A Closer Look at Maty Mauk's debut win over the Florida Gators

Bill Carter

Maty Mauk is a RS Freshman thrust into play against what was a tenacious Florida defense, he wasn't perfect by any means, but he was pretty good. The glory of the internet has allowed me to go back and examine several of his pros and cons. Warning: GIF heavy content incoming...

Stat Line:

Mauk, Maty 18/36 - 295 yards 1 TD/1 INT Longest: 52 yards (Jimmie Hunt) 0 Sacks taken

Yes, this was a stat line that Mauk put up against a Florida defense missing several key members including DT Dominique Easley, LB Ronald Powell, DT Damien Jacobs, and very quickly S Cody Riggs. But the Gators did have Vernon Hargreaves III, Loucheiz Purifoy, Jabari Gorman, Brian Poole, and Marcus Roberson in the secondary, and LB Antonio Morrison and DE Dante Fowler.

A lengthy recap of passing downs, mostly the incompletions, but frequently the spectacular pass as well.

1st drive:

  • 1st pass to LDW for 41 yards
  • 2nd pass to Sasser for a TD Play below

(from this point on I will only be highlighting specific completed passes because I'm trying to look at where Mauk can improve and I don't want to examine all 36 passes.)

2nd drive:
  • Incompletion to Jimmie Hunt (because of DPI) Play below
  • Incompletion to Marcus Lucas (because of pass rush nearly sacked him (pass nearly intercepted - nearly a VERY bad play!)
  • Incompletion to LDW (pass overthrow, slight pressure)

3rd drive:

  • Incompletion to Darius White (lead the open WR too much inside to the left)

4th drive:

  • Incompletion to DGB (pass barely deflected in the endzone)

5th drive:

  • Incompletion to Sasser (forced out of the pocket, scramble play)
  • Incompletion to Lucas (scrambled play, nearly intercepted) Play below:

The very next play Mauk throws this beautiful, NFL caliber pass to DGB from the right hash to left sideline. Amazing play by both QB and WR:

  • Incompletion to LDW (Mauk extends the play and finally throws to the back of the endzone, LDW steps out of bound resulting in a loss of downs)
  • Incompletion to Lucas (pass is clearly overthrown into the back of the endzone but Florida is flagged for DPI although it should have been defensive holding)
  • Incompletion to Lucas (fade route into the endzone nearly caught but bobbled)
  • Incompletion to Hunt (pass is nearly intercepted and personally I think he should have hit LDW cutting from the outside slant) Pass below:

6th drive:

Mauk throws a bullet between four Florida defenders that is caught by Jimmie Hunt (it was hard to believe he made this pass when it happened) Play below (sorry about the potential epileptic seizure it may cause you)

It should be noted that, on this play, Henry Josey was WIDE open in the flat and could have easily caught the pass and ran for the first down, but Mauk forced it into tight coverage.

  • Incompletion to DGB (swing pass to WR was a little too far out in front of him)
Interception

This play was the play we all feared would happen because of Mauk's inexperience and because Florida has several future NFL players in it's secondary. Luckily Henry Josey was able to get a shoestring tackle on Florida's Brian Poole.

This pass was intended to go to Darius White and it looked like either Mauk stared down the WR, or White ran the wrong route.

7th drive:

  • Incompletion to LDW (The TV guys, who had been praising Mauk for his "quick release" up to this point, chose this time to argue that Mauk needed to "speed up his delivery", they went as far as to say he was "slow and methodical")

There's another angle of this play, two things of note:

  1. You can see in slow motion Mauk's windup and throwing motion, which I know some people have discussed as being "funky". It doesn't strike me as particularly slow, but it does look "snappy" as in, right as the ball comes over his shoulder it FIRES out. It's obvious he has a lot of velocity on the ball. His motion reminds me of a baseball throw (not a pitcher's with its longer follow-through! - Trippleplay perhaps you can chime in here?) but it also resembles a bit of a three-quarters throw much like Tony Romo is known for. In fact, I think a Tony Romo comparison, while a bit presumptuous, is not too far off because both QBs also throw very similar deep passes, but I digress.
  2. The other reason is that this is a blatant roughing the passer penalty. #90 forearm shivers Mauk to the head. Now, we already had a back up referee in the game because of an unfortunate hit about 2 plays prior and the ref you can see in the GIF probably had his line of sight obstructed by the Mizzou lineman, but THAT'S STILL A DIRTY PLAY!

HALF-TIME!

At half time we need to reconcile that while Mauk has already thrown all the touchdowns and interceptions he's going to throw for the game, he has also nearly thrown 2 more interceptions. On the plus side, it's obvious that Mauk is still feeling out the chemistry with the first string receiving corps and we are already noticing trends.

While you're mulling that over, take a moment to appreciate this guy:

HALF-TIME OVER!

8th drive:
  • Mauk comes out after Florida's kick return touchdown and completes two quick passes, the second of which is a 52-yard strike to Jimmie Hunt Seen below:

On this play you can see Florida #1 Hargreaves (who is tied at #2 with EJ Gaines in the SEC in Interceptions at three apiece) make a diving deflection attempt but miss. The resulting Yards after Catch guarantee Mizzou will be putting up at least three points on this drive.

  • Incompletion to DGB (a Sonny Riccio like pass into the right corner of the endzone that the he just can't bring in)
9th drive:

Mauk completes two passes, the second of which is another deep pass (sound familiar?). This play is completed against Louchiez Purifoy to LDW Seen below:

  • Incompletion to Lucas (WR is covered very tight by the defender, but it's otherwise a good throw, it does get deflected high into the air and could have been intercepted, but that would have been a fluke play)
  • The very next play Mauk rolls left and finds Lucas on the sideline for 12 yards (this is a very encouraging throw because Mauk trusts his WR to "get it next time" and because Lucas manages the sideline double toe tap that you typically see of NFL WRs. This play gets lost because it didn't go for a first down, but if Mizzou wasn't down from the previous play's false start (Jaleel Clark o_0), it would have been good for a conversion.) See below

10th drive

This is the drive that Henry Josey looked like he got hurt but jogged off the field to thunderous applause. I'm tearing up just re-watching this.

  • No incompletions this drive. Drive results in a punt.
This is the drive that Florida manages to run down the field and score Florida's first touchdown. The score is now 23-17.

11th drive: This is the drive that Henry Josey comes back into the game.

  • Incompletion to Lucas (the snap on this play was slightly high and Mauk is immediately pressured by Dante Fowler, he throws this ball safely out of bounds - good play!)
I don't particularly care if this post is supposed to be about Maty Mauk, here's Henry Josey's 50 yard run. We love you Henry Josey!

12th drive:

  • Mauk throws what looks like a 27 yard jump ball to DGB who fights through a TON of contact to get up the field and snatch this pass See below

Look at all this contact he has to fight through just to get open (That's Marcus Roberson by the way):


The next pass play is an inside slant to Marcus Lucas. This play is important for two reasons:
  1. It's fairly similar to the goal line pass to Jimmie Hunt that was nearly intercepted and Mizzou settled for a field goal.
  2. Mauk finally throws a good inside slant route to Marcus Lucas, who he's been having trouble establishing chemistry with throughout the game. Lucas is big (6'4" as the announcers like to remind us) but he's actually becoming a fairly reliable inside receiver because he uses his body to shield defenders and he can make himself small to fit into narrower windows.
  • Incompletion to Lucas (fade route that Lucas very nearly one hands for a completion. This play is significant again for two reasons: Play below
  1. Mauk throws a damn pretty pass to Lucas who, if he'd gone after it with two hands, it would have been a TD for sure (admittedly he was fighting off the defender).
  2. DGB was open under the goal posts and Mauk wasn't under pressure to throw. This could have easily been our first touchdown connection between high school passing leaders and hopefully future college record makers

  • Incompletion to LDW (this play was just a rushed pass over LDW's head due to very fast pressure from Dante Fowler)
13th drive:

Maty Mauk throws no passes on this drive but does rush for a touchdown See below:

Game. Blouses. Mizzou 36 - Florida 17



Let's examine these passes:

That's 18 incompletions and 18 completions good for 18/36 or 50% passing and 295 yards. However, due to 3 penalties on passing plays, Mauk technically threw 39 times and we'll be counting those 3 to get an idea of distribution.

Of those (21) 18 incompletions:

  • 1 was uncredited because neither receiver (Lucas or LDW) was close enough
  • 1 was to Bud Sasser (technically Sasser caught it, but he was out of bounds)
  • 1 was to Henry Josey (couldn't bring in pass due to contact by tackler)
  • 1 was to Jimmie Hunt (1 in the endzone nearly intercepted, 1 incompletion negated by defensive penalty - you can effectively add 10 yards to Jimmie's total yards)
  • 2 were to Darius White (1 intercepted, 1 was poor pass by Mauk)
  • 3 were to L'Damian Washington (1 in the endzone = was negated by penalty on LDW for stepping out of bounds also loss of downs, 1 was nearly intercepted due to Mauk either staring down the pass or being forced to throw too quickly, and 1 was credited to him because he was closest on a throwaway)
  • 3 were to Dorial Green-Beckham (2 in the endzone both were highly contested, 1 simply a poor pass)
  • 7 were to Marcus Lucas and this was the most complicated: (3 in the endzone, 1 negated by penalty, 1 was well defended, 1 was credited to him because he was closest on a throwaway, 2 were credited to him because Mauk was bailing out of a sack and both were nearly intercepted (!)
Effectively, Mauk made 2 "smart" incompletions (throwaways) and 2 "dumb" incompletions (panicked by the pass rush) that nearly resulted in interceptions. So that balances itself out.

He made 4 "bad" passes (1 interception and 3 forced passes that could have been interceptions) and 2 "poor" passes that were simply badly placed but had no chance for turnover (1 to DGB and one to Darius White)

Of those "bad" passes, 2 were toward Marcus Lucas although 1 was more of a "pressured" throw where Lucas was the closest man and the other was one directly to Lucas but the defender caught it as he stepped out of bounds. 1 bad pass each went toward LDW and Jimmie Hunt both on inside slant routes in goal line or short yardage situations.

Mauk really liked Marcus Lucas this game and went to him often and despite him having the highest number of incompletions, Lucas also had twice the number of catches as the next closest receiver. What we saw was essentially LDW and DGB going and getting middle to deep receptions while Jimmie Hunt and Marcus Lucas were used as short to mid range receivers.

In the redzone however, Lucas and DGB were for "jump ball" situations while LDW and Jimmie Hunt were used for "hands" or "toe-touch" catches (even if none of these actually worked out).

7 Of Mauk's incompletions went into the endzone

1 was negated by offensive penalty on LDW

1 was nearly intercepted (Jimmie Hunt)

1 was negated by defensive penalty (Lucas)

2 were defended well by Florida (both of DGB's)

2 were misjudged by Lucas

If things had gone "worse" for Mauk we'd be looking at a 16/36 completion rate with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. (assuming 2/3 of the passes were intercepted).

It's hard to judge how much those 2 interceptions would have helped Florida's offense, but purely speculating you could give them at least +6 points based on field position. We'd probably be looking at a score around Mizzou 30 - Florida 23.

If things had gone "better" for Mauk, we'd be looking at at a 22/36 completion rate and 3 touchdowns and 1 interception (assuming 2/4 of the touchdowns were completed)
This would have resulted in a ridiculous Mizzou 50 - Florida 17 final score.

This is the post I've always wanted to write. If there are errors, it's because I haven't slept in 24 hours, please correct them in the comments. Please enjoy :)
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