Missouri’s X factor

I know a lot of people are impressed with Maty Mauk.  I’m not so much impressed as I am scared.  I’ve watched a fair amount of Missouri football this year and Mauk’s been all over the place.  South Carolina’s a perfect example of that – he did very little until the game was on the line late in the fourth quarter and then he blew the Gamecocks up.

As Missouri’s beat writer puts it,

Maty Mauk came off the bench last year and finished off Missouri’s win at Georgia. This year he’s had some games of big numbers (five touchdowns vs. Toledo), while at South Carolina he didn’t do much until late. How good a season do you think he’s had so far, and how dangerous is his scrambling ability?

Matter: I’d give him a B so far. He was outstanding at Toledo, good enough against UCF, struggled some against Indiana and could barely complete a pass for three quarters at South Carolina. Outside of Bud Sasser, Mauk was working with the JV receiver corps in Columbia East. He got jumpy in the pocket, struggled with throws on the run – which is usually his specialty – and barely found room to scramble. On the other hand, he made two great throws to ignite the rally. He’s a pretty resilient guy, doesn’t seem to get too rattled by the moment and always wants to push the ball downfield, sometimes to a fault. His scrambling ability can break down a defense, but more so than last year, he’s looking to throw while scrambling — not just using his legs to pick up yards. He still has bouts of wild inconsistency. He can look like the most dangerous QB in the SEC on one drive then throw a mindless pass into coverage on the next.

He’s a real wild card.  What Georgia has to guard against is, if things are going well and there’s a lead in the fourth quarter, defensive complacency.  It doesn’t matter how poorly Mauk’s played up until that point; he’s more than capable of turning things on, especially if the defense is showing some of the same prevent looks it did in the Tennessee game.  This game won’t be over until it’s over.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

36 responses to “Missouri’s X factor

  1. JCDAWG83

    Our pass defense is so bad this season, if we play prevent, we lose, period. I think our best, and really only, hope is to find a way to put pressure on Mauk. If he has time or is able to buy time by running, he will pick our secondary and linebackers apart.

    Tennessee scored 32 against us, 9 against Florida. Vandy did not score a single offensive point against Kentucky, they scored 17 against us. These are two terrible teams, MO is not.


    • charlottedawg

      This. Blitz constantly because that’s our only chance. I don’t see how Mauk doesn’t have a career day against us. Throw in the fact that this is a very important game and it’s on the road and I can totally see us getting straight up embarrassed.


    • Our pass rush up the middle will be the key this week. I fear both Floyd and Jenkins are going to get us in trouble at times by speed rushing up the field allowing Mauk to run for days. We need to get an interior pass rush forcing Mauk to back up and/or run into the outside rush. We’ve been so bad against running QBs due in large part to discipline on the outside. Hopefully that’s fixed, but with this defense, I’ll need to see it before believing it.


  2. law dawg

    Control the clock, protect the rock. The more time Mauk spends on the bench, the more I like I our chances. Especially considering that when Mauk is on the bench, so is our secondary…. Easier said than done, of course.


    • HamDawg11


      We only ran 57 plays vs Vandy, but we controlled the clock and kept their offense off the field. 57 plays for 445 yds is a pretty efficient offense if you ask me.


  3. sUGArdaddy

    The most overrated thing in assessing football games is comparison. It simply doesn’t work. Different match-ups and venues and attitudes change everything.

    Mauk, to me, looks very flustered when pressured. He got one of the worst grounding calls I’ve ever seen vs the Cocks. They lost, like, 30 yards and it was a complete bonehead play. It’s no secret pressure will be helpful.

    But he seems to float the ball a lot. He doesn’t have the strongest arm like Worley, who can spin it alright. Worley had a great day against us, but he threw some dimes in there. There were a few passes across the middle that we had covered decent and Worley put them on the money. I’m not sure Mauk can make those throws consistently.

    He was wretched against a weak secondary at South Carolina. They’ve piled up most of their stats vs very, very poor teams. He’s CAPABLE of having a great game, and Lord knows everyone seems to have their career day against us, but I just don’t know if I see it coming. Slowly but surely, our D is getting better.

    And we have Todd Gurley.


    • Slaw Dawg

      “The most overrated thing in assessing football games is comparison.” Spot on, and particularly in Richt’s recent tenure. Tossing out last season’s injury riddled season as an outlier (and it’d have a neutral effect anyway), from ’07 through ’12 the 1st 6/last 6 regular season win/loss ratio in the Richt era is 23/13 vs. 30/6. Interestingly, if anything, the opposite was true in his first 6 years. But based purely on W/L ratio, Richt’s Georgia recent teams have generally performed stronger in second half of season, meaning, for example, shaky performances by UGA against UT compared to strong UF performances against UT have been an unreliable indicator of UGA’s performance against UF.

      Also, it seems to me that we’re way overdue for something Richt’s teams used to do once or twice a year: show up hot and surprisingly flatten a good football team. Exhibit A is LSU in ’04. Could this Saturday be such a game?


      • Mayor

        Comparing the 2004 LSU squad to 2014 Mizzou is like comparing an eagle to a frog. If Georgia just plays good, solid football we’ll whip Mizzou.


        • sUGArdaddy

          That right this is funny…and true. I think we have potential to win by 20 just by playing solid. I personally think Gurley is going for 250. I’m not sure they can stop him and we’re going to run him A LOT.

          People get myopic when thinking about teams. I can give you a million examples. I can’t figure out how the team that whipped LSU in ’04 didn’t show up vs. UT. I can’t figure out how the team that escaped in Nashville in ’07 flattened Florida in the next game. And recently, in 2012, we left Lexington thinking that our D couldn’t stop anyone, and that the gashing UT and South Carolina had come to a crest as the ‘Cats gashed us and Murray saved us on his right arm. The D went on to hold Florida to 3 FGs, Auburn to ZERO, GA Southern to 14, and Tech to 10.

          Every team in America is practicing really hard right now what they’re not good at. Every one of them. Some (not all) will improve markedly throughout the season. If you watch closely, our secondary is slowly, slowly improving. And, it’s at least a consolation to me, we’re better than last year. SCjr was the only team with guys running wide open. Last year we had guys running wide open back there from Clemson to the Gator Bowl.


  4. Will (the other one)

    I’m hoping after the results against UT, Pruitt scraps that 3-man rush/prevent look for the rest of the season. As bad or worse than Chavis’s “mustang package”.


  5. Macallanlover

    I don’t care what Mauk’s numbers are to date, he is that cocky, gamer type of QB that has always given UGA fits and we should all be concerned. UGA has proven our defense can amplify an offense’s production regardless of how they have performed coming into the game, and this has been going on for years. I really like the effort of our defense this year, and I think they are getting better in knowing what to do, and being in the area but the weakness we feared in the summer is still there. We hoped the offense and front seven could cover for our young secondary then, we are still hoping for that on Saturday.

    If UGA wins Saturday it will be because we scored 33+ and didn’t lose the turnover battle. I think Mizzou looks more beatable than I thought going into the season but feel we should be underdogs going in. Wouldn’t be a surprise if we win but think Mizzou should be about a 60/40 favorite. Not sure how the weather effects the game but we didn’t handle rain well in Jax or SC recently, particularly think it might negate the advantage we have with Morgan as a FG kicker.


    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “cocky, gamer type of QB that has always given UGA fits” Like the young man doing that for us last year. Different offensive scheme, of course, but Mauk’s “intangibles” remind me a lot of Murray’s. Mauk is a little faster, a little smaller, but a leader. If you give him a shot he will kick your ass.


    • PTC DAWG

      Vegas thinks our roster is 6 points better….I hope they are right. 🙂


  6. Russ

    We’ll need to keep pressure on Mauk. If he scrambles, so be it. I don’t think he beats us running, but passing I can see it easily. Also, long, grinding drives by us will run the clock and keep him off the field. Got to have it.


  7. CannonDawg

    +1. Nicely done, Mac.


  8. BrightOwl

    I can’t be the only one thinking that Thompson has looked bad and good this season, and so has Worley, and so has Rivers. All those guys showed up good against us. That’s our secondary.

    So I’m expecting to see the good Mauk on Saturday. Thankfully, we’ve got a guy whose worst game this season was 6.5ypc (and 2 td’s). I hope he’s enough.

    Go Dawgs.


    • Rivers was 7/13 for 88 yards and a pick. He was terrible.


      • BrightOwl

        Okay, I was wrong to say that Rivers was “good.” But he did come in on his first series and hit passes of 20 and 36 yards, setting up their first touchdown. So by the standards of 2014 Vandy, that was “good,” in the sense that it was better than their typical offensive performance.

        Mauk has a much higher ceiling. We saw it last year and I’m a little worried that we’ll see it again.


    • Bulldawg Bill

      Hey, BOwl, he doesn’t HAVE to be enough. You seem to forget we do have other weapons. We have some capable receivers, TE’s and FB’s and if MM and JSW come through we could be fairly dangerous.


  9. Otto

    All the more reason the offense needs sustained clock killing drives for points and to capitalize on any turn overs. Limit possessions. The defense will give up point, (no DC can expect great pass coverage given the turnover and dismissals) limit their impact on the game.


  10. W Cobb Dawg

    We’ll need the whole team this week. STs need good returns, they need to make FGs & EPs, need good punts, and good coverage. The D has scored 2 weeks in a row, and they’ve managed to get some turnovers and sacks – just need to tighten up the coverage. I like the use of the wild dog. The O has avoided turnovers pretty well. This team has had some moments, they just need to put it all together for the title run – starting with mizzou.


    • Well said, WC. We need to play well as a team, and play a solid game. We have a Stud who will win the the game for us, if we just support him as a team and don’t give the game away.

      I like the use of the wild dog.

      Well, we need it, because we’re having to rely on the running game. It’s not a choice, and that’s been obvious for a number of games now. We can’t just go with our basic run game, even with a back like Gurley. Defenses are too good these days, at least the ones we play. We have to have some way to mix it up a little.

      If we could throw, it would be a different story. But until we can, we need all the diversity in the run game we can get.


  11. Keese

    I love the Dawgs but I’m feeling like this game will get away from us…quickly. Hutson’s playing with a bad shoulder, and the secondary may as well stay off the field.


  12. DawgPhan

    good grief the dawg nation needs some swagger. Higher ranked team, favored by vegas and Bill C’s stats. Mizzou lost to Indiana for goodness sake. We have Todd Grown Man Gurley. They dont. They dont have anything like Gurley.

    Dawgs roll on the road, get home and start getting ready for the trip to little rock.


  13. What Georgia has to guard against is, if things are going well and there’s a lead in the fourth quarter, defensive complacency.

    I certainly agree.

    At the same time, I believe we have to keep him under pressure, as discussed yesterday. But to your point, we can’t get comfortable and let up with that, either. We have to keep it coming the whole game, and that means great effort for 60 minutes.

    This kid can get hot. And he can do it on the drop of a hat.


    • Otto

      I agree but I would add offense complacency as well. Many of the meltdowns over the past few years where the defense gave up points, the offense was not productive giving up 3 and outs as well.


      • Exactly. We need 60 minutes of great effort from the whole team. That, in itself, will separate this team from its recent predecessors.

        And not just this game, either. There’s no breather game ’til the Auburn game is over. The stretch is here. So the time has come to for this team, who has been different all year, to be different once again.


      • Can’t go into that frequent 3d quarter shell, for sure.


  14. Mayor

    This is probably the game to win the East. USCe and UT are out of it already. FU just plain isn’t any good. Vandy….well, is Vandy. Kentucky is better than the usual Kentucky but ain’t winning the East. The winner of the Georgia-Mizzou game gets the tiebreaker advantage over the other and likely wins the East. This is a must win game for Georgia. GO DAWGS!!!


  15. Then the best defense is a good offense. Sustain some drives to keep the D off the field. We know what our defense is but that doesn’t mean there is no help for them. All depends on what Bobo is thinking. Or we can see how fast we can score and put the D back out there.


  16. Saltwater Dawg

    I think a huge factor is going to be how much Herrera plays this game. We know he is a beast against the run, and he has proven himself just as ruthless with the inside blitz and getting to the QB. However, he has struggled with coverage. If MIzzou is able to stetch the field early, the underneath routes are going to open and if he gets left in with underneath coverage responsibilities, we will be outmatched.

    When going to nickel, the Star has been replacing the strong OLB. On obvious passing downs, it would be nice to see one of our stables of safeties step into the Moe position as well.


    • charlottedawg

      I remember Pruitt saying something to the effect of no more ilbs covering receivers. So far the opposite has happened a lot with really bad outcomes for Georgia. Ramik and Amarlo shouldn’t be asked to cover if at all possible, that’s not what they do well.


  17. Cojones

    Look at how many Dawg fans are stripping this game down and inserting our good assets. Proud of everyone showing the big courage to send this team off right on Thursday. I hope for a good and glorious game for everyone.

    Sic’em Dawgs! Woof! Woof!