If you were the cynical type, you could say that Missouri just figured out a way to lose during its bye week: PowerMizzou’s Gabe Dearmond is reporting that starting receiver Dimetrios Mason is no longer with the Tigers.
Mason had 60 catches in 16 games as a Tiger. He emerged as a decent possession option to pair with bigger-play options like J’Mon Moore and Johnathon Johnson, and he showed promise in the kick return game.
Of course, he also didn’t do a lot with those receptions. While he produced a 63 percent catch rate and a 51 percent success rate as a freshman in 2016, those numbers were just 52 percent and 36 percent, respectively, in 2017. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch last year and just 9.2 this time around.
Missouri Receiving Stats
|Catch Rate||Success Rate|
|Larry Rountree III||RB||1||0||0||0||0.0||0.0||0.0%||0.0%|
Opponents appeared to be aligning their defensive backs to force Drew Lock to throw short to Mason instead of to more successful options like Johnson (75 percent catch rate, 63 percent catch rate), Moore (57 percent, 57 percent), or Emanuel Hall (56 percent, 56 percent) downfield.
Based on the depth chart, it appears Mason's absence will push Hall into the starting lineup. But if you're thinking in terms of possession options vs. downfield options, it could open up more opportunities for backup slot man Richaud Floyd as well.
From a production standpoint, Mason is exceedingly replaceable. But when you're riding a three-game losing streak, you'd prefer an "all hands on deck" approach, and Mizzou just lost a hand.
More as this unfolds.