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Play by Play Breakdown: Georgia vs Mizzou

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Breaking down film seemed like an exercise in futility given the Mizzou gave up 34 points to Georgia, so I decided to review the game play by play and added in commentary and screenshots as I saw fit.

This week isn't your typical "Film Room" post for what I think are obvious reasons. That being said I wanted to go back and rewatch the game and make notes. This may be interesting to some, probably less interesting to others, particularly because it requires reliving an embarrassing loss. However, I'm a big believer in catharsis through purging and this is my attempt at such.

1st Quarter

1-10 Georgia brings 4, NT #96 pushes Evan Boehm way back into Mauk's face, forcing a scramble that results in unnecessary roughness. Hooray positive yardage!

2-8 Mauk's first pass is behind Russell Hansbrough who had tons of space. It's what's becoming the hallmark bullet pass Mauk is known for, but not in a good way.

3-8 Georgia stunts DE/DT, #84 is immediately in Mauk's face with pressure, forcing rollout and bad pass. Ball is also snapped with Taylor Chappell looking back but he recovers well enough to block his man

  • I believe it was Dave Matter with a quote from AJ Ricker that the reason Mizzou's offensive line was struggling so much was because of defensive line stunts. This much is made very clear when watching the tape since Georgia hardly blitzed at all throughout the game and yet continuously got to Mauk.

Defense |  Formation in parentheses (mostly 4-3 unless otherwise specified)
1-10 (4-3) D fills interior well, forces outside. Braylon Webb and Mike Scherer meets Chubb
2-6 (4-3) Golden twists inside, RB sweep right, Chubb forced out of bounds.

  • There are times when I think our defensive line stunts TOO much and this play perfectly symbolizes it. Instead of playing straight up, Golden goes inside while the ball carrier is already headed outside, meaning that much more space for him to pick up yards.

1-10 (4-3) Encroachment
1-10 Lucas Vincent holds his own and gets arm tackle on Nick Chubb

2-4 Shane Ray gets back side pressure but Mason finds Chubb in flat for 1st down
1-10 Brothers gets blocked by the guard, 5 yard run by Chubb
2-5 Mason draw for 4
3-1 Chubb up the middle, well defended Scherer tackles Chubb and brings him down but a bad spot gives Georgia first down

  • A couple of instances of poor spots hurt Mizzou early in the game. Again, it wouldn't matter long term but I was surprised they weren't even measured.

1-10 Mason roll-out, Conley fumble forced by Aarion Penton but recovered by Conley.
2-1 Chubb TFL bc great push by Harold Brantley, Scherer and Loud with the assist
3-2 Show Double A gap pressure (seen below), Harold Brantley explodes through line forces Chubb into Golden and Scherer's tackle
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Field Goal, Georgia 3-0

2nd drive
1-10 Murphy run for 3, Mitch Morse (in 2 point stance) is knocked back by #59 Jenkins
2-7 Murphy run but tackled in backfield, #59 Jenkins beats #65 Mitch Morse inside

  • Being in a 2 point stance on an clear running play is obviously a coaching decision, but it bothers me. I think Mitch Morse sits up too high, and it's particularly noticeable on this play.

3-8 Mauk INT, had Sasser WIDE open underneath running a crossing route, never looked off Hunt

  • This sort of play is what is so frustrating about Mauk. He's gonna go big or go home. In this case I'm know he thought he could fit it in between Hunt and the sideline, but he didn't and the fact remains if he'd read low to high he would have found Sasser in the middle for an easy pass instead of a much more difficult one.

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Defense
1-10 (4-3) Chubb pitch right, Golden forced Chubb inside, tackled by Ray
2-9 DTs twist, Hoch gets penetration, Golden gets outside pressure Mason rollout, throws away
3-9 Both DE/DT twist Harold Brantley pressure from DT, gets to Mason before he can get screen pass off,

  • Mason throws intentional grounding. Mizzou showed double A gap pressure, but Scherer drops back, I think the defense had read the screen play here and would have stopped it without a significant gain

3rd drive
1-10 Morse sits high again, but stands Jenkins up, Murphy run for 6
2-4 Mauk INT, Bubble screen to Murphy, off his hands to Swann, pass is high but catchable


Defense
1-10 Chubb TFL by Josh Augusta, beats LT John Theus
2-12 Mizzou blitzes Brothers and Scherer, Mason dumps off to Chubb, Newsom, then Augusta, then Loud and Kenya Dennis are in on the tackle
3-7 Mason dumps pass to Chubb in the middle, Singleton and Brothers sandwich him but he falls forward for 1st down.

  • Singleton makes good initial hit, Brothers needed to lay him out to force a fumble

1-10 Wild Dawg formation, Chubb keeps up the middle, Newsom then Golden in for the TFL
2-11 Wild Dawg formation, Chubb keeps going right, Golde TFL

Mizzou has shut down both South Carolina's and Georgia's "Wildcat" formations now. Which is nice I suppose.

3-12 Double A gap blitz, Mason out right, Kenya Dennis makes tackle at the spot of the catch, gain of 6 yards (Corner lined up 6 yards off man)

Field Goal, Georgia 6-0

4th drive
1-10 Bubble screen to J'Mon Moore, gain of 17 yards, good blocks by Culkin and Hunt

  • Hey hey hey!  A bubble screen! To J'Mon Moore! Hey hey hey!

1-10 Morse actually gets his man on the ground, but Mauk feels Casper, rolls right, #84 gets into his face, forces a throw away.

  • Morse got his man on the ground, normally in this situation you just lay on the defender to take him out, but Morse gets up, no harm no foul but odd
  • If Mauk had looked off his first read, he'd have seen a WIDE open middle of the field to run through, easily pick up first down

2-10 Hansbrough run right, safety comes up and makes a play for no gain
3-11 3 step drop, Chappell and Morse hold up in 1 on 1 with their men, Mauk dances and loses sight downfield, scramble right, throw away

  • If Mauk had scrambled left, or even just planted feet, he had a wide open Murphy in the left flat, potential huge gain

Defense
1-10 Chubb run right, tackled by Ray and Clarence Green
2-8 Green blitzes, Scherer delayed blitz, Mason dump off to TE Bennett, Ian Simon forces out
3-1 Chubb run left, Augusta penetration but gets out of position, Charles Harris squeezed down but just out of position to stop Chubb, Green and Brothers in on assist

2nd Quarter

1-10 Mason quick pass left, Kenya Dennis takes out #26 feet but gain of 8-9 yards

  • This is gimmie yardage and perfect for Mason, no idea why corners bailed when already off 7 yards. It's one thing for the corners to start 7 yards deep, it's another for them to bail out at the snap. If you want to argue that this is a problem, I'm entirely behind you.

2-2 Matt Hoch speed penetration, RDE Charles Harris bails back into coverage, Chubb sweep left, gains 1st down, tackled by Kenya Dennis and Brothers

  • Don't know why the playcall here, seems odd to drop a DE into coverage in this situation

1-10 Quick pass to #26, Brothers closes quickly but gain of 5-6 yards, Kenya Dennis is good at holding up against the WR block and shedding it
2-5 Chubb handoff, Harold Brantley gets good back field penetration forcing him to stutter, Brothers and Golden there for minimal gain
3-5 (4-2-5) Mason quick underneath pass to TE, Brothers is there for the tackle but already a first down, Kenya Dennis closes rapidly too

  • The pass to the slot receiver on the out route is about the most dangerous one Mason can throw (hint it's not especially dangerous) but he got Mizzou a couple times with it. Bennett is a good tight end so this is more difficult than it looks, but Brothers has to be tighter in coverage, particularly with Mizzou blitzing here.


1-10 Mason deep overthrow into the endzone
2-10 Chubb run left, Shane Ray is in the back field but has to jump over the fullback, Chubb makes a cutback where Braylon Webb and Mike Scherer are there for a tackle,

  • Scherer does a good job holding up against the downfield block here

3-6 Show all LB blitz, both OLB (Brothers and Singleton blitz off the ends) Mason quick pass into the open flat, John Gibson there for the tackle but already a first down
1-10 Mason quick pass to TE but Brothers on the tackle
2-7 Mason fakes handoff to Chubb, Newsom blitzes of right side, Brothers up the middle but both bite on the fake, Mason stumbles into the endzone

  • Braylon Webb diving tackle nearly forces a fumble but it's already in the endzone
Georgia 13-0

5th drive
1-10 Murphy handoff but Boehm is beat inside and #96 TFL

  • Morse is also knocked back on this play. Both Boehm and Morse struggled somewhat with being beat inside by Georgia's lineman throughout the day, a product of all the stunting and twisting they did.

2-10 Mauk makes a quick read and throws to Hunt, completion for 5 yards
3-5 Mauk/Murphy option keeper left, McGovern is beat by #96 inside who body slams Mauk trying to keep it up the middle

  • even if Mauk pitches it, Murphy is covered outside, it was the right decision to keep it
That damn punt.

Bad running into the kicker penalty

Defense
1-10 Mason swing pass to #26, Penton gets blocked out by WR, Darvin Ruise forces him out of bounds
2-5 Matt Hoch gets pressure on Mason, forcing a high throw that's still nearly caught by TE #82
3-5 double A gap pressure, Mason quick out to TE #22 for a first down, Duron Singleton forces him out of bounds but he converts

Same as before, blitzing, have the corners up tight, but the slot receiver has room to move and he's who Mason is looking at first. *sigh*
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1-10 Mason quick hitch pass to #26 but Aarion Penton TFL

  • Great anticipation and closing speed, what happens when CBs don't bail backwards

2-11 Chubb run left for first down

  • Shane Ray has to watch his feet because of a chop block, Darvin Ruise gets blocked back inside, Scherer can't over a block in time and Chubb beats him outside, Ray and Webb chase him down but too late

1-10 Same play again, this time Brantley and Ruise hem Chubb in for 4 yard gain
2-6 Chubb run up the middle, Braylon Webb meets him head on.

  • Awesome tackle actually, big hole in the middle that Webb fills well. For as big and strong as Chubb is, he's not destroying our defenders like you'd imagine from a 5 star.

3-2 Georgia run picks up the tempo and runs the same play again

  • Augusta picks the wrong gap to penetrate, Chubb runs inside and gains the first down

1-10 Mizzou called for encroachment
1-5 Mason screen to #26 Sony Mitchell, Penton comes up to make the play but gets chip blocked by LT, Charles Harris chases him down but he gets the first down
1-10 Mason makes a corner of the endzone throw I don't think I've seen him make, TE #82 makes a good catch while Ian Simon trails.

  • This play really is remarkable because I think even the Georgia fans were impressed by Mason on the throw. That being said, it's another instance where our safeties struggle in one on one coverage.
Georgia 20-0

6th drive
1-10 Mauk tries to find Culkin over the middle but the TE slips and falls, incomplete
2-10 Hansbrough up the middle, Brad McNulty pulls and clears a hole but Hansbrough can barely get through the LOS
Credit to Mansbrough for his ability to find yards where there are none
3-6 Mauk drops back, Georgia's DE/DT twist and the DT #88 gets pressure on Maty up the middle and tries to dance out of pressure but is sacked
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  • It's a coverage sack in part because Mauk has no short to intermediate throws to make, his closest option is Culkin running a deep in route, I think that's at least partially bad playcall

Defense
1-10 Chubb run up the middle, TFL

  • OH MY! Harold Brantley gets penetration here, Matt Hoch comes off his rear to make the tackle, along with Clarence Green and Kentrell Brothers to help clean it up
  • Corners are lined up a yard over their man

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2-10 Both DE/DT twist, Mason deep pass nearly picked off by Aarion Penton, Harold Brantley lays a mean hit on Mason

  • Corners lined up a yard over their man

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3-10 Show Double A gap pressure, both Zeus and Brothers get in Mason's face, Shane Ray contains him the rollout and forces a throw away from Mason.

  • Corners lined up a yard ovr their man

7th drive
1-10 Mauk completes a short hitch to Sasser (who bobbles it slightly) then picks up a 1st down
1-10 Mauk completes a short out to Lawrence Lee for 5 yards
2-5 Russell Hansbrough hand off goes right for 10 yards
1-10 Mauk is stripped of the ball as he goes to throw to Lawrence Lee deep

  • Chappell just can't keep #84 off Mauk, it's probably his worse play of the game, definitely so far. I think it was a good call, all the angles I can see make it clear his arm wasn't moving forward when the ball came loose.


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  • I think part of the problem is the nature of Mauk's throwing motion, cocking it so far behind his head. It's what gives him his velocity, but also means he doesn't have much touch on his throws and also means he has a longer windup.
  • This is Mizzou's first lost fumble of the season

Defense
1-10 Hand off to Chubb, Markus Golden beats his man inside and gets an arm on Chubb who wiggles out but is taken down by Lucas Vincent and Donavin Newsom
2-7 Mason pass to Chubb in the flat, Brothers is there, as is Brantley and Kenya Dennis
Brothers trots off the field holding his right arm
3-3 Brothers comes down to LOS and blitzes of LDE, Chubb cuts away and is met by the brick wall that is Zeus Biesel


8th drive
1-10 sweep left by Marcus Murphy gains a first down
1-10 pass to the middle to Murphy goes for a first down
1-10 Maty spins then throws deep to Wesley Leftwich who drops it, flagged for holding

3rd Quarter

Defense
1-10 Chubb runs left, meets Shane Ray head on and is stopped for no gain. Kentrell Brothers is strong at the point of attack here too

  • Shane Ray is a beast ya'll. He's gone after this season

2-10 Shane Ray nearly hits Chubb at the hand off but the fullback forces him around, Scherer meets Chubb and stops him
3-6 Play action pass to the TE draggin left, Duron Singleton is slow trailing, first down
1-10 Chubb run left, Brothers sets the edge and Scherer makes the tackle for minimal gain
2-9 Mason attempts deep pass to the right but can't drop it in to the WR, Penton in coverage
Corners lined up a yard off their man
3-9 (4-2-5) Charles Harris beats Jon Theus inside and gets a sack on Mason
Jon Theus is not a very good pass blocking LT


9th drive
1-10 Delayed handoff to Russell Hansbrough, gains 3 more yards after initial contact
Sasser and Hunt both make good blocks on the outside
2-2 Pass to Jimmie Hunt, gain of 24 yards

  • Mauk sees the blitz coming off the right side and soft coverage on Hunt, makes the hot read throw

1-10 Mizzou runs the same play, but this time Hunt bobbles it into Mauger's arms

  • It was the right read, just bad hands by Hunt

Defense
1-10 Run left by Chubb, Clarence Green nearly gets the stop in the backfield but misses it, Penton and Green combine for the tackle but after 10 yards
1-10 Mason throws WR screen to #26, Dennis and Brothers are there on the tackle
2-6 (3-4-4) Shane Ray bursts into the backfield and gets Chubb TFL

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3-8 Show Double A Gap pressure, both Scherer and Brothers blitz, Mason attempts screen to TE #87 coming out of the backfield but Ian Simon is right there to stop it, Brantley assists


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10th drive
1-10 Mauk throws WR screen to Sasser, Hunt blocks well but Sasser can't gain more than a few yards
2-7 Georgia called for encroachment
2-2 Draw to Murphy, LT Morse pulls and comes off RG McGovern's shoulder, Murphy follows, gains first down
1-10 Mauk gets pressure from right side as #84 beats RT Chappell inside and forces Mauk to rollout left, he picks up a few yards before running out of bounds
2-5 Handoff left gains a first down thanks to Murphy's ability to pick through traffic
Boy do they love running to the short side of the field
1-10 Mauk throws to Sasser who can't make the catch
2-10 Georgia blitzes off RT, Mauk scrambles right keeping his eyes downfield, finds J'Mon Moore for a first down.

  • This is a typical Mauk throw, threads the needle without fear, great catch by Moore, but all of it thanks to Mauk being able to keep his eyes down field and throw while running right

1-10 Delayed handoff to Hansbrough picks up 7
2-3 False start on Chappell
2-8 Mauk throws 4th INT

  • He has tons of time in the pocket, turns back once, twice, runs to his left, throws off balance to now one in particular (the strength of his throw weakened by rolling left)

Defense
1-10 Charles Harris makes a great play when Georgia tries it's Wild Dawg sweep left, TFL,

  • Holy cow he reads the play perfectly, shuffles down the line, takes Isaia Mckenzie's feet and throws him to the ground
  • Corners lined up a yard off their man

2-13 Chubb run left, tackled for minimal gain by Brothers, Green and Harris

  • Corners lined up a yard off their man

3-6 Mason drops back and feels pressure so he scrambles through gap in defensive line, gains first down
1-10 Chubb runs left, the line blocks well, Scherer pursues down hill but gets blocked by the fullback, Shane Ray chases Chubb down
2-3 Chubb runs right, into the gap that Hoch vacates by stunting inside, while the fullback blocks Newsom. Ian Simon ends up with the tackle. 1st down Georgia

  • Mizzou starts in 4-3 but moves Brothers to LOS off the RDE and Marcus Loud shifts down a gap and stands up puttin Mizzou in a 3-4-4, Shane Ray at RDT, Brantley at NT, Matt Hoch at LDT.
  • Brantley diagnoses the play from the NT position and flows to the ball. Seriously, this guy is really really good.

1-10 Georgia runs left, Chubb bounces it outside, Mizzou blitzes Newsom and Simon at the snap of the ball but to no avail.

  • Kenya Dennis dives at Chubb's feet slowing him down, Brothers nearly facemasks him, gain of 8 yards

2-2 Chubb runs left, Brantley flows down the line of scrimmage and makes contact and brings Chubb down, no gain
3-2 Georgia runs from a goal line formation with Brendan Douglas, he avoids the pile in the middle and heads right, John Gibson slows him down and Brothers and Dennis clean up
1-10 Brendan Douglas toss left then he makes a dive into the endzone over John Gibson

  • Newsom gets taken out by the TE, Scherer can't get over the top in time to beat Douglas to the edge. Meanwhile Ian Simon has a bit of a Dee Ford moment, thinking the play is suddently going the other way.
Georgia 27-0

I'm just going to stop here since it's all over anyway.

Normally I try and go back and highlight "key plays" from the defense, but versus Georgia every key stop just prolonged the inevitable and it felt pointless to try and breakdown a defense that was ultimately broken down from sheer exhaustion rather than a high-powered offense missing a Heisman contender.

Instead I went through the whole game and tried to add notes on the plays that stood out to me, giving you a less indepth but more extensive recap of the game. In the same vein I'll offer some general notes:

ON DEFENSE

Mizzou came out and ran primarily a 4-3 defense, just like vs UCF. I expected this and when I watched the UCF game I suspected it was a tune up for the Georgia game. Almost to a man the defense played solid-to-great, starting with the regulars along the defensive line, Shane Ray and Markus Golden were each held without a sack but were very solid in run support. I expect when draft analysts look back and try to determine if these two are "ready" for the NFL they'll see games like this one and be assured they aren't one trick ponies. About the only thing I'll note in the negative is I see Shane Ray fall to the ground a lot because he lunges - he's quick to get up by it can cost him precious seconds during a play.

By now you're probably aware that Harold Brantley has become one of my favorite players. He incredibly disruptive and I haven't seen an offensive line that can consistently contain him. He can penetrate with burst past guards or centers, he can hold the point of attack even when double-teamed and can read plays while engaged with his blockers and shed them to move down the line of scrimmage to force a run play wide. And he's only a sophomore!

Lucas Vincent is big, and can occasionally beat his man, but he fades into the background on a lot of plays and his lack of speed compared to his size means he can't recover if a play goes to the inside gap. Josh Augusta, the other massive DT, has some quickness and strength, but both him and Vincent can get caught out of position. They both could work on absorbing double teams and holding the point of attack.

It's interesting to note that Steckel is heavily relying on showing that double A gap blitz, particularly on 3rd downs. Usually it's Scherer and Brothers and usually they bail out of it or both blitz. A part of me wishes they moved around a bit more before the snap to make line audibles more difficult and I also wish they'd show blitz then drop one into shallow middle coverage to help with that short slant/out that Mason hit a couple of times. One thing I want to highlight is I noticed that they have been doing a better job at making their tackles stick, by which I mean there were far fewer instances where the running back wiggled forward for extra yards. Perhaps that's because Chubb is a different type of back (he definitely prefers contact) but it's good to know that these two are capable of handling that type of bruiser.

It seems to me that both Clarence Green and Donavin Newsom are always blitzing when they're on the field. Sometimes their blitz takes them past the play, but it's notable that this is how they're being used. Furthermore, I'm not the only person to notice that Mizzou actually shifted from their 4-3 into a 3-4 Over (linebacker at the LOS on the strong side) and that's pretty interesting considering how many people were calling for it earlier in the season. I think the surprise comes from who's lining up where, as we almost always saw Shane Ray staying inside when Kentrell Brothers came up to the line and Markus Golden or Charles Harris moved to a 2 point stance opposite him.

It demonstrates a couple things, Steckel is displaying some tactical flexibility with his front seven and two he has confidence in the scheme to run it with whoever's on the field since we saw Golden and Harris in this formation. Add to that how it displays Shane Ray's positional flexibility (albeit in a way most didn't expect) and I think it's safe to say this is one of the most talented groups of lineman/linebackers we've seen come through Mizzou.

Ian Simon is better in run support than coverage, as is Duron Singleton. Braylon Webb is pretty good at both, but none of these guys are making plays like they could be. They all need to improve in pass coverage significantly but I'm not sure how much time seniors Webb and Singleton have left if they're aiming to go pro. That's tough for me to see since I was initially very high on Webb and Singleton.

First off, I want to, hear and now, dismiss this absurd notion that Mizzou corners play "off the screen". It's almost always 7 yards, maybe 8, except for several series in the second quarter where they actually played directly over their man (not press mind you) with some success. This had a lot to do with the type of quarterback Hutson Mason is, and the type of wide receivers Georgia has. Since Mason wasn't able to launch passes deep, and the receivers weren't particularly dangerous, Steckel knew he could take advantage of tighter coverage. It's a strategic decision based on matchups and one I'm not sure we'll see a lot of, but it's important to highlight for that crowd who blindly insists that it never happens or that Steckel never makes adjustments.  When they played off, Mason would make short passes, almost always to the short side of the field, which forced the corner, usually Aarion Penton or Kenya Dennis, to come up and make the tackle, and many times they did for minimal gain. That's a win for the defense. A couple of times the receiver (each time Sony Mitchell) gained 5-6 yards and/or a first down. That's tough to swallow but also exactly what this defense forces you to be able to do, and even Georgia, with the talent they have, weren't able to take much advantage of it.

In that regard Kenya Dennis has really begun to impress me with his ability in run support, and to a lesser extent Aarion Penton. Penton also nearly had an interception on a deep pass by Mason, it was remarkable that he was able to get as close to intercepting it as he did. Penton also forced a fumble on a tackle on Conley on the outside. I'm glad we have another year of Dennis, plus a few more years to allow Penton and Gibson to develop because I think there may be some real promise there.