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2014 SEC Championship: Alabama's still great, and ... Mauk's faster than Marshall?

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Both Missouri and Alabama love the zone defense, and Nick Saban likes Maty Mauk.

Paul Halfacre

Rock M Bullet
Mizzou vs Bama, SECCG

Stat Spotlight: Missouri vs. Alabama vs. the SEC - David Morrison

Only once did Missouri average more yards per play than its opponent gave up to its other seven opponents: against Tennessee. Not once this year has an offense averaged more yards per play against Alabama than it did against its other seven opponents, but Tennessee and Auburn both came close.

Missouri Tigers: How to Beat Alabama - Truman's Tales - A Missouri Tigers Fan Site

Case in point, Alabama can be beaten by a quarterback that can take off and make plays on the ground as well as through the air. Here’s why it’s possible. Bama loves zone coverages on defense. It’s zone-obsessed really. And if the Tide defensive backs are being spread across the field– as Missouri has been known to be capable of doing– there is, at times, a lot of green space in between the defensive front and the secondary. One way to beat Alabama is to get the Quarterback in rushing mode. We’ve seen that from Mauk this season. He likes to use the edges more, but if he can break a few plays over the middle, it can go a long way.

Nick Saban senses some overlooking Missouri, says QB is 'probably faster' than Auburn's Nick Marshall | AL.com

"This quarterback is really fast," Saban said. "If everybody that the guy thttp://gfycat.com/SelfishColorlessAxisdeerhat we played against last week was really good scrambling, this guy is probably faster. He has actually run the ball a lot more than what we saw last week in terms of scrambling and making first downs on third down and things like that."

Maty Mauk has the speed to run the ball? You mean like this?

Maybe if Mauk can run like that against the Alabama of the East Tennessee we'll see it in key situations Alabama. (BTW Jason Reese - nice block!)

RBR previews the Missouri offense - Roll 'Bama Roll

Even if the East is a scrap heap, though, it's only fair to credit the Tigers for finishing the season on top. Specifically, Missouri needed two victories vs. Western division opponents - at Texas A&M, at home vs. a surging Arkansas team - plus a visit to Tennessee and gutted them all out. They earned their spot, criticisms be damned.

Jack Peglow > Wright Thompson

SECCG Blogger Q&A: Missouri folks are smart. - Roll 'Bama Roll

There's a reason we needed Mizzou in the SEC, and it wasn't for Wright Thompson; it was for these insights from Rock M Nation's Jack Peglow.