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Up Next For The Cats: Missouri Tigers Scouting Report


Missouri comes to Kroger Field ranked 2nd in the league’s passing offense category. So, the key to beating the Tigers is obviously to stop the forward pass. This may surprise you, but I’m going against conventional wisdom here and think that slowing running back Damarea Crockett and the Mizzou run game are the keys for victory. This is a very confusing and perplexing team to scout. Its 1-3 overall, 0-2 in conference play but has future professionals on the 2-deep depth chart.

Remember, this is Part I of the Missouri Scouting Report which means that the following information is a basic overview of personnel, schemes, projections, and results. A more in-depth version or Part II can be heard on the Depth Chart Podcast which will be posted on KSR on Thursday.

OFFENSE

Second year head coach Barry Odom based his program’s success on an offensive system that is more suitable for the Big 12 than the SEC. It scores points in bunches against Group of 5 and 1AA opponents but has not exactly busted scoreboard light bulbs against its Power 5 peers both inside and out of the Southeastern Conference. Quarterback Drew Lock will appear similar in style and efficacy as Eastern Michigan’s Brogan Roback. The noticeable difference between the two is that Lock is surrounded by a much more talented supporting cast. Lock is the league’s 2nd leading passer: 70/130, 1115-yards, 10 TD’s, 6 INT’s. Missouri is 9th in the nation by averaging 15.93 yards per catch.

Running back Damarea Crockett rushed for 1062-yards and 10 touchdowns as a true freshman a year ago. 2017 numbers: 59, 375-yards, and 2 touchdowns. Crockett blazed out the gate by running for 202-yards and 2 scores against 1AA opponent Missouri State. But, his numbers have decreased in his team’s three consecutive losses as the level of competition increased: 18 carries, 97-yds vs South Carolina. 10 carries, 19-yards vs. Purdue, and 13 rushes for 57 against Auburn. As Crockett goes, so do the Tigers. The team’s point total also significantly decreased after dropping 72 against Missouri State: 13 vs. South Carolina, 3 vs. Purdue, and 14 against Auburn.

WR J’Mon Moore led the league a year ago with 62 receptions, 1062-yards, and 8 scores. He currently ranks 9th in the country with a 26 yards-per-catch average. WR Johnathon Johnson is the team’s leading receiver with 18 catches, 233-yards, and 2 touchdowns. Former starting WR/KR Demetrios Mason was recently dismissed from the team. Mizzou rotates three tight ends that possess optimal size for blocking and the ability to catch the football.

Missouri has the largest offensive line in the SEC. It averages 6’5, 326-pounds. This is mystifying as the Tigers rely on a fast tempo to score points. Most teams that lean on a high number of plays possess offensive linemen that are smaller and more mobile. However, it has only allowed 4 QB sacks which ranks 12th nationally. Preseason All SEC tackle Paul Adams is considered the unit’s best.

This team confuses me and is difficult to scout. I’m not talking about tendencies or schemes. I’m referencing the fact that talent is not matching results. Missouri averages just 25 points per game but is 3rd in the league in total offense.

Top Performers

Passing

Drew Lock

70/133, 52.6%, 1115-yds, 10 TD’s, 6 INT’s 278-ypg, SEC-2nd

Receiving

Johnathon Johnson

18 rec, 233-yds, 2 TD’s, SEC-10th

Rushing

Damarea Crockett

59 carries, 375-yards, 2 TD, 93.8-ypg, SEC-4th 

2017 Production

Scoring

25.5 points per game, SEC-10th

Rushing

166.5 yards per game, SEC-8th 

Passing

278.8, SEC-2nd

Total

445.2, SEC-3rd

3rd Down

19/50, 38%. SEC-8th 

Turnover Margin

-9, SEC-14th

Projected Starters

Tight End

Kendall Blanton

6’6, 260 Jr.

Left Tackle

Tyler Howell

6’8 330 Sr.

Left Guard

Kevin Pendleton

6’4, 330 Jr.

Center

Trystan Castillo

6’4, 315 Fr.

Right Guard

Tre’Vour Simms

6’5, 340 So.

Right Tackle

Paul Adams

6’6, 315 Jr.

Quarterback

Drew Lock

6’4, 225 Jr.

Running Back

Damarea Crockett

5’11, 225 So.

Receiver

J’Mon Moore

6’3, 205 Sr.

Receiver

Emmanuel Hall

6’3, 200 Jr.

Receiver

Johnathon Johnson

5’10, 185 So.

DEFENSE

Missouri’s defense is yet again ranked dead last in the SEC. The Tigers finished 2nd in total defense in 2015 while annually producing NFL defensive linemen and linebackers. It finished 14th a year ago and has maintained that trend and status by allowing 452.5 yards per game through four 2017 games. DT Terry Beckner Jr. and DE Marcell Frazier are future professionals. Frazier has been consistent and is a fascinating character. He self-imposed a local media ban but broke his silence in an attempt to portray leadership following the Tiger’s loss to South Carolina. Former 5-star recruit Terry Beckner has experienced a roller coaster, three year stay in Columbia. A revolving door at safety has limited pass defense. Initial thoughts are that Mizzou does not possess a lockdown cornerback.

Head coach Barry Odom fired his new defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach DeMontie Cross after a 31-13 loss to South Carolina. Even though the head coach assumed both vacated duties, the Tiger defense has worsened. It surrendered 35 points to Purdue and 51 to Auburn.

Schemes have changed and remained the same. Puzzling right? Mizzou is most efficient utilizing a four-man front but went with a 3-3-5 then back to an even front. 40 points per game is a lot. Giving up 43 to Missouri State started an alarming trend that has continued leading up to its bye week.

The best aspect of the unit lies within its rush defense. Ranked 8th in the league, Mizzou is giving up 194 run-yards per game. Opponents have also experienced success through the air to the tune of 257.8 ypg. Talent is not matching result. Normally a pass rush nightmare team; Missouri has registered 9 quarterback sacks and 27 tackles for loss. Those numbers are similar to UK’s.

2017 Production

Scoring

40 points per game, SEC-14th

Rushing

Allowing 194.8 yards per game, SEC-8th

Passing

257.8, SEC-12th

Total

452.5, SEC-14th 

Top Performers

Tackles

Cale Garrett, 30 tackles, SEC-25th

Tackles for Loss

Marcel Frazier, Rashad Brandson-2.5. SEC-46th

QB Sacks

Terry Beckner Jr., Marcel Frazier-1.5, SEC-31st

Interceptions

Thomas Wilson, Logan Cheadle-1, SEC-10th (tied with multiple)

QB Hurries

Marcel Frazier, Cam Hilton-2

Projected Starters

Defensive End

Jordan Harold

6’2, 255 Sr.

Defensive Tackle

Terry Beckner Jr.

6’4, 305 Jr.

Defensive Tackle

Markell Utsey

6’4, 305 So.

Defensive End

Marcell Frazier

6’5, 265 Sr.

Linebacker

Cale Garrett

6’3, 235 So.

Linebacker

Terez Hall

6’2, 230 Jr.

Linebacker

Kaleb Prewett

6’1, 210 Jr.

Safety

Thomas Wilson

5’10, 190 Sr.

Safety

Anthony Sherrils

6’0, 200 Sr.

Cornerback

Logan Cheadle

5’10, 185 Sr.

Cornerback

DeMarkus Acy

6’2, 195 So.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punter

Corey Fatony

46.67 per, SEC-3rd

Kicker

Tucker McCann

4/5 FG’s, long-43

Kick Return

*Dimetrios Mason

27.5 yards per

Punt Return

Johnathan Johnson

7.0 yards per

*Demetrios Mason no longer on team.

Punter Corey Fatony is the league’s 3rd leading punter and is very, very good. Kick returner Dimetrios Mason was 2nd in the SEC by averaging 27.5 yards per return but as mentioned earlier, was dismissed from the team.

What does all this mean?

Heck, I don’t know yet. Who is this Missouri team? I’m not sure they know either. How motivated will it be coming off a bye week and after getting stomped by South Carolina, Purdue, and Auburn? What I do know is that running back Damarea Crockett is next-level talented. Stopping or slowing him could be the key to the game for the Cats. QB Drew Lock counts defenders in the box which dictates his decision to run or pass. Tempo will not allow UK time to substitute. WR J’Mon Moore led the league with catches a year ago. Perplexing team these Missouri Tigers.

Defensive ends Marcell Frazier and Jordan Harold are formidable pass rushers. Defensive tackles Terry Beckner Jr. and Markell Utsey can force the issue along the line-of-scrimmage. Yet, even with that talented defensive front Mizzou is allowing 40 points per game.

Numbers, talent, and results are not adding up. As of now, I can’t pretend to know which or what Tiger team shows up on Saturday night. We’ll continue to analyze personnel and tendencies for Thursday’s Depth Chart Podcast.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

7 responses to “Up Next For The Cats: Missouri Tigers Scouting Report”

  1. foamfinger

    It’s that turnover margin that is killing them. You can get all the yards you want, but if you turn the ball over, you are most likely going to have to start all the way down the field again when you get the ball back. It also hurts the defense because you leave them out there. I don’t know how deep they are, but those rushing numbers suggest that they aren’t very deep in the front seven.

  2. maximumscott

    That and if they get down early then it forces them to abandon the run and pass only.

  3. Peter Criss

    Freddie, always love your breakdowns. You are always a voice of reason. When everyone was getting worried about South Carolina, you said hold on, they may be oversold a bit and here’s why. Now everyone is already writing a W down for Saturday, and you bring everyone back to reality and say hold on, we can’t overlook these guys and here’s why. Thanks Freddie and keep up the good work!

  4. Fergie

    FYI, their TI – Blanton – is the son of a former Wildcat football player who went on to play for Kansas City I believe.

    1. Fergie

      Sorry, type, he plays TE

  5. DennyC

    The continued “Lipstick on a Pig” reporting . . . smh . . . #MizzouSucks

  6. AGSlater

    UK 31
    Missou 20
    If the cats lose this one its on to basketball