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Missouri-Florida: New Faces, Disastrous Side Sets and a Leaky Left Side

MU’s offense actually did rather well in its newfound base set. The rest? Well....

NCAA Football: Missouri at Florida
For the second game in a row, Missouri’s run defense did a whole lot of chasing.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you were familiar with my work at the Columbia Daily Tribune you knew that, as part of my in-season coverage, 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’ 40-14, carbon-copy road loss to Florida following up its road loss to LSU 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.

Here we go...



Drew Lock – 49

Marvin Zanders -- 19



Ish Witter31

Damarea Crockett – 30

Alex Ross – 3

Dimetrios Mason -- 1



Sean Culkin – 22

Jason Reese -- 14

Kendall Blanton10

Josh Augusta2

Tyler Hanneke -- 2

Johnathon Johnson -- 1


Tight End

Kendall Blanton – 8

Sean Culkin – 7

Jason Reese – 4

J’Mon Moore -- 1


Wide Receiver

J’Mon Moore – 60

Dimetrios Mason – 55

Johnathon Jonhson – 40

Ray Wingo -- 14

Sean Culkin – 10

Eric Laurent9

Emanuel Hall -- 6

Richaud Floyd -- 5

Ish Witter – 2

Chris Black -- 1

Damarea Crockett – 1

Jason Reese -- 1



Paul Adams68

Kevin Pendleton68

Tyler Howell – 66

Samson Bailey – 65

Alec Abeln46

Adam Ploudre25

Tre’Vour Simms -- 2



Marcell Frazier -- 40

Charles Harris36

Jordan Harold – 19

Spencer Williams -- 13

Rickey Hatley – 2

A.J. Logan -- 2



A.J. Logan -- 42

Rickey Hatley – 40

Terry Beckner – 35

Josh Augusta -- 33

Charles Harris2

Marcell Frazier – 1

Spencer Williams -- 1


Rush End

Marcell Frazier – 19

Charles Harris15

Jordan Harold – 5

Spencer Williams -- 3



Donavin Newsom76

Michael Scherer75

Cale Garrett – 68

Eric Beisel -- 2

Terez Hall -- 1



Cam Hilton -- 9



John Gibson -- 77

Aarion Penton77



Thomas Wilson63

Ronnell Perkins – 61

Anthony Sherrils16

Cam Hilton – 14

Offensive Set Success


Run: 30 for 211 (7.03 avg.), TD

Pass: 7-of-12, 98 yards (8.17 avg.)

Total: 42 plays, 309 yards (7.36 avg.), TD



Run: 9 for 36 (4.00 avg.), fumble lost

Pass: 0-of-5, 2 pick-6s

Total: 14 plays, 36 yards (2.57 avg.), 2 pick-6s, fumble lost



Run: 3 for 9 (3.00 avg.)

Pass: 0-of-3

Total: 6 plays, 9 yards (1.50 avg.)



Run: 2 for 3 (1.50 avg.), TD



Run: 1 for 4



Run: 1 for 2



Pass: 0-of-1



Pass: 0-of-1

Defensive Set Success


Run: 24 for 207 (8.63 avg.), TD

Pass: 3-of-14, 49 yards (3.50 avg.)

Total: 38 plays, 256 yards (6.74 avg.), TD



Run: 12 for 84 (7.00 avg.), fumble recovery

Pass: 8-of-15, 113 yards (7.53 avg.), TD, 2 INT

Sack: 1 for -5

Total: 28 plays, 192 yards (6.86 avg.), TD, 2 INT, fumble recovery



Run: 2 for 1 (0.50 avg.)

Pass: 5-of-7, 63 yards (9.00 avg.), INT

Total: 9 plays, 64 yards (7.11 avg.), INT



Pass: 2-of-2, 11 yards (5.50 avg.)


Florida Success When Running…

Off LT: 7 for 107 (15.3 avg.)

Between LT and LG: 7 for 29 (4.14 avg.)

Between LG and C: 7 for 91 (13.0 avg.), TD

Left Side: 21 for 227 (10.8 avg.), TD

Between C and RG: 3 for 5 (1.67 avg.)

Between RG and RT: 8 for 31 (3.88 avg.), fumble lost

Off RT: 6 for 29 (4.83 avg.)

Right Side: 17 for 65 (3.82 avg.), fumble lost

Heres and Theres

  • For the second game in a row, an opponent ran for more than 250 yards against Missouri. That hadn’t happened since 2001. For the second game in a row, an opponent ran for more than 7 yards a carry against Missouri. That hadn’t happened yet in the 21st century. And, as you can see, Florida ran behind its left side and gashed the right side of the Tigers’ defense time and again.
  • The biggest runs of the game came off left tackle (13 yards, at Harold); between left guard and center (29 yards, splitting Augusta and Beckner); off left tackle (10 yards, at Harris); between left guard and center (33 yards, splitting Hatley and Logan); and off left tackle (59 yards, at Harold).
  • To be fair, all but one of those came in the second half, so the defense was getting worn down. But, to be unfair, that’s still a woeful yards-per-carry defensive number.
  • Missouri stuck in its base -- four linemen, three linebackers...sometimes with one of those linemen standing -- for the vast majority of the game, and neither the 4-3 nor the 3-4 came off all that well. Each gave up at least seven yards a carry, but the 4-3 was pretty good against the pass and the 3-4 netted two interceptions, even if it was a little more lenient against the pass.
  • Missouri brought Hilton down to nickelback nine times and saw decent results. Florida converted only 3-of-7 third downs against that set and threw a pick to Gibson. The Tigers also, though, gave up a 31-yard screen pass from that look on a 2nd-and-9.
  • On offense, Missouri went exotic, using eight different personnel groupings. There was the tried-and-true JUGGERNAUT, which gave us this indelible moment. There was a 5-wide quarterback draw. There was a look with no tailback, Johnson and Culkin as H-backs, Mason and Witter split wide and Moore attached at tight end. There was another no-back look with four wide and Culkin attached. There was a look where Culkin and Blanton joined Crockett and Zanders in the backfield, with two split wide. Then there was the three-wide, tight end look and the former set du jour, the old-fashioned four-wide. All of this complementing Josh Heupel’s new favorite base set, the three-wide with an H-back and tailback.
  • And you know what? None of the seven secondary sets worked. Yeah, they did here and there. Augusta’s touchdown and a 19-yard Witter run among the successes. But, overall, they netted 54 yards on 26 plays, with a lost fumble and both pick-6s thrown in.
  • In contrast, the 3-0-2 produced 309 yards on 42 plays, or 7.36 per. Missouri basically camped out in that set once Zanders came in and Florida called off the dogs, so the numbers are a bit inflated. But even not counting the production of the last two drives, the Tigers ran 28 plays for 173 yards (6.18 per) out of that set.
  • DeMontie Cross’ defensive changes mostly amounted to putting Garrett in for Joey Burkett (with a Scherer move outside involved) and Perkins for Sherrils and leaving them both out on the field for basically the whole game. Garrett only exited when the Tigers went Nickel, and Sherrils got two series and parts of three others in relief of Perkins.
  • As far as cornerbacks were concerned, you could count the rotation members on two fingers.
  • Frazier got his first start of the year opposite Harris and actually played more than Harris in the game (60 snaps to 53). He had a productive game and should get more looks there as the season goes, at the expense of Harold (Harris’ backup now) and Williams.
  • Cross also pulled out that kooky “make the ends tackles and the tackles ends” set twice, and got an interception and an incomplete pass out of it. Not bad. The tackle rotation was split very nearly even, with the starters getting about a 55-45 advantage over the backups.
  • On the offensive line, Bailey missed a series resting his ankle and Abeln shut down for the day after rolling his in the second half. Ploudre was the snap beneficiary in both cases, along with logging two snaps in the JUGGERNAUT with fellow specialty set fellow Simms.
  • Not only did Mason start over Emanuel Hall, but he basically banished him to the bench. Hall got only one snap that wasn’t on the Tigers’ final drive. Speaking of only one snap: Chris Black. He came in for the first play of Missouri’s fifth drive, motioned through the backfield as a jet sweep decoy and then just kept running on to the sideline, never to return again. Johnson played 40 snaps in the slot, Wingo 14 and Floyd five.
  • Among the tight ends, Culkin played 39 snaps, Reese 19 and Blanton 18, although only two of Reese’s snaps came outside those final two drives. The hierarchy at that spot seems pretty clear.
  • Despite his start and breakout performance, Witter still outsnapped Crockett, 33-31. Ross saw his first offensive action since Eastern Michigan, subbing in for a three-play series in which he ran twice for -3 yards and, presumably, came to the conclusion that football just isn’t really for him this season.
  • Or he just subbed out and never came back in. Yeah, that second scenario is far more likely.