six catches while L'Damian Washington tied his high mark of five receptions.
Missouri (3-0) gained 623 yards overall, including 343 passing yards.
"They can't just hone in on one guy," Lucas said. "They've got to cover the full field. It's great to have four, five downfield threats in at a time. I think that it's really helping our offense. I think that (quarterback) James (Franklin) is able to pick whoever he wants to."
Arkansas State (2-2) is tasked with keeping the Tigers in check after its own offense malfunctioned in a 31-7 loss at Memphis.
The Red Wolves only gained 255 yards after entering the game averaging 544.3. The team yielded seven sacks, limiting Utah State transfer Adam Kennedy to 166 passing yards and preventing him from making plays with his feet.
Kennedy likes to scramble, but first-year coach Bryan Harsin said his quarterback must be conscious of when to throw the ball out of bounds.
"He needs to play his game," Harsin said. "And he needs to have the ability to move around and make plays like that. Bottom line is we need to make plays down the field for him when he does do those things."
Missouri leads 2-0 in the all-times series between the schools after wins in 2004 and 2005. Here are five things to know about Saturday's game:
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