Depth chart updated according to stretch lines observed during Mizzou's second scrimmage.
|#1 Anthony Hines 6'2 185 RS So.||
Maty Mauk: 15-22 (68.2%), 134, TD, rushing 3-26
Drew Lock: 15-20 (75.0%), 168, 2 TD, rushing 5-(-8)
Eddie Printz: 7-13, (53.8%), 101, TD, rushing 3-4
Marvin Zanders: 4-8, (50.0%) 64, rushing 7-62
Corbin Berkstresser: 2-4 (50.0%), 60, TD, rushing 2-(-1)
Maty Mauk completed nearly 70% of his passes vs. primarily the No. 2 defense, lofted a touchdown pass to Nate Brown after getting Logan Cheadle to bite on a pump fake, and checked down on several throws to Sean Culkin, Russell Hansbrough, and Ish Witter.
2-min drill Mauk: 4 of 5 passes for 57 yards, 38 of those yards came on one pass to DeSean Blair. Then 11 of 17 (64.7%) for 77 yards, 1 TD
Yes, he pirouetted twice, but he had zero interceptions, only one sack, ran for 26 yards and oddly overthrew DeSean Blair on a long play-action pass before connecting with the sure-handed X-receiver during the two-minute drill.
Not to be out done, Drew Lock actually completed 70% of his passes, going 5-for-5 against the No. 1 nickel defense plus two touchdowns. One touchdown came against the No. 1 defense after he found Justin "Longshanks" Smith for a 49-yard completion, then hit Ray Wingo on a slant route into the back of the end zone.
Lock took several sacks while playing with the No. 3 offense vs the No. 3 defense, but he made some throws that really wowed, two specificall:; a 23-yard sidewinder missile and a 14-yard touchdown laser, both to walk-on Oke Ashuke, who was nearly decapitated by TJ Warren after one catch.
Marvin Zanders also earned five reps vs. the No. 1 defense, and while he didn't have nearly as impressive a day throwing, he continues to impress with his ability running the zone-read -- a play he runs better than any other quarterback. In fact, Zanders led all runners with seven runs for 62 net yards; one 32-yard run came against the No. 3 defense when they bit hard on the inside handoff and dog-piled Ryan Williams while Zanders was running up the left sideline with the ball.
Eddie Printz managed to overcome a slow start when he found Emanuel Hall, Ian Simon draped all over him, down the middle of the field for 52 yards. Then he hit Thomas Richard, finally healthy, in the right flat; Richard muscled into the end zone. It was this score at the end of the last two-minute drill that won the scrimmage for Mizzou's offense.
Corbin Berkstresser even got in on the action, finding Jacob Brents, perhaps the most targeted receiver of the scrimmage, down the middle of the defense for 55 yards and a touchdown.
A few observations:
Mizzou's passing attack absolutely benefits from playing up-tempo, particularly after a big play. We're only seeing it after big passing plays, but Mauk spoke about it after the scrimmage, "That’s the thing about our offense: When we’re playing a fast tempo, getting guys in space, not letting the defense do all their adjustments and get into their blitzes. That’s when we’re at our best."
The headliner may still be Mauk, but the quarterback battle is tough. Printz is all-around solid and often overlooked, Marvin Zanders can run the dang ball and has natural ability in the zone-read offense, and Drew Lock is showing remarkable mental and physical maturity.
After today's scrimmage, Mauk credited the team's psychologist, Jim Reardon, for the offense's performance:
"I think that got into some guys about how to think and how to stay focused and have confidence in yourself. The guys came out today and were in the right spots. They were running the right routes. They were catching the ball. The offensive line was protecting. We were making throws. If you do that, there’s nobody that can stop you. Today was our best day."
Typically, you want the defense to win the first scrimmage, the offense to win the second and the third to be very close. Mizzou has zero interceptions and 527 yards of offense just through the air. I expect Barry Odom to affect a significant changes for the final scrimmage.
Ish Witter: 4-22, 2 TD, receiving 1-7
Russell Hansbrough: 6-20, receiving 3-18
Marquise Doherty: 6-14, TD, receiving 1-0
Chase Abbington: 4-9, receiving 1-4
Morgan Steward: 5-7, receiving 4-10
Tyler Hunt: 5-6,
Ryan Williams: 6-1, receiving 1-6
Ish Witter looks very capable as Russell Hansbrough's backup, and until Mizzou can not run the ball against a team, I remain unconcerned about the current state of the running game. Tyler Hunt is better running downfield than he is trying to run wide; he's very physical and can power or spin through tackles in a way that reminds me of Mike Alstott.
Chase Abbington still hasn't found his groove running downhill, and when he bounces it outside he's being swarmed by the defense. Marquise Doherty is developing a connection with Drew Lock and a knack for scoring touchdowns. It felt like Morgan Steward didn't get many opportunities, and I think that was partially intentional as the coaches wanted to get other guys reps. So I'm not stressing about his lack of production here. Ryan Williams had several carries and only one yard rushing -- this is as much on his offensive line as him.
Speaking of the offensive line: Nate Crawford has the right tackle position basically locked up, which is amazing considering he had surgery to fix two herniated discs in his lower back on June 8 (side note: I had essentially the same surgery on June 6 -- I can't imagine playing offensive line two months later).
A.J. Ricker might not be satisfied with left guards Taylor Chappell or Brad McNulty, as he said after the scrimmage that backup center Alec Abeln is in the conversation for the starting left guard position. Left tackle Connor McGovern had a hold early in this second scrimmage but was otherwise strong, and right guard Mitch Hall seems even more entrenched after today.
Malik Cuellar had a rough day at right tackle with a few false starts.
Receivers and Tight Ends
DeSean Blair: 5-66
Jake Brents: 4-80, TD
Emanuel Hall: 4-75
Oke Akushe: 3-51, TD
Kendall Blanton: 3-32
Justin Smith: 2-59
Thomas Richard: 2-48, TD
Ray Wingo: 2-21, TD
Nate Brown: 2-15, TD
Sean Culkin: 2-11
Jason Reese: 2-11
Wesley Leftwich: 1-13
J'Mon Moore was held out of today's scrimmage due to his left shoulder injury. Eric Laurent was out again with a viral illness, Johnathan Johnson has a severely sprained right ankle.
DeSean Blair, back in the starting X-receiver spot due to J'Mon Moore's absence, had a solid performance, but I think if Moore is healthy it's his to lose. Wesley Leftwich only had the one reception for 13 yards and was mostly absent from the scrimmage; afterwards Gary Pinkel informed us that he'd strained his knee but he thinks it'll be fine.
Emanuel Hall, now the No. 2 X-receiver, had a big day as well and looks like he can contribute as a freshman. Redshirt freshman Thomas Richard ("re-SHARD"), the No. 2 slot receiver behind Nate Brown, can be another play-maker.
Walk-on sophomore Oke Akushe had a big day, catching a touchdown pass from Drew Lock and earning some name recognition from the media.
Justin Smith is another receiver who is forcing his name into the "what freshmen could contribute in 2015?" conversation. He's just so big -- throw the ball near him, and he catches it. A great safety blanket for any QB.
This is the second scrimmage where Jason Reese has earned the start over Sean Culkin. We learned that Reese and Culkin have begun calling themselves "1080p" because "everything we do is in HD, baby." Reese said, "we can pretty much do the same thing ...we want to be as versatile as we can so Josh Henson has no choice but to put us both on the field at the same time."
"Sometimes, I may be more attached," Culkin said. "He might be more of an H-back, off-the-ball wing-type. But we can kind of vary. He can be attached, and I can be in the slot. We move each other around.
"We have a lot of formations that involve us that we haven't put in yet."
Cam Hilton: 7 tackles
Donavin Newsom: 7 tackles, 0.5 TFL, QB hurry
Kenya Dennis: 6 tackles
Terez Hall: 5 tackles
Ronnell Perkins: 5 tackles
Kentrell Brothers: 5 tackles, 2 TFL
Terry Beckner Jr.: 4 tackles
Tyrell Jacobs: 4 tackles, TFL, sack
Logan Cheadle: 4 tackles
Thomas Wilson: 4 tackles, QB hurry
Charles Harris: 4 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks, QB hurry
Nate Howard: 4 tackles
Clarence Green: 4 tackles
Justin Grava: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks
Grant Jones: 3 tackles, TFL, safety
Aarion Penton: 3 tackles
Josh Augusta: 3 tackles
Rocel McWilliams: 3 tackles, TFL, sack
Joey Burkett: 3 tackles
Adam Roland: 2 tackles, TFL, sack
Franklin Agbasimere: 2 tackles, TFL
TJ Warren: 2 tackles
Tavon Ross: 2 tackles, TFL
Marcell Frazier: 2 tackles
Ian Simon: 2 tackles
Michael Scherer: 2 tackles, TFL
Eddie Serrano: 2 tackles, TFL, sack
Eric Beisel: 2 tackles, TFL
Rickey Hatley: 2 tackles, TFL, sack
Spencer Williams: 2 tackles
Walter Brady: 2 tackles, QB hurry
Cortland Browning: 2 tackles
Jacob Trump: 2 tackles
Zane Jacoby: tackle
A.J. Logan: tackle
Brandon Lee: tackle
DeAndre McKenzie: tackle
Ferrod Gardner: tackle
John Gibson: tackle
Finis Stribling: tackle
Ed Cruz: tackle
Tyler Hanneke: tackle
It's difficult enough to keep track of everything going on offense, particularly without film to review. Instead of trying to #talkabout each defender or position, I'll refer you to the (updated and unofficial) depth chart above and then say that some things are coming into focus.
Barry Odom is going to trust Donavin Newsom and Clarence Green and keep them on the field on third downs, move Aarion Penton around, probably to cover the slot receiver and disguise his defense a bunch. Mizzou isn't abandoning the 4-3 any time soon, but they'll have interesting personnel groupings and occasionally line up with five guys on the line of scrimmage to confuse the offense about who's rushing -- and that might mean only two down linemen are actually rushing.
Terez Hall and Cam Hilton both saw time on the first-team kickoff coverage unit, as strong an indicator as there is that they'll play as freshmen.
I want to add that I overheard one coach after the scrimmage was over: "That's the first time the offense beat the defense in what, seven years?"
Luke Jackson: 1-2 (Made: 41; Missed: 26)
Andrew Baggett was out again with back spasms and Nick Coffman has a groin strain.
Our kicker's heads are falling off!