It’s no secret that the Missouri offense is struggling right now. Between an inability to get the run game going and an inconsistent at best passing game, there’s a lot that needs to improve. In some minds, one answer is to go forward with Drew Lock as the starting quarterback. But is Lock ready to be the guy? Let’s take a look at some things he does well, and what he needs to improve on.
Drew Lock backside screen:
Early on, Josh Henson and the staff seemed as if they were trying to keep things relatively simple for Lock. A staple of the early gameplan was a run with a screen on the backside. Here on the first play, we see that UConn blitzes their walked-out defender on the screen side. This makes it an easy numbers advantage for the offense, and Lock has the presence of mine to not mess with the run action for too long, and gets the screen pass out to J’Mon Moore immediately. With the corner blocked up, the hole defender blitzing and the safety backing off just before the snap, it’s an easy first down for the offense, but only because Lock knew to get the ball out quickly. Run-pass combo plays like this can be a big help to a stagnant offense.
Drew Lock smash combo
Here we see a Smash combo, something of a favorite playcall for Henson thus far. While the cornerback initially is focused on J’Mon Moore on the outside, he sinks back to cover Clayton Echard’s corner route coming behind him. Once this happens, Lock made the smart read and slings it to Moore underneath, for a solid gain.
While Lock may have started strong, the end of his second-half drive didn’t go quite so well. The offense moved the ball downfield (thanks, in part, to a pass interference), but they were unable to get points on the board at the end of the drive.
Drew Lock 4th quarter deep fade
Here, Wesley Leftwich was bursting open on a fade route, but the pass was underthrown and the defender was able to make a play on the ball. On his own admission, he was trying to be the hero a bit too much and make a big play happen, which caused him to force a couple throws in a row downfield in tight and double coverages.
Drew Lock on 4th down:
On the fourth down play in particular, Lock decides not to try just getting the ball to the first down marker, but tries to throw a wheel route to Nate Brown, who is covered up along with safety help over the top. While you certainly have to love his desire to make the big plays that win you football games, his immaturity (his words) in not taking what the defense gives you is something that he’ll need to continue to work on in the future.
In time, Lock looks as if he should develop into a high-quality quarterback, and he has certainly shown flashes of it this season. While I don't expect Pinkel to make the switch to Lock becoming the full-time starter any time soon, there's plenty of things Lock does well that should help him continue to be a difference-maker for this offense