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As Missouri’s season progressed, youth was served

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Freshmen and sophomores have played nearly 40 percent of the Tigers’ snaps this season

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt
True freshman back Larry Rountree played a little more than a quarter of the team’s offensive snaps this year. He gets to joust with Damarea Crockett for reps next season.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

All of my snap counting has led to this: the ultimate Missouri Tigers football team 2017 snap count post...at least until the bowl game.

What you see below are snap counts at each position for all the players that saw the field on offense and defense for the Tigers this year, along with them filtered out into non-garbage time snaps (per Bill Connelly’s definition: with the score within 25 points in the second quarter, 22 in the third, 17 in the fourth).

Let’s reflect for a moment...

  • Youth was definitely served in the final two-thirds of the season, since we last checked in with snap counts.
  • Over the final eight games, the amount of snaps earmarked for underclassmen on the team rose from 37.1 percent to 39.7 percent, including 12.6 to 16.7 percent among freshmen. On offense, the underclassman proportion rose barely, from 43.3 percent to 43.6. On defense, though, the change was more stark, going up from 31.6 to 35.9.
  • The story was similar for underclassmen in non-garbage time: 35.1 to 39.2 for the whole team, 41.5 to 43.4 on offense and 29.7 to 35.1 on defense.
  • So who were the big gainers over the final two-thirds of the season? Well, I’m glad you asked. The numbers below are proportions of total snaps, with non-garbage time in the parentheses.
  • True freshman running back Larry Rountree went from 14.7 (8.28) to 27.3 (25.7). That was due largely to Damarea Crockett’s season-ending shoulder injury, suffered in the sixth game against Georgia.
  • Junior wideout Emanuel Hall went from 40.8 (50.3) to 60.8 (70.1). That was due largely to Dimetrios Mason getting booted from the team after the fourth game of the season.
  • Redshirt freshman Albert Okwuegbunam went from 30.9 (21.7) to 49.1 (50.1). That was due largely to Okwuegbunam being a gotdang stud.
  • Sophomore tackle Yasir Durant went from 37.7 (35.7) to 61.2 (68.0). That was due largely to Durant wresting the left tackle spot away from Tyler Howell.
  • Redshirt freshman defensive end Tre Williams went from 4.00 (0.00) to 23.8 (22.4).
  • Senior defensive tackle A.J. Logan went from nada to 18.2 (20.1). That was due to him coming off academic suspension.
  • Junior linebacker Brandon Lee went from 28.0 (22.8) to 52.2 (54.6). That was due mostly to Missouri going from Kaleb Prewett and more of a nickelback look at the Sam to the more conventional linebacker look with Lee.
  • True freshman cornerback Adam Sparks went from 22.0 (3.63) to 62.1 (58.6). At the expense of Logan Cheadle.
  • On offense, Ish Witter ended up taking nearly half the running back snaps on the team, both overall and in garbage time. Rountree ended up with only one fewer garbage-time snap than Crockett for the year. So, when the game was still theoretically in doubt, it was a pretty tidy 50-25-25 split for the season.
  • J’Mon Moore (89), Johnathon Johnson (72) and Hall (70) all ended up plaing more than 70 percent of the team’s non-garbage time snaps at wideout. Overall, Richaud Floyd played about 30 percent of the team’s snaps, Dominic Collins about 20 and Nate Brown about.
  • Okwuegbunam enjoyed a 49-37-18 split over Kendall Blanton and Jason Reese for the season, and 50-41-13 in non-garbage time. Okwuegbunam played more and more as the season went, with Blanton the pretty clear back-up and Reese taking snaps where he could.
  • As far as the all-important “in the backfield/on the line/split wide” splits: Okwuegbunam was 63/17/20; Blanton was 51/33/16; and Reese was 44/21/34. So Okwuegbunam was disproportionately the team’s H-back tight end, Blanton was mostly the team’s in-line tight end and Reese was the team’s split out tight end.
  • Kind of cool how that worked out.
  • Paul Adams and Tre’Vour Simms were your iron men on the line, playing more than 91 percent of the offensive snaps (and Adams played all 569 non-garbage time snaps). Trystan Castillo played 88 percent, and Kevin Pendleton ended up with about an 80-20 advantage over Adam Ploudre, while Durant had about a 60-40 split over Howell.
  • Marcell Frazier played a pretty ridiculous amount of the team’s defensive snaps — 74 percent overall and 81 percent in non-garbage time. He was versatile as well, playing 16 percent standing as a rush end and 5 percent on the interior in the Tigers’ three-end Dime front, which saw a lot of play down the home stretch of the season.
  • Terry Beckner, too, played an absurd proportion of the team’s snaps for such a large man: 61.8 overall and 67.3 in non-garbage time. Made even more impressive by the fact that he managed to still be an absolute beast playing two-thirds of the team’s snaps and none of the other defensive tackles played more than 30 percent of the team’s snaps this season.
  • Both Frazier and Beckner will be sorely missed next year. No, I did not misspeak.
  • Kobie Whiteside was the other “starter,” snap-wise, for overall snaps, and Markell Utsey was the one in non-garbage time. Of course, Logan outrepped his nearest competitors (Whiteside and Rashad Brandon) 114-46-44 over the final six games in non-garbage time. So he has definitively seized the other starting tackle spot toward the end of his Missouri career.
  • Terez Hall played 92 percent of the team’s non-garbage time snaps at linebacker, and Cale Garrett played 84 percent. Those two are going to be problems for opposing offenses next year. Lee isn’t half bad either. The 2018 Tigers’ linebacking corps should be legit.
  • Now, stick with it! No safety hybrid dalliances! (Yes, I realize that is the direct opposite thing from what I said coming into the year, but...you know...whatever...)
  • Cam Hilton and Joshuah Bledsoe ended up carving nice little niches for themselves as the Tigers’ extra defensive backs in their Dime. It’ll be interesting to see if either can assert himself back into the safety rotation with Anthony Sherrils and Thomas Wilson gone back there.
  • At corner, by the end, it was all Sparks and DeMarkus Acy. You could see them making improvements week to week, but they were still problematic at times. The door should be at least cracked open for Jerod Alton and Christian Holmes, who is coming off a shoulder injury that cost him the whole 2017 season.
  • Prewett and Sherrils formed a solid partnership at safety by season’s end, just in time for Sherrils’ eligibility to run out. Prewett will be a nice piece to build around next year, but the Wheel o’ Safeties gets to start a-spinnin’ again. Who will be Prewett’s counterbalance? Ronnell Perkins? Hilton? Bledsoe? Tavon Ross? Has Jordan Ulmer re-emerged from the Mystery Spot yet? How about Tyree Gillespie, he of the redshirt burned for nothing but special-teams duty?
  • Only time will tell....
  • Read below for the particulars. I’ll have season offensive and defensive set analysis for you later on.

Pct. Snaps by Class

Team
Junior: 33.2
Senior: 27.1
Sophomore: 23.0
Freshman: 16.7 (True — 8.22; Redshirt -- 8.49)

Offense
Junior: 35.0
Sophomore: 27.2
Senior: 21.3
Freshman: 16.4 (True — 2.52; Redshirt -- 13.9)

Defense
Senior: 32.6
Junior: 31.5
Sophomore: 18.9
Freshman: 17.0 (True -- 13.6; Redshirt — 3.33)

—-———-

Non-Garbage

Team
Junior: 34.9
Senior: 25.8
Sophomore: 24.3
Freshman: 14.9 (True — 7.11; Redshirt -- 7.83)

Offense
Junior: 37.4
Sophomore: 27.9
Senior: 19.2
Freshman: 15.5 (True -- 2.35; Redshirt — 13.1)

Defense
Junior: 32.5
Senior: 32.4
Sophomore: 20.7
Freshman: 14.4 (True — 11.9; Redshirt — 2.55)


Total Snaps — Pct. of Total Plays in Parentheses

Offense

Quarterback
Drew Lock — 781 (92.4)
Micah Wilson -- 56 (6.63)
Jack Lowary -- 8 (0.95)

Running Back
Ish Witter — 391 (46.3)
Larry Rountree — 231 (27.3)
Damarea Crockett — 181 (21.4)
Dawson Downing — 42 (4.97)

Wide Receiver
J’Mon Moore -- 670 (79.3)
Emanuel Hall — 514 (60.8)
Johnathon Johnson496 (58.7)
Richaud Floyd -- 261 (30.9)
Dominic Collins -- 180 (21.3)
Dimetrios Mason — 147 (17.4)
Nate Brown128 (15.1)
Steven Spadarotto -- 36 (4.26)
Daniel Ellinger — 34 (4.02)
Cameren Rivers — 10 (1.18)

Tight End
Albert Okwuegbunam — 415 (49.1)
Kendall Blanton — 313 (37.0)
Jason Reese — 149 (17.6)

Line
Paul Adams -- 775 (91.7)
Tre’Vour Simms — 771 (91.2)
Trystan Castillo — 747 (88.4)
Kevin Pendleton — 672 (79.5)
Yasir Durant — 517 (61.2)
Tyler Howell -- 333 (39.4)
Adam Ploudre -- 181 (21.4)
Jonah Dubinski — 98 (11.6)
AJ Harris -- 48 (5.68)
Alec Abeln47 (5.56)
Samson Bailey — 34 (4.02)
Kyle Mitchell — 22 (2.60)
Thomas Grossman — 1 (0.12)

—————

Defense

End
Marcell Frazier — 660 (74.1)
Jordan Harold — 548 (61.5)
Chris Turner239 (26.8)
Tre Williams -- 212 (23.8)
Nate Anderson — 139 (15.6)
Franklin Agbasimere — 25 (2.81)

Tackle
Terry Beckner — 551 (61.8)
Kobie Whiteside -- 264 (29.6)
Markell Utsey -- 242 (27.2)
Rashad Brandon -- 239 (26.8)
A.J. Logan — 162 (18.2)
Walter Palmore — 160 (18.0)
Akial Byers -- 75 (8.42)
Tyrell Jacobs — 7 (0.79)

Linebacker
Terez Hall — 688 (77.2)
Cale Garrett -- 628 (70.5)
Brandon Lee — 465 (52.2)
Eric Beisel — 204 (22.9)
Joey Burkett -- 184 (20.7)
Jamal Brooks — 22 (2.47)
Noah Robinson — 6 (0.67)
Jacob Trump — 3 (0.34)

Nickelback
Cam Hilton — 154 (17.3)
Joshuah Bledsoe — 102 (11.4)
T.J. Warren — 78 (8.75)
Tavon Ross23 (2.58)

Cornerback
DeMarkus Acy — 620 (69.6)
Adam Sparks -- 553 (62.1)
Logan Cheadle — 458 (51.4)
Jerod Alton — 114 (12.8)
Finis Stribling — 27 (3.03)

Safety
Kaleb Prewett — 628 (70.5)
Anthony Sherrils — 529 (59.4)
Thomas Wilson419 (47.0)
Ronnell Perkins — 256 (28.7)
Jordan Ulmer — 82 (9.20)
Anthony Hines30 (3.37)


Non-Garbage

Offense

Quarterback
Drew Lock — 569 (100.0)

Running Back
Ish Witter — 276 (48.5)
Damarea Crockett — 147 (25.8)
Larry Rountree — 146 (25.7)

Wide Receiver
J’Mon Moore -- 505 (88.8)
Johnathon Johnson — 407 (71.5)
Emanuel Hall — 399 (70.1)
Richaud Floyd -- 138 (24.3)
Dominic Collins -- 80 (14.1)
Dimetrios Mason — 77 (13.5)
Nate Brown — 67 (11.8)

Tight End
Albert Okwuegbunam — 285 (50.1)
Kendall Blanton — 235 (41.3)
Jason Reese — 73 (12.8)
Alec Abeln — 8 (1.41)
Jamal Brooks — 1 (0.18)

Line
Paul Adams -- 569 (100.0)
Tre’Vour Simms — 557 (97.9)
Trystan Castillo — 535 (94.0)
Kevin Pendleton — 502 (88.2)
Yasir Durant — 387 (68.0)
Tyler Howell -- 182 (32.0)
Adam Ploudre -- 79 (13.9)
Jonah Dubinski — 34 (5.98)

—————

Defense

End
Marcell Frazier — 460 (81.0)
Jordan Harold — 391 (68.8)
Chris Turner134 (23.6)
Tre Williams — 127 (22.4)
Nate Anderson — 56 (9.86)

Tackle
Terry Beckner — 382 (67.3)
Markell Utsey -- 169 (29.8)
Rashad Brandon -- 154 (27.1)
Kobie Whiteside -- 150 (26.4)
A.J. Logan — 114 (20.1)
Walter Palmore — 94 (16.5)
Akial Byers -- 17 (2.99)

Linebacker
Terez Hall — 523 (92.1)
Cale Garrett -- 476 (83.8)
Brandon Lee — 310 (54.6)
Eric Beisel — 58 (10.2)
Joey Burkett -- 43 (7.57)

Nickelback
Cam Hilton — 69 (12.1)
Joshuah Bledsoe — 62 (10.9)
T.J. Warren — 21 (3.70)

Cornerback
DeMarkus Acy — 465 (81.9)
Adam Sparks -- 333 (58.6)
Logan Cheadle — 300 (52.8)
Jerod Alton — 32 (5.63)

Safety
Kaleb Prewett — 434 (76.4)
Anthony Sherrils — 370 (65.1)
Thomas Wilson279 (49.1)
Ronnell Perkins — 161 (28.3)
Jordan Ulmer — 45 (7.92)
Anthony Hines — 8 (1.41)
Tavon Ross — 2 (0.35)