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Missouri-Vanderbilt: Pass Rushers Galore, Pulling Guards and Attached TEs

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MU didn’t need more than 4 rushers to get home. It just needed the right 4 rushers.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Missouri
Charles Harris is a bad dude. In case you had forgotten.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

If you were familiar with my work at the Columbia Daily Tribune you knew that, as part of my in-season coverage, I endeavored to provide snap counts for every Missouri player for every offensive and defensive snap that counted during the season.

If you were not...well, I just explained what this is in the last graf. You should have paid attention.

Anyway, I pored over the film of the Tigers’ 26-17, streak-breaking win over Vanderbilt to see who Missouri used on offense and defense, how often and in what ways. Then I tried to gather it in a way that wouldn’t bore you too terribly.

Did I fail? Did I succeed? I suppose that’s up for history to decide.

Here we go...



Drew Lock – 73

Marvin Zanders -- 1



Damarea Crockett – 46

Ish Witter27

Dimetrios Mason -- 1



Sean Culkin20

Kendall Blanton12

Jason Reese -- 4

Josh Augusta2

Tyler Hanneke -- 2


Tight End

Kendall Blanton – 17

Sean Culkin – 13

Jason Reese -- 3


Wide Receiver

Dimetrios Mason -- 70

J’Mon Moore67

Richaud Floyd -- 40

Johnathon Johnson21

Sean Culkin – 5

Emanuel Hall -- 5

Ray Wingo -- 5

Kendall Blanton – 4

Chris Black3

Eric Laurent -- 1

Jason Reese -- 1

Ish Witter -- 1



Paul Adams74

Kevin Pendleton74

Adam Ploudre74

Tyler Howell – 72

Alec Abeln -- 46

Samson Bailey – 17

Jonah Dubinski -- 11

Tre’Vour Simms -- 2



Charles Harris51

Marcell Frazier – 27

Spencer Williams18

Jordan Harold -- 9



Rickey Hatley – 42

A.J. Logan36

Josh Augusta – 22

Markell Utsey -- 16

Jordan Harold – 15

Nate Howard -- 15


Rush End

Marcell Frazier – 25

Charles Harris13

Spencer Williams -- 3



Eric Beisel50

Donavin Newsom -- 37

Brandon Lee33

Joey Burkett -- 25

Cale Garrett – 23

Terez Hall -- 16



T.J.Warren – 21

DeMarkus Acy -- 15



John Gibson -- 70

Aarion Maxey-Penton – 64

DeMarkus Acy -- 11



Cam Hilton – 64

Anthony Sherrils46

Ronnell Perkins – 27

Thomas Wilson -- 9

Heres and Theres

  • Crockett saw the bulk of the running-back carries and rewarded his coaches’ confidence with his best game against SEC competition this year. Mason even snuck into the backfield for a play, which ended with a 4-yard loss on a swing pass to him.
  • Culkin played 38 snaps total, most of them in the backfield. Blanton played 33, most attached to the line. Reese played eight and was in the game for, possibly, the two most impactful plays of the first half — the 82-yard touchdown pass to Moore and the halfway kick-6 that he thwarted after Tucker McCann’s missed 55-yard field goal.
  • Moore and Mason continued a stranglehold on the outside receiver snaps. Emanuel Hall and Laurent barely saw the field. For the second game in a row, Floyd played the most snaps in the slot. It seems as if Missouri likes going to him when it wants to spotlight the run. Wingo played offense for the first time in a hot minute, and Black barely played.
  • After Bailey went down, Dubinski got 11 snaps before Abeln took over near the end of the first half and played the rest of the way. The Tigers exhibited an unbalanced line (Adams-Howell-Pendleton-Abeln snapping-Ploudre-Culkin) once for a 9-yard run, and Pendleton played left tackle (switching with Howell) on Crockett’s 4-yard touchdown run.
  • Harris/Harold was an 88-12 split and Frazier/Williams was 71-29. So, not only did Harris play out of his mind, but he played all but 11 snaps. Dang.
  • Harold did see 15 snaps at tackle (along with Howard) in the Tigers’ speed rush Dime set. Which, as you’ll see later, owned. The Hatley/Utsey split was 72-28 and Logan/Augusta was 62-38.
  • The Tigers seem to have settled into a rhythm of Lee/Beisel and Burkett/Garrett in the linebackers, with Newsom/Hall/Warren splitting that third spot. Burkett and Lee swapped for each other mid-series sometimes, but Beisel and Garrett pretty much got a series and stuck with it.
  • Warren played 15 snaps in the Dime and six in the Nickel with Acy, who relieved Gibson for two snaps (after an unsportsmanlike penalty) and Penton for nine at corner. No Logan Cheadle in the defensive rotation.
  • Hilton and Sherrils still hold the top spots at safety, with Hilton’s stellar play of late making it difficult for Wilson to see the field. Which is quite a change from the beginning of the year, when Wilson barely ever left it.

Offensive Set Success


Run: 19 for 87 (4.58 avg.), TD

Pass: 10-of-17, 88 yards (5.18 avg.), TD

Total: 36 plays, 175 yards (4.86 avg.), 2 TD



Run: 12 for 105 (8.75 avg.)

Pass: 8-of-10, 175 yards (17.5 avg.), TD

Sack: 1 for -1

Total: 23 plays, 279 yards (12.1 avg.), TD



Pass: 4-of-10, 31 yards (3.10 avg.)



Run: 2 for 1 (0.50 avg.), fumble lost



Kneel: 3 for -5 (-1.67 avg.)


Damarea Crockett’s Big Day

Carries: 20

Yards: 154 (7.70 per)

Broken Tackles: 12

Yards After Contact: 106 (5.30 per)

Running Behind…

Tight End/Pulling Guard

Blanton/Pendleton: 3 for 10, TD

Culkin/Pendleton: 2 for 39

Reese/Ploudre: 1 for 16

Total: 6 for 65, TD


Pendleton/Abeln: 3 for 17

Pendleton/Dubinski: 1 for 3

Pendleton/Bailey: 1 for 0

Ploudre/Abeln: 1 for -2

Total: 6 for 18

Tight End

Blanton: 2 for 14

Reese: 1 for 25

Total: 3 for 39


Pendleton: 1 for 13

Ploudre: 1 for 1

Total: 2 for 14

Tight End/Center

Dubinski/Blanton: 1 for 18


Ploudre/Adams: 1 for 2

Tight End/Tackle

Culkin/Adams: 1 for 0

Defensive Set Success


Run: 26 for 146 (5.62 avg.), TD

Pass: 8-of-10, 151 yards (15.1 avg.)

Sack: 1 for -9

Total: 37 plays, 288 yards (7.78 avg.), TD



Run: 2 for 5 (2.50 avg.)

Pass: 3-of-9, 26 yards (2.89 avg.), INT

Sack: 4 for -25 (-6.25 avg.)

Total: 15 plays, 6 yards (0.40 avg.), INT



Run: 6 for 39 (6.50 avg.)

Pass: 4-of-8, 39 yards (4.88 avg.), INT

Total: 14 plays, 78 yards (5.57 avg.), INT



Run: 2 for 9 (4.50 avg.)

Pass: 2-of-3, 36 yards (12.0 avg.)

Sack: 1 for -7

Total: 6 plays, 38 yards (6.33 avg.)



Run: 1 for 1, TD


Vs. the Wildcat

Run: 6 for 18 (3.00 avg.)

Pass: 0-of-1

Total: 7 plays, 18 yards (2.57 avg.)


When Missouri Brought…

…3 Rushers

3-of-3, 15 yards

…4 Rushers

12-of-24, 194 yards

Sack: 4 for -25

…5 Rushers

1-of-1, 16 yards

Sack: 1 for -9

…6 Rushers

1-of-2, 27 yards

Sack: 1 for -7

  • Missouri brought at least one extra rusher on only five of 36 pass attempts and sacks. And the Tigers got home two times on those five plays. So, while 43 yards on three pass attempts isn’t great, getting sacks on 40 percent of the plays is. But Missouri only really needed four rushers...
  • ...because Harris, Harold, Howard and Frazier were getting. After. It. Just like last week, Missouri’s Dime set featured four ends across its front: Frazier and Harris on the edge, Harold and Howard in the middle. Unlike last week, though (50 yards on four plays vs. South Carolina), the Dime was baller against Vanderbilt, allowing only 6 yards on 15 plays and netting four sacks and an interception on 13 passing plays.
  • Which is a good thing, because the rest of the Tigers’ sets were meh at best. Nickel wasn’t great against the pass, 3-4 wasn’t great against the run and 4-3...really wasn’t great against either. The Dime, though, was destructive.
  • Part of what made Crockett’s 154 rush yards so impressive was their degree of difficulty. He broke 12 tackles over 20 carries and logged 106 yards after first contact. He broke three on that 25-yard run to start Missouri’s final drive of the first half, made one guy miss and ran 24 yards past contact on a 39-yarder and broke three tackles with 21 YAC on back-to-back carries for 22 yards in the fourth. Missouri’s line played well. Crockett got his, though.
  • The Tigers had their most success planting Crockett behind a tight end (or H-back) and setting him loose. Crockett ran six times for 65 yards behind a tight end/pulling guard combo and three times for 39 with just a tight end as a lead blocker. Blanton and Pendleton had especially good games run blocking, and Adams did the less heralded job of sealing off the cutback lane rather well, in case Crockett ever needed it. He rarely ever did.
  • It was a healthy offensive day for Missouri, especially considering its 3-wide, H-back set was just OK. That 3-wide, tight-end attached set tho. Mercy.
  • Missouri ran out of it on only 31 percent of its plays but got 58 percent of its yards out of it. The 3-1-1 was the set of Moore’s 82-yard touchdown, Crockett’s 39-yard run AND Johnson’s 43-yard catch. Three plays, 164 yards, and the other 20 got 115, which is a pretty decent 5.75 per.
  • OK, I think I’ve got something here and you guys can tell me if I’m right or not. If Augusta doesn’t end up winning the Piesman, the ode to his senior season would start out, “Never made it as a Piesman....” to the tune of Nickelback. No doubt. But where does it go from there? I await your suggestions.