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Surprise, surprise: Missouri's defensive line was awesome against Florida

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The offense didn't show up in the Tigers' loss to the Gators, but the defensive line again left a solid impact on Saturday night.

It's starting to look like the norm for Missouri football this year. The offense, led by [INSERT QUARTERBACK HERE], will struggle to put points on the board, leaving another top-tier Tiger defense to bail the offense out to have hope of a victory.

It didn't work out that way on Saturday, after Mizzou made it into the red zone once and went 1-for-14 on third-down opportunities against the Gators.

Two of the positives to take away from the game Saturday: 1) Kentrell Brothers retook the lead for total tackles in FBS this year, and 2) the defensive line continues to amaze week in, and week out.

Let's look at #DLineZou's performance against Florida:

Defensive Line (Total): 6.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks

  • Charles Harris: 2.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks
  • Walter Brady: 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks
  • Terry Beckner Jr.: 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sacks
  • Rickey Hatley: 1.0 TFL
  • Josh Augusta: 1.0 TFL

Play 1 -- 9:00 in Q2

For the first play, we'll go to middle of hte second quarter. Florida is driving in Missouri territory with two receivers to the right and Will Grier in the shotgun. Missouri is in the 4-3.

Harris1

Grier brings Brandon Powell in motion, snaps the ball and hands the ball off to Powell. Charles Harris comes untouched off the edge, where the tight end and running back should've picked him up to help seal the edge for Powell. Instead, Harris makes a great play in making the stop in the open field for a loss of seven. Great beginning of the end for this drive.

Play 2 -- 8:24 in Q2

On the very next play, it's Harris again. Missouri's back in the 4-3, and the Gators deploy a pistol look with two receivers to the right.

Harris2

Harris is on the edge and hits the tackle with an incredible spin move inside and brings down Grier for the sack.

What impressed me about this play in particular, besides the fantastic spin move, is how quickly the pocket collapses for the Gators. Harris is coming off of one edge with Walter Brady bringing great pressure from the other.

Play 3 -- 13:25 in Q4

Fourth quarter now, with the Gators originally lining up for the field goal, only to line up in an offensive play out of it.

Play3

The Gators' kicker takes the snap and begins to roll out right looking for a play to convert the first down and potentially lead to a game-icing touchdown. Walter Brady reads the play and takes a great angle at the kicker to avoid any open field for him to run into. Brady closes in and brings him down to give Drew Lock and the Tigers offense the ball back.

Play 4 -- 2:51 in Q4

Fourth quarter with less than two minutes left, the game all but said and done. Gators are in the Pistol, Mizzou in the 4-3 set.

Play4.1

Florida is basically trying to run out the clock, but the Tigers defensive line did a good job of reeling in Kelvin Taylor in the second half. After rushing for 74 yards (4.9 per carry) and two scores in the opening 30 minutes, Taylor was held to just 25 yards on 13 carries (1.9) in the final 30.

The interior of the line had a great moment here down the stretch as the clock was winding down. Highlighted is Ricky Hatley, who bullies the tackle front of him to make the tackle. However, a lot of credit on this play goes to A.J. Logan. Logan beats the center with minimal effort and forces Taylor to cut outside to avoid being brought down further behind the line. Hatley steps up and brings down Taylor for a loss of two.

*******

It didn't matter much toward the end result, but the defensive line had another good performance. Charles Harris is starting to cement himself as the next man up for #DLineZou, while young players like Walter Brady, Terry Beckner Jr., and AJ Logan are showing flashes of what they can become during their time at Mizzou.