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Missouri-Kentucky: Drew’s deep shots, defensive standouts, and diagnosing bust plays

The Tigers got close against the Wildcats, but there was just enough sloppiness to doom them.

NCAA Football: Missouri at Kentucky
Continue throwing to this man. Good things will happen.
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

If you followed along with my work in this space last year, you know that 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’ 40-34 loss to Kentucky 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.

On we go with Year 2 of ... Snap Chats...

Drew Lock’s Passing Success

  • Alright, so let’s delve into Drew Lock’s big day a little bit. Anyone who even casually watches Missouri games could tell you that the Tigers work almost exclusively outside the hash marks in the pass game. Against Kentucky, it was no different. Lock completed 18-of-36 passes to the left and right for 253 yards and two scores, or 7.03 per attempt.
  • Lock tried only six passes between the hashes, completing four for 102 yards — 17.0 per attempt — and a 75-yard touchdown pass to Johnathon Johnson.
  • As far as distance thrown, the majority of the passes traveled 9 yards or fewer down the field. Lock completed 16-of-25 of those for 90 yards. On passes that went 10-19 yards downfield, he was 2-of-8 for 34 yards. You’d ideally like your quarterback to complete more than 54.5 percent of his short and intermediate throws.
  • The good news, though, is Lock made a heck of a living on balls traveling at least 20 yards downfield: 4-of-9 for 231 yards and long touchdowns to Johnson, J’Mon Moore and Emanuel Hall. I don’t think that sort of explosiveness in the pass game will come around every week, but it’s always nice to see its head pop up from time to time.

Running the Dang Ball

  • Ish Witter, aside from playing his best game in a Missouri uniform, out-repped Crockett 48-28 (63-37, percent-wise). He played the final 29 offensive snaps of the game.
  • Missouri loves running behind Paul Adams. The Tigers did their most consistent damage in the run when they ran for the right side of the line, pulled around Yasir Durant or Kevin Pendleton, then sealed the backside with an Adams/Pendleton or Durant combo. They also liked sending Kendall Blanton or Albert Okwuegbunam from the backfield through the whole created by the line before the back, as sort of his advanced guard.
  • Hall and Moore barely left the field and, with Reese limited to three specialty wideout snaps, Blanton out-repped Okwuegbunam at tight end, 43-33. Blanton was 44/30/26 percent on his H-back/attached/wideout splits, Okwuegbunam was 36/39/24.
  • Durant, Pendleton, Trystan Castillo, Tre’Vour Simms and Paul Adams appears to be your offensive line going forward. Tyler Howell’s three snaps were when Durant’s helmet popped off his copiously coiffed head.
  • Missouri ran mostly from the three-wideout, H-back set (5.65 yards per play) against the Wildcats but actually had the most success in yards per play in the three-wide, tight end attached as well as the four-wide (9.14 yards per play combined). The four-wide set, incidentally, was an entirely pass set: 16 passes, 1 sack.
  • Ah, the wrinkles. We got to see Lock wide and Damarea Crockett take a snap in the Wildcat (...against the Wildcats...). We got to see Alec Abeln slap on a 49 jersey and play H-back in a 2-1-2 set on one play, the tight end to Blanton’s H-back in the 2-1-2 on another, then the H-back in the Wildcat later on. We got to see Johnson play H-back in a 3-0-2 set in which Blanton and Jason Reese both split wide. That logged a crucial 5-yard pass to Johnson out of the backfield to convert a 3rd-and-4.

The defense was busy changing during the bye week.

  • After using an actual, bona fide third linebacker on only about 30 percent of their snaps over the first four games, the Tigers went with Brandon Lee on the strong side for 52 percent of their plays against Kentucky. That means Kaleb Prewett’s reps suffered, but he still got to play almost half the game.
  • Missouri also eschewed the standing, rush-end look on all but one play. And I think it was on accident, after Marcell Frazier jumped early, came out of his crouch to get back onside, then just kind of stood there until the snap.
  • The 4-3...wasn’t so hot. It gave up 8.13 yards a play. If you take away Kentucky’s two long touchdowns against it, the set only gave up 4.92 yards a play, though!
  • Then again...can’t really take those two plays away, can you?
  • So I took the 13 plays Missouri allowed of 10 yards or more to Kentucky and tried to break them up into three main bust areas: mental (not thinking right), positioning (not being in the right place) and physical (not doing right). To my count, the Tigers suffered one mental “breakdown,” seven positioning and five physical.
  • The most costly two were physical (Terry Beckner and Adam Sparks missing tackles on Benny Snell’s 71-yard touchdown run) and positioning (Cale Garrett getting stuck on slot receiver Garrett Johnson on his 64-yard touchdown jaunt). DeMarkus Acy made the lone mental mistake, stopping his motion after Missouri jumped offsides and allowing Blake Bone behind him for a 14-yard touchdown catch in front of a closing Thomas Wilson.
  • And, since I ragged on individuals, I decided to reward individuals as well. I counted up all the disruptive plays (sacks, tackles for loss, interceptions, pass break-ups, QB hurries and plays stopped for zero yards...or zero plays) and found who was responsible for them.
  • By those metrics, Terez Hall (in big, bold font), Garrett and Beckner were your standouts.
  • The third-down specialty sets looked very good. The Tigers busted out the traditional 4-1-6 Dime (with Frazier playing tackle) once and logged a Hall TFL on a 3rd-and-14. They also brought out a 3-3-5 (Beckner flanked by two ends, Lee playing up close to the line) three times and got three incompletions. Not too shabby.
  • Tre Williams set his career high in snaps (and logged his only non-garbage time snaps of the season) and Nate Anderson tied his career high. They each saw about 15-20 percent of the team’s end snaps.
  • Beckner continues to play about 65 percent of the time at tackle, while Markell Utsey is holding steady around half the snaps. Rashad Brandon has a slight edge over Kobie Whiteside for top backup.
  • Acy played 11 snaps before getting tossed for targeting. Jerod Alton filled in for 15, and it was he and Sparks out there together for the first seven plays of a Kentucky field goal drive in the second quarter, but then Logan Cheadle stepped in and it was Cheadle and Sparks the rest of the way.
  • It was all Ronnell Perkins and Wilson at safety. Anthony Sherrils was out with a concussion. Cam Hilton is apparently in whatever witness protection program Jordan Ulmer is in.

Drew Lock Throwing
Left: 9-of-19, 101 yards (5.32 avg.), TD
Middle: 4-of-6, 102 yards (17.0 avg.), TD
Right: 9-of-17, 152 yards (8.94 avg.), TD

9 Yards & Under: 16-of-25, 90 yards (3.60 avg.)
10-19 Yards: 2-of-8, 34 yards (4.25 avg.)
20+ Yards: 4-of-9, 231 yards (25.7 avg.), 3 TD

Missouri Running
Off LT: 5 for 8 (1.60 avg.)
TE/LT: 5 for 54 (10.8 avg.), fumble lost
LT/LG: 3 for 17 (5.67 avg.)
C/RG: 3 for 18 (6.00 avg.)
RG/RT: 3 for 26 (8.67 avg.)
RT/TE: 4 for 23 (5.75 avg.)
Off RT: 9 for 72 (8.00 avg.), TD


10-19 Yard Plays Allowed (6)
Mental — Acy stops playing on offsides, Bone catches 14-yard TD
Physical — Cheadle in position, Bone makes leaping catch for 11
Positioning — Sparks loses Kayaune Ross in route, 17 yards
Positioning — Sparks, Garrett let Ross between zones, 11 yards
Physical — Cheadle in position, Johnson makes good catch for 13
Positioning — Williams, Hall lose contain on Snell 10-yard run
20-29 Yard Plays Allowed (5)
Positioning -- Garrett stuck on wideout Tavin Richardson, 27 yards
Positioning — Cheadle can’t keep up with Ross, 27 yards
Physical — Perkins, Prewett miss tackles on Lynn Bowden Jr. catch and run for 22
Positioning — Sparks, Wilson let Ross slip in between zones for 22
Physical — Perkins, Cheadle miss tackles on Bowden catch and run for 20
60-69 Yard Plays Allowed (1)
Positioning — Garrett stuck on wideout Johnson, 64-yard TD
70+ Plays Allowed (1)
Physical — Beckner, Sparks miss tackles on Snell 71-yard TD run

Defensive Plus Plays
Terez Hall — 3.5 (2.5 TFL, PBU)
Cale Garrett — 3 (TFL, INT, ZP)
Terry Beckner — 2 (QBH, ZP)
Rashad Brandon — 1 (ZP)
Logan Cheadle — 1 (PBU)
Brandon Lee — 1 (ZP)
Ronnell Perkins — 1 (TFL)
Kaleb Prewett — 1 (ZP)
Markell Utsey — 1 (sack)
Tre Williams — 1 (QBH)
Thomas Wilson1 (PBU)
DeMarkus Acy — 0.5 (TFL)

Offensive Set Success

Run: 19 for 129 (6.79 avg.), TD
Pass: 6-of-12, 46 yards (3.83 avg.)
Total: 31 plays, 175 yards (5.65 avg.), TD

Run: 11 for 82 (7.45 avg.), fumble lost
Pass: 8-of-14, 137 yards (9.79 avg.), TD
Total: 25 plays, 219 yards (8.76 avg.), TD, fumble lost

Pass: 8-of-16, 172 yards (10.8 avg.), 2 TD
Sack: 1 for -7, fumble lost
Total: 17 plays, 165 yards (9.71 avg.), 2 TD, fumble lost

Run: 1 for 3
Pass: 0-of-1
Total: 2 plays, 3 yards (1.50 avg.)

Run: 1 for 6


Defensive Set Success

Run: 21 for 139 (6.62 avg.), 2 TD
Pass: 13-of-18, 178 yards (9.89 avg.), TD, INT
Total: 39 plays, 317 yards (8.13 avg.), 3 TD, INT

Run: 16 for 49 (3.06 avg.)
Pass: 8-of-15, 123 yards (8.20 avg.), TD
Sack: 1 for -6
Total: 32 plays, 166 yards (5.19 avg.), TD

Pass: 0-of-3

Pass: 1-of-1, -3 yards

Non-Corey Fatony Fake Punt
Run: 1 for 6


Drew Lock — 75
Damarea Crockett — 1

Running Back
Ish Witter — 48
Damarea Crockett — 27

Kendall Blanton -- 19
Albert Okwuegbunam — 12
Alec Abeln2
Johnathon Johnson1

Tight End
Kendall Blanton — 13
Albert Okwuegbunam — 13
Alec Abeln — 1

Wide Receiver
Emanuel Hall — 73
J’Mon Moore -- 69
Johnathon Johnson — 61
Richaud Floyd -- 14
Kendall Blanton — 11
Albert Okwuegbunam — 8
Nate Brown -- 3
Jason Reese — 3
Dominic Collins -- 1
Drew Lock — 1

Paul Adams — 76
Trystan Castillo — 76
Kevin Pendleton — 76
Tre’Vour Simms — 76
Yasir Durant — 73
Tyler Howell — 3


Jordan Harold -- 54
Marcell Frazier — 50
Chris Turner20
Nate Anderson — 14
Tre Williams — 11

Terry Beckner — 48
Markell Utsey -- 36
Rashad Brandon — 26
Kobie Whiteside — 18
Akial Byers — 9
Walter Palmore — 9
Marcell Frazier — 1

Rush End
Marcell Frazier — 1

Terez Hall — 66
Cale Garrett — 63
Brandon Lee — 42
Eric Beisel11
Joey Burkett9

Kaleb Prewett — 33
Joshuah Bledsoe -- 4

Logan Cheadle — 68
Adam Sparks — 56
Jerod Alton -- 15
DeMarkus Acy -- 11

Ronnell Perkins — 75
Thomas Wilson75