Monday media day!
On if he's surprised on how well the Mizzou defense has played…
I think we're playing really well, there isn't any question about that. I thought we could be really good. This summer I was really concerned we lost Harold [Brantley] because we're going to have to line up a lot of young players. We just hit on a bunch of young players up front. I thought, as I mentioned at the beginning of the season, I said the linebacking core, the safeties, and corners are probably most athletic of a group that we've ever had. So now, can you supplement it after losing all of those defensive lineman the last couple of years? So I feel very fortunate that we have some young players that have really helped us. Charles Harris is playing at a high level. Nate Howard, Josh Augusta, they're really playing at a high level. So it's a combination of all the freshmen you throw in there. It gave us an opportunity to be really good. I think Barry [Odom]'s done a really good job, obviously. As he would say, the one area that we probably need the most help is we're not getting very many turnovers, especially with an offense that's struggling. That could really help, because there's always things you can do to get better. That's what Barry focuses on. So we did a lot of good things in last week's game. A lot of good things. Even after that interception for a touchdown, it went to an 18 point game, it was really great to see how hard our defense played. They just went out and continued to play at a very high level.
On Rickey Hatley being listed as a starter for Saturday's game against Georgia…
Yeah that's probably going to change a little bet. Everybody's playing good in there, if somebody's playing a little bit better then we're going to slide them around. That's really what it's all about. Sometimes coach Kuligowski likes to keep some of the younger guys in the same spots, right and left, so that's why we're bunching them around, but it's no more different than just keeping them, the younger guys, in the same spots if we can.
Putting the Florida game to bed
Elsewhere in the SEC East...
Elsewhere in the SEC East...
Florida only blitzed 18.6 percent of the time as far as I could tell. That falls eerily in line with what A.J. Ricker said (18 percent) earlier in the week.
Here's the thing, though. The Gators didn't really need to blitz. They got two sacks on Lock just rushing four, got a hit on him 20 percent of the time and hurried or hit him 34.3 percent of the time. And, like Lock said, all that pressure started playing tricks on his mind toward the end.
When Florida did blitz, it got home to an alarming extent. On the eight blitzes I counted, the Gators logged a sack, five hits and held Lock to 1 of 7 passing for 4 yards.
There were so many breakdowns like that, where one player got beat but it was another player who allowed a different defender to hit Lock as they tried to adjust.
Here’s something I noticed, however. Early in the game, when Florida started to pressure Lock more often just with four rushers, it seemed like Lock got rattled. He started back-pedaling more often after the snap on drop backs, and that worked to a disadvantage to the offensive line, allowing edge rushers a cleaner angle to him later in the game.
Of course, there was still pretty consistent pressure up the middle for most of the game, so it was an uphill battle in all directions. But in re-watching the game, it was interesting to see how the struggles of the offensive line played out with a young quarterback who clearly grew (understandably) timid because of the pressure. And this is by no means absolving Lock -- but the struggles of both the quarterback and the offensive line went hand-in-hand.
"He got whacked pretty good," MU coach Gary Pinkel said. "Welcome to SEC football. That being said, great learning experience for him. A young player with great potential. He’ll grow from it and learn."
Lock joked Monday that he hopes Saturday proves to be the low point of his career. The Gators threw coverages at him he’d only seen on film and disguised their looks to confuse him before and after the snap.
"Adversity does teach us a lot," he said. "I’m glad it happened to me on my second career start. I expected more out of myself, and I hope everyone expects more out of me and holds me to a higher standard that what the offense produced Saturday."
Depth chart changes
Youth taking over
Checking in on hoops
The Fightin' Pingetons are starting to amass quite a base of talent...