I certainly don’t want to come across as flippant, but when your weakest unit is missing two starters, there’s very little you can glean from a performance. There was certainly a chance Missouri could have pulled off the upset with Taylor Powell at the helm, but with the game plan that was called and the lackluster performance of the guys who were healthy left no chance for offense to contribute to an unlikely win. Let’s jog through the matchups to see how the Tigers did. It’s not great!
No, that is not a typo: Missouri held Georgia to a 6% success rate in the 2nd quarter! Maybe the defense should try playing offense.
Let’s get this over with:
That’s better than the SEMO and Vanderbilt game, but the exact same as the Kentucky game.
The damning thing, however, is that Missouri had only 6.5 yards to go on third down, and it’s best performance in that area since the Ole Miss game. What a waste.
Only one interception thrown, but you can’t afford to give any superior team a chance like that, especially when the defense doesn’t force any.
Georgia did not hit their season-average of 24.6%, but the Bulldogs finished at 18%, better than they had managed in the past few games. Half of that havoc was through the air (passes defensed and interceptions), but the other half were tackles for loss. For a team that averaged less than 4 TFLs per game, giving up five is indicative of the offensive line’s struggles that we’ve grown to love at this point in the season.
This defense deserves an offense that is...not the current iteration of the Tiger offense. Ya know, like...Iowa’s offense (68th) or Wake Forest’s offense (45th) or....oh my good lord, kansas’ offense (67th).
I postured that, if Georgia was logging explosive plays against the Tigers, then the game would be over quickly. Georgia came into the game being an efficiency-based attack rather than an explosive one and Missouri kept the explosive plays completely bottled up. The Bulldogs weren’t even at half the national average in any explosive category and had to rely on the efficiency plays. And the Bulldogs weren’t even all that efficient, either! Just an all-around excellent performance by the Tiger defense (until the 4th quarter when they were totally gassed).
Putting opponents into passing downs and then winning those passing downs is the fastest way to get offenses off the field. The Bulldogs were completely ineffective on passing downs, logging only a 19% success rate. The issue was that Georgia had a 45% success rate on standard downs but, in the instance that Missouri got them to passing downs, they flexed and shut them down.
8-19 (42%) with an average of 7.5 yards to go. Missouri actually put Georgia in some doozy-third down situations but, in the instance when the yards-to-go was less than 5, the ‘Dawgs got it easily. Still, holding the 13th best offense to this type of third-down performance is a good showing.
- Seriously, that second quarter was the best quarter of football the Missouri defense has played all year, against the best team in the division and one of the best offenses in the country.
- Missouri passes targeting tight ends/running backs: 19. Success rate: 26%
- Missouri passes targeting receivers: 14. Success rate: 57%
- 13% success rate on the ground, 39% success rate through the air. When you’re starting a backup quarterback and are missing your highest usage receiver you need the ground game to provide something. Instead, the Missouri ground game provided nothing.
- I was impressed by Connor Bazelak. 67% completion rate, made good reads...and I could say something blasphemous, but I’ll pass for now. At this point I expect him to give Shawn Robinson a good run for his money in spring practice and would be fine if he won the job out right. Yes, yes, it was against an uninterested Georgia defense but it was still the first-stringers out there. I’d like to see him come in during the Tennessee and Arkansas games to get a larger sample size.
- If Barrett Bannister and Dawson Downing were announced as starters against Florida, would you be mad? Bannister was the best receiver by far on Saturday (100% success rate, 10 ypc), and Downing has been excellent in the opportunities he’s been given so far (50% success rate on Saturday, best among the running backs).
It’s hard to learn too much from a wounded offense against one of Top 5 teams in the country. The offense was terrible but we knew that already, and the defense was excellent but we knew that, too. How the Tigers react against Florida will be huge going forward.