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Mizzou 38, Toledo 23: Grading the defense (results)

Your Defensive MVPs for the week: Markus Golden (7.59), E.J. Gaines (6.94), Ian Simon (6.54), Matt White (6.04), Randy Ponder (5.94)

Bill Carter

Defensive Coordinator

Dave Steckel: 5.33 (last week: 6.39)

Apparently we'll come out in a base defense to start each game and adjust from there

Bend but don't break, so frustrating at times

bland defense calls, Fluellen was never covered coming out the backfield. I get letting it happen a few times but it was repeated over and over again.

Come on Steck.... you gave up over 210 all purpose yard to an FCS back. Why on earth wasn't someone committed to covering him? Also, man-up on d some, you would stop a few of those screen plays.

D looked unprepared for Fluellen.

Defense still shaky. May be time to find an SEC minded d-coordinator

Fight the heat and make the tackle, Steck!

Game plan kept a good offense out of the endzone, for the most part.

I love our robo-DC and his ability to do the best with what he has. This D, after 2 games, just seems that it won't be as dominant as it has been before. But that's ok. Bend but don't break as long as we win.

I might have concerns, but if I voice them he might kill me in my sleep

Is it scheme or players, I don't know

It is concerning Steck could not find a solution to the screen/swing plays that went for nearly 8 yards a pop.

Keep adjusting Steckel... still not happy being 8 yrd off the receivers 90% of the game.

Losing one of your best players halfway through the game really hinders your playcalling capabilities, and Steckel acquitted himself fairly well. The only real problem I had was the way he chose to defend the swing pass to the runningback. We ran a nickel defense almost the entire game (100% of the time after Wilson got ejected, I checked), which forced a linebacker who started the play lined up inside the tackle to sprint to the outside in an attempt to seal the edge. The problem with that is that by the time he can recognize what's going on, the runningback is already four yards ahead of him and it falls on the playside cornerback to shed at least two blockers before making a difficult open-field tackle. Toledo burned us on this play multiple times, and I failed to see any adjustments.


must start games better

Needs to teach his unit to play with no emotion and no aggression, lest they be ejected and subjected to unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Not sure he has the talent to call a good game

nothing surprising... still relying on red zone d and turnovers

One arm is half machine already.

Our offense played well for most of the day, and Toledo still outgained us. If you can't come up with a scheme to defense screens and dumpoffs to the RB, you might be in the wrong profession.

poor tackling


SEC = aggressive. We're a little more bend, but don't break. Tackling was a little suspect too.

Seemed to struggle on first downs and in the third qtr, but put together a solid showing against their first FBS opponent of the season

Steckel's defense both impressed and disappointed, gave up a lot of yards but only gave up points with bad field position

The Bionic Man

They ran the same plays all day and we never adjusted

Threadkiller's younger brother.

Was there any preperation for the screen?

way too much loose coverage, have to trust the dbs more

Wish He would've forced them to actually burn the secondary deep instead of constantly conceding screens

Your unit gave up two points less than I predicted when it comes down to it. Did the screen passes and HB swing passes bug the crap outta me? Yea they did but between all the holds and such it happens. Even though I don't like bend and don't break if it works then I don't mind.

Defensive End

Markus Golden: 7.59 (last week: 5.49)
Michael Sam: 5.56 (6.84)
Shane Ray: 5.29 (5.74)
Kony Ealy: 5.06 (5.88)
Brayden Burnett: 4.96 (5.47)

awesome play by golden

didn't see much from the defensive ends outside of Golden's pick

Ealy needs to be making more noise on defense Markus Golden is a SEC defensive player of the week QUESTION MARK?

Ealy seems lazy and out of shape early on. Sam and Ray were the only ones who got much pressure on the QB. Burnett has been giving solid effort off the bench.

Enjoy your week Mr. Golden. And if you'd like to have more INT-TDs, please, be my guest.

Golden deserves more snaps. Ealy has been a disappointment thus far. He has been solid but not spectacular.

Golden gets the MVP for that one play.

Golden your celebration penalty was several four letter words. Ealy I think was made silly once maybe but I don't completely remember. Overall the quick passes made this unit kinda disappear but if it wasn't out quickly they were applying pressure.

Goldens TD interception was awesome gotta make some of those qb hurries into sacks

Had the opposing QB on the run a lot.

Hard to fault them for a lack of QB hurries, but need to tighten down the run game.

I had the same stats as Golden, other than for one play.

I keep telling myself kony is going to have a breakout game, but eventually i feel like i am just going to have to accept what he is.

I wasn't very impressed with this group. Golden's INT was one of the luckiest plays I've seen in a long time. Toledo's QB essentially handed the ball off to him and patted him on the butt as he scampered off towards the end zone.

Is Ealy still on the team? Golden's play was great, and all, but, really he doesn't get a lot of snaps. Maybe he should get more!

Keep doin' what you do Golden. No more MACtion refs 'til next year.


Need more pressure, plz

Need to put more pressure on the quarterback

No breakout performances, outside of THE PLAY. Expected more out of Kony, but hopefully this is an outlier. Felt like Shane Ray was more involved this week.

Not enough pressure

Pressure at the end of the first half and Golden's TD save face here

SEC DLOTW Marcus Golden gets a 9. Everyone else gets a 4 because we really didn't put much pressure on their QB.

They did pretty darn good.

This week's stud is GOLDEN!

We need more pressure


Where was the pass rush?

Why is Markus Golden not an option to carry the ball in short-yardage situations???

Defensive Tackle

Harold Brantley: 5.36 (last week: 5.87)
Lucas Vincent: 5.22 (5.73)
Matt Hoch: 5.16 (5.89)
Josh Augusta: 5.05 (6.51)
Marvin Foster: 4.86 (5.49)

Augusta impresses me considering. They did well agains the rush but kept getting burned on screens.


Brantley stood out while the rest of the dts got pushed around

Didn't have the presense I felt that was needed. Wasn't horrible but we need more. We can't always rely on the LB's

Don't remember much of their play, which (I think) is ok.

Fluellen routinely broke through the defensive line... We're gonna have BIG problems with RB's like Gurley later in the season...

I really don't see Vincent getting in on many plays. Brantley did a heck of a job getting outside the blockers to make a few tackles. Need to do a better job closing gaps in the trenches... seem very over powered this early in the season.

Just as underwhelming as the DEs. No consistent pressure and hung the LBs out to dry quite a bit.


Must pressure the QB. Run stop very average more

Need more pressure

needs some improvement


Not enough pressure

Nothing really stood out to me about them. I think i remember hoch making some nice plays and there wasnt very much running room up the middle.

Seemed like they were getting pushed around. However, it bears remembering that Fluellen is very talented, and Toledo is a good team.

Sheldon who?

stop the screen damit.

To big of running lanes for toledo

We will certainly need better interior line play vs tougher opponents.

Where's the push? 5s all around.


Note: I created these lists in a hurry (since I was behind) and left Michael Scherer off. Sorry, Magic Mike.

Donovan Bonner: 5.45 (last week: 6.01)
Kentrell Brothers: 5.29 (6.19)
Andrew Wilson: 5.28 (5.93)
Darvin Ruise: 5.08 (6.17)



A 9 for Wilson, simply because he got screwed out of a game. Both of the Kentrell Brothers showed well, nothing else stood out to me.

Andrew Wilson didn't deserve his ejection. The rest of these LB's are worrying me.

Constantly killed with the screen pass and inability to tackle their running back.

Coverage in the flats was terrible, tackling was bad overall

Even though I don't agree with the ejection, I have to give Wilson a low grade, the others get pretty good marks for clamping down after he went out

Gotta knock Wilson for the targeting penalty. I hate that it was the right call, but it was the right call. You absolutely cannot launch at a receiver over the middle like that anymore. Besides Wilson, I was pretty impressed with Bonner's play. He did more than any other LB in defense of that damn swing pass, especially considering the disadvantageous position he was put in.

How long till it becomes flag football?

I didn't dislike this preformance but once again I wanted more. Once Wilson was ejected the runs up the middle seemed to go a bit farther in appearance. Not saying it was actually worse but it looked it

I have seen the future of football, and I do not like what I see.

Keep making sure tackles Wilson, that new rule is pathetic. PS, when a RB is gaining that much yardage, maybe a LB needs to step it up.

Loss of Wilson hurts, Bonner had a decent game

Once Wilson was exiled they really stepped up.

Overall they played pretty well. Wilson gets a 3 for a boneheaded penalty. I don't like the rule, but it's there and we need to follow them. Hope his suspension doesn't hurt us against IU.

Ruise seems soft, to me. I thought the backers were consistently slow to diagnose, and constantly taking bad angles of pursuit.

Running back was always open and didnt help clog running lanes at all.

stop the screen damit! damit!

That targeting penalty sucks

They were alright, but can do better.

this group is struggling more than i thought they would

Thought Brothers was ok but way too many missed tackles

Wilson got ejected on the right call. It sucks, but maybe he'll learn and it'll help. Linebackers looked lost and slow a lot of times.

Wilson should get a high rating based on how much him leaving effected the d. Overall lb's did well. Would have liked to see better pursuit and screen recognition.

WIlson's absence was noticed


Note: I created these lists in a hurry (since I was behind) and left Aarion Penton off. Sorry, Magic Aarion.

E.J. Gaines: 6.94 (last week: 8.24)
Randy Ponder: 5.94 (5.47)
David Johnson: 5.66 (5.73)

3 interceptions are great.

7s all around, Ponder should have had a pick

Another solid game from EJ. He was fantastic in defense of the swing pass, which usually called for at least one, if not two, shed blocks before he could reach the ball-carrier.

Best unit on D for the day, I think. Ponder was decent, and Gaines was...well...aren't we glad he's on our team?!

EJ "First Round" Gaines

EJ Gaines. What more is there to say? Randy Ponder did well enough just not getting burned. Didn't hear Johnson's name much.

Fluellen the ball carrier...

Gaines is a beast. On the other side, Ponder is the worst corner I've ever seen. Johnson was decent off the bench.

gaines is great, ponder is solid, after that not so much...

Gaines is obviously the best CB we've had since... hell I don't know. Best under Pinkel?

Gaines is playing consistently well

Gaines needs to stay healthy bc without him our secondary sucks

Gaines was his usual self, Ponder made some nice plays but at some point they have to be able to play press coverage to stop the dink and dunk game

Gaines was instrumental in assisting with the interception just before halftime...

Good to see Randy Ponder not get completely destroyed

Heal quickly EJ..

Ponder looked a little better. Gaines looked great. The drop off is significant.

Ponder you had a lovely hit in the first half and you didn't seemed to get picked on much more than anyone else really.

Ponder you had a lovely hit in the first half and you didn't seemed to get picked on much more than anyone else really. EJ you had a lovely INT and you did deflect one pass that did also get intercepted however it was your side on the long touchdown play and even though it looked like the safeties fault I can't be certain since Ruse seemed to be right near you also

Receivers for the most part were too wide open for my liking.

Solid tackling for the most part.

stop the screen damit! damit! damit!

Very uninspiring save for a handful of plays

We look slow

Poor Randy Ponder.


Ian Simon: 6.54 (last week: 5.58)
Matt White: 6.04 (5.42)
Braylon Webb: 5.91 (6.55)
Duron Singleton: 5.55 (5.52)

Better this week in assignments.

couple of INT's but miscommunitcation on the long TD to Russell.

I am actually really happy with the saftey play right now more than I thought I would be. This week White gets a goal line stand INT and Simon makes a wonderful one also. White you might have also messed up and completely blown coverage on the long touchdown but once again I'm not sure. This group is preforming at a pretty good level right now. I can't complain to much considering the offense you went against and I don't think you are the weakist group.

It's only been 2 games, but it seems this is the best platoon of safeties since the Pig-Willie Mo days.

Limited the big plays.

Love those lucky bounces

Mansfield's own!

Matt WhINTe, however he did get burned, so I just can't give any of them an above-average score

Matt White gets a 1 always because Matt White

Not Sure

Other than one glaring blown over-the-top pick up, seemed pretty solid.

Our safety play is coming around, much better than last year. Will still need some sure-tackling in the secondary.

Owens pass complete to Fluellen

Plus for White for the pick, minus for playing his usual level for every other play, he's serviceable, but he's nothing special

Safety played was pretty darn good IMO. Lucky interceptions but good coverage.

Simon had himself a game. His INT was almost as lucky as Golden's, but was still a huge play for us. In addition to that, he also had a number of solid open-field tackles in run/swing pass support. Tackling (as per the norm at Mizzou) was a bit of a problem.

The safeties played a big part on the turnovers that helped us win this game. 7s for everyone.

Thought the Safeties were ok in coverage but that may have been because all but 1 pass was under 15 yards, way too many missed tackles

We look slow

Poor Matt White.

Special Teams

Andrew Baggett (kickoffs): 7.96 (last week: 7.90)
Andrew Baggett (place-kicking): 7.29 (4.34)
Jake Hurrell (long-snapping): 7.15 (7.05)
Braylon Webb (holding): 6.90 (5.76)
Christian Brinser (punting): 4.27 (6.95)


Baggett didn't miss his FG, no missed XP, and outside of one kickoff pegged deep in his own territory but a horrible call, was brilliant on kickoffs. Brinser's had better days I have to believe- otherwise we're going to be behind in the field position battle in every SEC game. Webb clearly didn't screw anything up, and I don't pay attention to LS

Baggett NEEDS to keep kicking it out of the end zone, because our kick coverage unit SUCKS!!

Baggett: 1/1 on field goals and no issues with PTA so you score pretty high there. I can't give you perfect grades on Kickoffs but the big one was on a personal foul that I believe there was holding on also. However, the other kick off they did return didn't go far so I think you had a pretty fine day sir. Brinser: you regressed back to the mean this game and are around a 41 yards after having only a 36.5ish day. Keep working man bad days happen and it didn't kill us today just keep working. Webb your holds were as soild as ever. Hurrell your snaps seemed okay but since Brinser messed up I can't be certain some of it wasn't on you unless I rewatch the tape

Baggett: please share quad enhancement secrets with Brinser.

Brinser has to get it together

Brinser HAS to punt better and we need a return game. Murph needs to get his head on straight.

Brinser was a liability. When SEC rolls around, field position will be critical.

Brinser, you're horrible. I thought our punting team couldn't get worse than last year. So far, I'm wrong. Fix it. Baggett did great on kickoffs. More confidence on field goals.

Can't be better than Baggett was for kickoffs, Brinser was terrible

Can't believe Baggett couldn't get it thru the endzone after that celebration penalty. Really hurt us on that return!

dear wet badger tang: please kick it out of the end zone every time...

I don't know about "special" per se.

I hope Baggett can just keep kicking out of the back of the end zone.

If the ball doesn't go out the back of the endzone the coverage team needs to do better

Its gonna be hard to lead the SEC in punting with 30 yarders

Keep kicking it out of the end zone Baggett.

Kickoff and punt coverage was horrendous. Back tackling and poor lane-responsibility ran rampant throughout the entire game. Here's hoping that gets shored up a bit before we get into conference play.

need serious improvement in the next 2 games. they are making me very nervous.

No bad snaps, no bad holds, Brinser was awful

Poor punting this week. Love Baggett's distance.

Punts need to get better. I don't like slowly getting the field flipped on a team due to punts. Not fun to watch.

Wake up Brinser

What is up with the punter?

When I don't notice special teams, they get 9s. I notince a lot of bad punting.

Yay special teams.