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Unwelcome guests show back up on defense, and why Drew Lock should return for his senior year

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Missed tackles and blown coverages. What, is this September again?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Arkansas
Ish Witter in his natural state: in a headlock,
Nelson Chenault-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’ 48-45 win over Arkansas 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...


Takeaways

  • On average, Drew Lock had the ball out of his hands in 2.05 seconds on his 42 pass attempts. On 17 of his attempts, it was there and gone in two seconds or fewer. On the other 25, it was 2.1 seconds or more.
  • On those fast-release throws, Lock completed 12-of-17 for 133 yards and the little pop-pass touchdown to Albert Okwuegbunam. Most of those throws were just quick RPO toss outs to Nate Brown or J’Mon Moore wide, when the corner was playing well off the line.
  • Lock had much higher boom-bust potential when he held the ball longer. On the one hand, he completed 13 passes for 315 yards and four touchdowns. On the other hand, he completed only 13-of-25 passes, with both interceptions. All three sacks, too, came when he held the ball longer than 2.1 seconds.
  • This (in a turn of phrase that I think will make Alec Blome happy) is part of the reason why I think Lock needs to come back for a senior year. When he is forced to wait a little bit for routes to mature, or when he’s forced off his first read, he can still be very erratic.
  • In this week’s edition of DropWatch, we have J’Mon Moore with four for at least 52 yards (and a 25-yard touchdown), and Johnathon Johnson with two for at least 23 yards.
  • I kind of get the Moore drop frustration (four in one game is pretty bad), but as a proportion of total targets, four out of 17 (23.5 percent) is better than Johnson’s two in five targets (40 percent).
  • That being said, both of them had spectacular catches to make up for their drops: Moore’s touchdown in the fourth quarter and Johnson’s catch over the middle in traffic to get the Tigers’ game-winning drive moving.
  • I’ll take those if I have to also take a drop here and there.
  • Ah, Missouri’s defense. We thought you had turned a corner.
  • The one that took the field against Arkansas had some hallmarks of the way the Tigers had been playing lately (dominant frontline outings from Marcell Frazier and Terry Beckner Jr.) combined with how they played at the beginning of the season (looking at the back four and wondering what, exactly, was going on.
  • Austin Allen set a tone early against Adam Sparks, and the true freshman was targeted 10 times for 116 yards. He did, though, get an interception and allow only 51 yards on eight targets after the 65-yarder to start the game.
  • Sparks and DeMarkus Acy combined to give up 182 yards, a touchdown and a pick on 7-of-15 passing. Not great.
  • The nickelbacks and safeties also combined to give up 98 yards on 6-of-10 passing. So, all told, the defensive backs yielded 280 yards on 13-of-25 passing. Eh.
  • And missed tackles: 12 of them on nine different plays that contributed to 92 yards after contact.
  • Three of those missed tackle plays resulted in Arkansas touchdowns and another allowed the Razorbacks 14 yards on a little halfback swing to get into striking distance on a 4th-and-3 and keep a touchdown drive alive.
  • The three-wide, tight-end-in-the-backfield showed up on almost 60 percent of the Tigers’ snaps and was a very balanced look, with 29 rushes and 28 passes. The three-wide, tight-end-attached was used more this week than it has been in a minute. And, as ever, it was heavy run (69/31).
  • The 4-3, predictably, had a bad day, giving up 7.5 yards a play and four touchdowns on 45 plays. The Dime struggled, too. Missouri unleashed it 10 times on third down and gave up four first downs (40 percent) with an average distance of 8.4 yards to gain. That’s not great.
  • This might be a pretty “no duh” statement, but when the pass rush doesn’t get there in the Dime (as it did twice in 12 plays...pretty good ratio), the Tigers’ defensive backs are pretty vulnerable.
  • Not only did Ish Witter man up to 39 carries, but he also ended up doubling Larry Rountree’s reps and playing 66.7 percent of the game. He’s really having a nice finish to his Missouri career.
  • Albert Okwuegbunam (55) barely out-repped Kendall Blanton (53) with Jason Reese injured. The two were in the game together on six different plays: five with Okwuegbunam in the backfield and Blanton on the line, one with Blanton on the line and Okwuegbunam split wide.
  • Missouri ran 62 plays after Emanuel Hall went out with his hamstring injury. In his place, Nate Brown got 38 snaps and Dominic Collins got 28.
  • Lock had 27 pass attempts after Hall went out. Here’s how they broke down: Moore 12, Brown 4, Okwuegbunam 4, Johnson 3, Blanton 2, Collins 2.
  • Heavy on the J’Mon.
  • The line rotation is down to five: the starters. I see no reason to change this.
  • Frazier, in addition to being cold-blooded against Arkansas, also played all but one snap. It does not seem possible, and yet it is so.
  • Beckner, too, ended up playing 51 of 61, or 84 percent. When Arkansas goes at a pretty slow pace and scores on low-play-number drives, it gives the defensive linemen the chance to play a high proportion of snaps. Which benefited Missouri.
  • Pretty pared down rotation on the rest of the defense as well. Terez Hall played all the snaps, Cale Garrett only disappeared in the 4-1-6 Dime, and Brandon Lee left in all Dimes. Anthony Sherrils left for seven total plays when he was shaken up (replaced by Thomas Wilson in the 4-3 and Anthony Hines in the Dime), and Adam Sparks and Kaleb Prewett both only left for one play in the 4-5, replaced by Eric Beisel and Tavon Ross.
  • Cam Hilton did not return on defense after taking that targeting shot on the first kickoff of the second half. Wilson stepped into his nickelback role in the Dime in the second half, joining Joshuah Bledsoe.

Drew Lock Release Time
Average: 2.05 sec.

Less Than 2.05 sec.
12-of-17, 133 yards (7.82 avg.), TD, 2 drops

More Than 2.05 sec.
13-of-25, 315 yards (12.6 avg.), 4 TD, 2 INT, 4 drops

—————

DropWatch
J’Mon Moore: 4 for 52 yards, TD
Johnathon Johnson: 2 for 23
Total: 6 for 75 yards, TD

—————

Missouri Missed Tackles
12 on 9 plays (14.8% of total)
92 yards after misses (20.6% of Arkansas’ total)

—————

Austin Allen Throwing at...

Cornerbacks: 7-of-15, 182 yards, TD, INT
Adam Sparks: 5-of-10, 116 yards, Frazier PD, INT
DeMarkus Acy: 2-of-5, 66 yards, TD

Nickelbacks: 4-of-6, 60 yards
Cam Hilton: 2-of-4, 45 yards
Joshuah Bledsoe: 2-of-2, 15 yards

Linebackers: 1-of-5, 33 yards
Brandon Lee: 0-of-2, PD, Frazier PD
Cale Garrett: 0-of-2
Terez Hall: 1-of-1, 33 yards

Safeties: 2-of-4, 38 yards, TD
Kaleb Prewett: 2-of-3, 38 yards, TD
Anthony Sherrils: 0-of-1


Offensive Set Success

3-WR/2-RB
Run: 29 for 154 (5.31 avg.)
Pass: 16-of-26, 303 yards (11.7 avg.), 2 TD, INT
Sack: 2 for -4 (-2.00 avg.)
Total: 57 plays, 453 yards (7.95 avg.), 2 TD, INT

3-WR/1-TE/1-RB
Run: 24 for 99 (4.13 avg.), TD
Pass: 8-of-11, 90 yards (8.18 avg.), 2 TD
Total: 35 plays, 189 yards (5.40 avg.), 3 TD

4-WR/1-RB
Pass: 1-of-4, 55 yards (13.8 avg.), TD, INT
Sack: 1 for -14
Total: 5 plays, 41 yards (8.20 avg.), TD, INT

2-WR/1-TE/2-RB
Run: 4 for 13 (3.25 avg.)
Pass: 0-of-1
Total: 5 plays, 13 yards (2.60 avg.)

—————

Defensive Set Success

4-3
Run: 26 for 137 (5.27 avg.), 3 TD
Pass: 8-of-19, 199 yards (10.5 avg.), TD
Total: 45 plays, 336 yards (7.47 avg.), 4 TD

Dime
Pass: 6-of-10, 114 yards (11.4 avg.), TD, INT
Sack: 2 for -8 (-4.00 avg.)
Total: 12 plays, 106 yards (8.83 avg.), TD, INT

3-4
Run: 2 for 3 (1.50 avg.)
Pass: 0-of-1
Total: 3 plays, 3 yards (1.00 avg.)

4-5
Run: 1 for 1, TD


Offense

Quarterback
Drew Lock — 102

Running Back
Ish Witter — 68
Larry Rountree -- 34

H-Back
Albert Okwuegbunam — 33
Kendall Blanton29

Tight End
Kendall Blanton — 22
Albert Okwuegbunam — 18

Wide Receiver
J’Mon Moore — 97
Johnathon Johnson — 60
Nate Brown — 41
Emanuel Hall — 37
Richaud Floyd — 36
Dominic Collins — 29
Albert Okwuegbunam — 4
Kendall Blanton — 2

Line
Paul Adams102
Trystan Castillo — 102
Yasir Durant — 102
Kevin Pendleton102
Tre’Vour Simms -- 102


Defense

End
Marcell Frazier -- 47
Jordan Harold — 40
Tre Williams — 22
Chris Turner5

Tackle
Terry Beckner — 51
A.J. Logan -- 38
Rashad Brandon8
Kobie Whiteside — 8
Marcell Frazier — 7
Walter Palmore — 6
Jordan Harold — 2

Rush End
Marcell Frazier — 6
Jordan Harold — 1
Chris Turner1

Linebacker
Terez Hall — 61
Cale Garrett — 52
Brandon Lee — 49
Eric Beisel1

Nickelback
Joshuah Bledsoe -- 12
Cam Hilton — 6
Thomas Wilson6

Cornerback
DeMarkus Acy — 61
Adam Sparks — 60

Safety
Kaleb Prewett — 60
Anthony Sherrils — 53
Thomas Wilson5
Anthony Hines -- 2
Tavon Ross — 1