After missing out on SEC Defensive Player of the Week for the opening week of the year, Missouri LB Kentrell Brothers made sure he wouldn't be denied a second week in a row.
The senior tied his career-high in tackles, set last week against SE Missouri State, tallying 16 tackles (10 solo), along with 1.5 TFL and two fourth quarter interceptions, the second one clinching a Tiger victory.
32 tackles through two games puts him on pace for 208 tackles according to David Morrison, and while Brothers may not think that's possible, we like to dream here at Rock M Nation.
Let's take a look at a few plays from another big night for Kentrell during the Tigers road trip to Jonesboro.
Tackle #2 (6:38 in Q1)
One place I saw Kentrell shine the most on Saturday was when A-State ran an option play between Knighten and McKissic out of the backfield.
The Tigers are lined up in a different package than we are used to seeing them in: a dime, with three linemen, two linebackers, and six defensive backs.
Rickey Hatley is lined up directly in front of the center, with Charles Harris and Walter Brady standing up on the edges. Brothers and Scherer are behind them. Kentrell starts behind Hatley, before lining up next to him before the snap at a . After the ball is snapped, the A-State right guard and tight end pull toward the middle of the play ... and block no one.
The guard was heading toward Scherer, who was tagging the running back in case he got the ball.
Charles Harris was all over the place, like Brothers, on Saturday. He comes off the edge unblocked, breaks down in front of Knighten and McKissic, and is in on the tackle with Brothers. Kentrell comes up the "A" gap and sheds not one, but two blocks to help bring down Knighten for a loss.
Tackle #3 (2:38 in Q1)
A few drives later, A-State lines up in the shotgun with McKissic next to Knighten. Tigers are running with four down linemen, with Brothers/Scherer behind them and Newsom lined up wide to the right. After the ball is snapped, both the RG and LG pull left to try and seal the edge for McKissic. The LG goes for Newsom, while the RG tries to stop Scherer. McKissic gets no help outside, and tries to cut inside only to be met by Kentrell with the two other LBs right on his heels. Very similar to a play ran by SEMO last week, ending with the same result.
Tackle #5 (11:05 in Q2)
Skipping to the second quarter, Knighten is lined up in the shotgun with a back on either side of him. Missouri is lined up in the 4-3. Brothers is set up at the Sam position. The ball is snapped, with A-State's center popping straight up and runs through the "B" gap to seal Brothers off to make a hole for Knighten. If the center seals Kentrell off, and the WR holds his block on Brady on the edge, that's potential for a big play for the Red Wolves. Instead, Brothers blows through basically untouched and has Knighten fall right into his lap for the tackle with Augusta in tow.
Interception #1 (9:25 in Q4)
Brothers' fourth career interception would eventually lead to a MIssouri FG that would put Tigers a full possession ahead of the Red Wolves mid-4th quarter. Not many of Kentrell's highlights from this season have been while he's in coverage, but this is certainly one fans will remember.
ASU lines up in the shotgun, Mizzou in the 4-3 Cover 2. Brothers' responsibility as the Will linebacker is the curl/hook route. Dijon Paschal in lined up across from Aarion Penton at corner, he'll run a curl route for second-team QB James Tabary. After the ball is snapped, A-State's tight end runs a streak through Brothers zone, while Paschal begins his route and finishes open at the ASU 40. He makes the grab, but Kentrell runs up and makes the play of the week (again) and rips the ball from Paschal's hands.
Baggett's 41-yarder the following drive would be the final score to push the Tigers past the Red Wolves, 27-20 in Jonesboro.
2 INTs in the 4th quarter secured his title as #SEC Defensive Player of the week -- KENTRELL. BROTHERS. #SECHonors pic.twitter.com/8BErbEVAev— SEC Sports (@SEC) September 14, 2015
32 tackles through two games. That's the most since 'Spoon tallied 32 in back-to-back games in 2008.
It seems so far, Kentrell Brothers cannot do any wrong this year. He has been unbelievable this season. As David Morrison put it, "He's the perfect combination of preparation, intelligence and skill." One of the broadcasters for the Arkansas State game called Kentrell "An All-American", while that accolade is still a few months away...
Pinkel likens the jump Kentrell Brothers has made from Jr. to Sr. year to the one Michael Sam made.— David Morrison (@DavidCMorrison) September 14, 2015
...here's hoping what we've seen is just the beginning.