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Missouri Snap Counts: Picking up the Pieces from an 0-2 Vacation

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Two games go by and a whole lot changes

Kentucky v Missouri
T.J. Warren went from barely playing to playing, like, all the time in the snap of a finger.
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Man, you go away for vacation for eight days and everything falls apart.

Well, now my little run through the Smokies is over and I’m back at it with the snap counts, making up for lost time and recapping Missouri’s losses to Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.

I pored over the film of both losses 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...

Middle Tennessee

Offense
Quarterback
Drew Lock – 103

---

Tailback
Damarea Crockett – 63
Ish Witter 40

---

H-Back
Sean Culkin – 9
Kendall Blanton 6
Josh Augusta 3
Tyler Hanneke 3
Jason Reese -- 3
Dimetrios Mason -- 2

---

Tight End
Sean Culkin – 27
Kendall Blanton -- 25
Jason Reese – 3

---

Wide Receiver
J’Mon Moore 95
Johnathon Johnson -- 59
Dimetrios Mason – 51
Emanuel Hall -- 47
Sean Culkin – 22
Ray Wingo – 18
Chris Black -- 13
Kendall Blanton – 10
Richaud Floyd – 10
Dominic Collins – 3
Eric Laurent -- 2
Jason Reese -- 1

---

Line
Paul Adams 103
Kevin Pendleton 103
Adam Ploudre 103
Samson Bailey -- 101
Tyler Howell – 64
Tre’Vour Simms – 39
Jonah Dubinski -- 2


Defense
End
Charles Harris -- 49
Terry Beckner -- 22
Spencer Williams -- 19
Marcell Frazier -- 16
Jordan Harold -- 5
Markell Utsey -- 1

---

Tackle
Rickey Hatley -- 65
A.J. Logan -- 46
Terry Beckner -- 21
Josh Augusta -- 8
Marcell Frazier -- 1

---

Rush End
Charles Harris -- 27
Marcell Frazier -- 11
Spencer Williams -- 10
Jordan Harold -- 4
Markell Utsey -- 1

---

Linebacker
Cale Garrett -- 83
Donavin Newsom -- 71
Brandon Lee -- 29
Terez Hall -- 12
Joey Burkett -- 5
Michael Scherer -- 4
Eric Beisel -- 3

---

Nickelback
T.J. Warren -- 52
Logan Cheadle -- 12
Cam Hilton -- 3
Aarion Maxey-Penton -- 1

---

Cornerback
Aarion Maxey-Penton 82
Logan Cheadle -- 64
T.J. Warren -- 13
DeMarkus Acy -- 6
John Gibson -- 1

---

Safety
Cam Hilton -- 70
Ronnell Perkins -- 60
Anthony Sherrils -- 23
Thomas Wilson -- 13


Offensive Set Success

3-WR/1-TE/1-RB
Run: 34 for 187 (5.50 avg.), 3 TD
Pass: 7-of-14, 97 yards (6.93 avg.), TD
Sack: 1 for -3
Total: 49 plays, 281 yards (5.73 avg.), 4 TD

---

4-WR/1-RB
Run: 12 for 76 (6.33 avg.)
Pass: 7-of-20, 92 yards (4.60 avg.), TD
Sack: 1 for -7, fumble lost
Total: 33 plays, 161 yards (4.88 avg.), TD, fumble lost

---

3-WR/2-RB
Run: 11 for 90 (8.18 avg.)
Pass: 5-of-5, 89 yards (17.8 avg.), fumble lost
Total: 16 plays, 179 yards (11.2 avg.), fumble lost

---

JUGGERNAUT
Run: 3 for 7 (2.33 avg.), TD

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2-WR/3-RB
Run: 1 for 20
Pass: 1-of-1, 3 yards
Total: 2 plays, 23 yards (11.5 avg.)

---

Punt Bad Snap Play
Run: 1 for -22


Defensive Set Success
Nickel
Run: 24 for 153 (6.38 avg.)
Pass: 9-of-17, 114 yards (6.71 avg.), TD
Sack: 1 for -11
Total: 42 plays, 256 yards (6.10 avg.), TD

—-

3-3-5
Run: 8 for 88 (11.0 avg.), TD
Pass: 10-of-18, 143 yards (7.94 avg.), TD
Total: 26 plays, 231 yards (8.88 avg.), 2 TD

—-

4-3
Run: 4 for 66 (16.5 avg.)
Pass: 2-of-3, 19 yards (6.33 avg.), 2 TD
Kneel: 1 for -5
Total: 8 plays, 80 yards (10.0 avg.), 2 TD

---

3-4
Run: 2 for 7 (3.50 avg.), TD
Pass: 1-of-2, 4 yards (2.00 avg.)
Total: 4 plays, 11 yards (2.75 avg.), TD

---

2-front
Run: 1 for 2
Pass: 2-of-2, 4 yards (2.00 avg.)
Total: 3 plays, 6 yards (2.00 avg.)

——-

Middle Tennessee Success When Running…
Off LT: 5 for 23 (4.60 avg.)
Between LT and LG: 6 for 16 (2.67 avg.)
Between LG and C: 5 for 69 (13.8 avg.)
Left Side: 16 for 108 (6.75 avg.)
Between C and RG: 10 for 56 (5.60 avg.)
Between RG and RT: 6 for 37 (6.17 avg.)
Off RT: 7 for 115 (16.4 avg.), 2 TD
Right Side: 23 for 208 (9.04 avg.), 2 TD


Kentucky

Offense
Quarterback
Drew Lock – 58
Marvin Zanders -- 11

---

Tailback
Ish Witter 28
Damarea Crockett – 26
Alex Ross -- 6
Nate Strong -- 6

---

H-Back
Sean Culkin -- 28
Kendall Blanton -- 3
Tyler Hanneke -- 3
Josh Augusta -- 1

---

Tight End
Kendall Blanton -- 21
Sean Culkin -- 10

---

Wide Receiver
Dimetrios Mason -- 46
J’Mon Moore -- 46
Johnathon Johnson -- 35
Emanuel Hall -- 23
Chris Black -- 17
Richaud Floyd -- 16
Sean Culkin -- 13
Kendall Blanton -- 10
Eric Laurent -- 4
Alex Ross -- 2

---

Line
Paul Adams 69
Kevin Pendleton 69
Adam Ploudre – 69
Samson Bailey -- 68
Tyler Howell – 68
Jonah Dubinski -- 1
Tre’Vour Simms – 1


Defense End
Charles Harris -- 46
Spencer Williams -- 42
Marcell Frazier -- 26
Jordan Harold -- 19
Nate Howard -- 5
Josh Moore -- 2

---

Tackle
Rickey Hatley -- 62
Josh Augusta -- 47
A.J. Logan -- 29
Markell Utsey -- 23

---

Rush End
Charles Harris -- 23
Jordan Harold -- 2
Marcell Frazier -- 1

---

Linebacker
Joey Burkett -- 51
Eric Beisel -- 48
Brandon Lee -- 36
Cale Garrett -- 35
Donavin Newsom -- 14

---

Nickelback
T.J. Warren -- 70

---

Cornerback
Aarion Maxey-Penton 83
Logan Cheadle -- 83

---

Safety
Cam Hilton -- 80
Anthony Sherrils -- 62
Ronnell Perkins -- 21
Thomas Wilson -- 3


Offensive Set Success

4-WR/1-RB
Run: 4 for 7 (1.75 avg.)
Pass: 7-of-16, 64 yards (4.00 avg.), TD
Sack: 1 for 0
Total: 21 plays, 71 yards (3.38 avg.), TD

---

3-WR/2-RB
Run: 14 for 105 (7.50 avg.)
Pass: 3-of-3, 29 yards (9.67 avg.)
Total: 17 plays, 134 yards (7.88 avg.)

---

3-WR/1-TE/1-RB
Run: 7 for 38 (5.43 avg.)
Pass: 5-of-8, 90 yards (11.3 avg.), TD
Total: 15 plays, 128 yards (8.53 avg.), TD

---

2-WR/1-TE/2-RB
Run: 9 for 21 (2.33 avg.)
Pass: 3-of-4, 28 yards (7.00 avg.)
Bad Snap: 1 for -15
Total: 14 plays, 44 yards (3.14 avg.)

---

5-WR
Pass: 1-of-1, 18 yards

---

JUGGERNAUT
Run: 1 for 1, TD


Defensive Set Success
Nickel
Run: 50 for 296 (5.92 avg.), 2 TD
Pass: 7-of-14, 52 yards (3.71 avg.), INT
Sack: 1 for -1
Total: 65 plays, 347 yards (5.34 avg.), 2 TD, INT

---

4-3
Run: 4 for 9 (2.25 avg.), fumble recovery
Pass: 4-of-5, 65 yards (13.0 avg.)
Total: 9 plays, 74 yards (8.22 avg.), fumble recovery

---

3-3-5
Run: 1 for 4
Pass: 3-of-4, 82 yards (20.5 avg.), 2 TD
Total: 5 plays, 86 yards (17.2 avg.), 2 TD

---

3-4
Run: 3 for 69 (23.0 avg.), TD
Pass: 1-of-1, 6 yards
Total: 4 plays, 75 yards (18.8 avg.), TD

——-

Kentucky Success When Running…
Off LT: 4 for 84 (21.0 avg.), TD
Between LT and LG: 13 for 53 (4.08 avg.), TD
Between LG and C: 17 for 55 (3.24 avg.), fumble lost
Left Side: 34 for 192 (5.65 avg.), 2 TD, fumble lost
Between C and RG: 7 for 41 (5.86 avg.)
Between RG and RT: 6 for 46 (7.67 avg.)
Off RT: 11 for 99 (9.00 avg.), TD
Right Side: 24 for 186 (7.75 avg.), TD


Heres and Theres

I wanted to look at more specific running gaps for each game because, well, Missouri’s defense was godawful against the run both times.

  • Against Middle Tennessee, the Blue Raiders ran more successfully behind the right side of their offensive line (at the left side of the Missouri defense). Notice, especially, the 15 carries for 125 yards (8.33 per) right up the gut at the defensive tackles. That is, between left guard and right guard.
  • Against Kentucky, the Wildcats -- again -- ran more successfully behind the right side of the line at the left side of Missouri’s defense. Kentucky tenderized the Tigers between the tackles (43 carries, 195 yards), then torched them outside (15 carries, 183 yards).
  • This seems like it can be a blueprint for teams going forward: attack the left side of the defense, draw the linebackers into the box, then hit Missouri outside the tackles.
  • As far as actual defensive sets go, the Tigers have been a lot more Nickel-heavy the past two games and even started instituting the 3-3-5 (but Stec says don’t call it that) a little bit. Admittedly, it might be a move out of necessity, with Scherer, Newsom, Terez Hall and Garrett all battling injuries in the linebacking corps. But Warren certainly has gotten his feet wet at that nickelback/lithe outside linebacker spot.
  • And, during the Middle Tennessee game, he and Cheadle kind of took turns playing outside and inside, depending on which wideout the Blue Raiders had in the slot.
  • The 65 plays Missouri ran in the Warren Nickel against Kentucky actually didn’t turn out all that bad. Well, 5.34 yards a play isn’t great but when you’re giving up 7 yards a pop, it looks good comparatively. The Wildcats’ other 18 plays against the Tigers’ other sets were a disaster for the home team (235 yards, 13.1 per, 3 touchdowns).
  • On the offensive side...it’s been a bit confusing. Josh Heupel looked to have scrapped the mostly H-back look and moved his tight end up to the line as his preferred offensive set against Middle Tennessee. The Tigers ran out of that set 48 percent of the time and did pretty well with it.
  • Then, against Kentucky...looks like he threw a bunch of stuff against the wall and hoped it stuck. The 4-wide was the Tigers’ most plentiful set and it didn’t do too well. Neither did the 2-1-2, mostly Zanders, set. The 3-wide, tight end attached or in the backfield sets both worked well (32 plays, 262 yards, 8.19 per). May be something to watch going forward.

Speaking of that, since I been out of the game, I figured it might be easiest to just kind of go position group by position group and say what’s happening at each...

  • Quarterback: Lock is the dude. Zanders got 11 snaps against Kentucky and still seems to be running a truncated, specialized version of the playbook.
  • Running Back: Crockett saw a majority of the snaps against Middle Tennessee — the game in which Witter got knocked out on his feet — but the distribution was more equitable against Kentucky. Ross returned and Strong’s medical redshirt possibility went the way of the dinosaurs. This is probably, though, still a mostly two-man equation.
  • Tight End: Speaking of two-man equations...Reese has all but exited the picture. Culkin was the mostly backfield man against Kentucky and Blanton was mostly attached. Culkin played a little more than Blanton (51 to 34).
  • Wide Receiver: Mason’s been seeing the field more for Missouri and, with the way he’s playing, he deserves to. He tied Moore (who didn’t start) for the Tigers’ most receiver snaps against Kentucky and, while Hall is still part of the equation, Mason seems to be distancing himself across the field from Moore. In the slot, it’s Johnson, then Black, Wingo and Floyd fighting for scraps, depending on the week. Floyd’s stock has been on the rise with Mason’s.
  • Offensive Line: Adams, Pendleton and Ploudre played every snap of both games. It will be interesting to see how Alec Abeln fits back in, especially with Ploudre playing pretty well. Bailey only missed three injury snaps and, while it looked like Missouri was giving Simms a chance to overtake Howell against Middle Tennessee, Howell got all but one snap against Kentucky.
  • Defensive End: It’s Harris/Harold, Frazier/Williams, with a couple Josh Moore snaps and an odd Howard redshirt burn (why?) against Kentucky thrown in. Frazier played 27 of 37 snaps at his spot in the second half against Kentucky, after serving his targeting suspension. DeMontie Cross seemed interested in toying with Beckner (mostly) playing end in the 3-3-5 against Middle Tennessee...but then Beckner tore his ACL.
  • Defensive Tackle: Hatley’s the main dude, and Augusta and Logan are fighting for snaps at the other spot, with Utsey’s involvement stepping up after Beckner’s injury. Here’s the interesting thing, though -- Augusta played only eight snaps against Middle Tennessee on defense (three on offense, if you were curious). How would the rotation look if Beckner were still around? Would Augusta be out of it? Strange.
  • Linebacker: Scherer’s injury was a big blow, then the whole thing turned into a MASH unit. Against Kentucky, Cross and Odom mainly went with tandems of Lee-Garrett and Beisel-Burkett along with Warren, as Newsom and Terez Hall sat with injuries. When Newsom and Hall come back into the rotation, it’ll be interesting to see who they’re taking snaps from. Lee? Burkett? Warren, although he’s acquitted himself rather well in that hybrid Nickel/third linebacker role?
  • Cornerback: All Penton and Cheadle everything. Gibson, as he gets back healthy, will have something to say about this, but you’ve got to think they want to keep Cheadle in the rotation as well. Acy seems to have fallen off the pace.
  • Safety: Hilton has played his way into the rotation in a big way but — again -- it’ll be interesting to see how much Wilson gets back in the mix if he gets healthy down the stretch. Sherrils appears to be making a late-season push after seeing his playing time curtailed dramatically by Perkins.