First peek at Missouri

This article, from beat writer Dave Matter, highlights a thing to fear and a thing to watch for Saturday night.

The scary part is scary.

If the Tigers could extract any positives from the 40-34 loss, they came via the deep ball. On passes that traveled through the air more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage, Lock completed four of nine for 231 yards and three touchdowns. That’s a passer efficiency rating of 370. On balls that traveled 30 yards or more, he completed three of five for 181 yards and two scores and a rating of 496.1.

Lock’s arm strength has dazzled coaches and teammates since his first college practice two years ago, and on Hall’s touchdown he put the ball in the air for 60 yards from release to catch…

Mizzou’s outside threats paid off elsewhere. Once the Tigers connected on a few deep balls Saturday, Kentucky dropped its safeties further from the line of scrimmage, clearing running lanes for backs Ish Witter and Damarea Crockett, who combined for 213 rushing yards and 7.3 yards per carry.

Not too shabby.  But this is still a 1-4 team.  So what’s the problem, Kirby Smart?

Turnovers, Smart noted, were Mizzou’s trouble last season and again this fall.

“They were very hard to defend last year, and they are very hard to defend this year,” Smart said this week. “They stop themselves. People don’t stop them.”

He’s not exaggerating.  Missouri in 2017 is last in the conference in turnover margin, at a whopping minus-10.  The Tigers haven’t won the turnover battle against a single P5 opponent this season; not so coincidentally, those games constitute their four losses.

But there’s a little more going on there when you break it down.  Sure, Mizzou is last in losing the ball and by a pretty wide margin.  Through the first six weeks, there isn’t another SEC school within four turnovers.  But, with only four, Missouri is also thirteenth in the SEC in forcing turnovers.

If you’re wondering how Georgia can cover a 30-point spread this weekend, that’s a pretty good way to get there.  On the flip side, if Mizzou picks this game as its first when it doesn’t blow the turnover margin battle, you have to think at worst it’s got enough firepower to keep things closer than the spread.

Back to the scary part for a second, though.  Yes, those long distance stats are concerning; however, it’s worth considering that Georgia brings a little firepower of its own to the table, as the Dawgs lead the conference in offensive plays of 20+ yards.  (Missouri is a respectable fifth.)

Perhaps of greater interest, though, is how these two teams stack up defending the big play.  In that regard, it’s no contest.  For defensive plays of 20+ yards, Georgia ranks first in the SEC and Missouri is twelfth.  Which means that when the Tigers are on offense, it’ll be strength against strength, while when they’re playing defense, not so much.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

19 responses to “First peek at Missouri

  1. I predict it won’t be 9-6.


    • Russ

      LOL! Yeah, I’ll take the Over on that one.

      Saw where Carter and Thompson are still not practicing (injury). It would be great if we could hold them out this week and give them a long recovery period going into the Florida game.

      I still think we’ll grind Mizzou down, like the last three games. Lock may hit a long one or two, but there’s no way they can stop our running game. Plus, I suspect we’ll pick a couple off that will help the offense along (not that it needs it).


  2. Spike

    I’m nervous. Should I be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      Missouri’s defense is terrible, and they can’t run the ball much against real defenses, so no. It may not be 45-7 in the fourth quarter (though it’s certainly possible), but it won’t be close.


    • Gravidy

      Nervous about a loss? No. The fewest points they’ve given up this year is 31. Their defense is the worst I’ve seen this year.

      Nervous about covering the spread? Maybe. I know I won’t be picking UGA to cover.


      • Macallanlover

        Exactly right, we won’t lose this game but the test against their passing attack will give us some idea about Auburn. They don’t have a running attack like AU so it isn’t an exact test because we will have to defend both on The Plains next month. I expect UGA to keep their ability to beat us deep in check, it is the short and intermediate throws where we have shown weakness. We will run it at will, but hope to see us let both Fromm and Jacob throw it more on Saturday, even though we don’t have to. Need to let those receivers eat a little too.


  3. Ginny

    We won’t need to worry about their passing game if their offense is not on the field. #runtheball


  4. I think Mizzou puts some points on the board, but the defense is so bad that it won’t matter. 48-20 kind of game. Mizzou isn’t good against the run, but it’s better than Vandy and Tenn. However it’s a total disaster against the pass, so I wonder if we’ll see Fromm throw it 20+ times this weekend.


  5. Sanford222view

    Curious how they are in pass protection. The Tigers need to give the QB time to throw a 60 yard pass. Hopefully, last week was an aberration and we see the return of the the passer being chased by wolves.


  6. Mayor

    If the Tigers stop laying the ball on the ground….watch out!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Will Trane

    Rat poison…see Nick Saban and the OU coaches.
    Time of the season where on Sunday morning you get that wakeup headline of a top 10 team upset by a non-ranked team.
    Check last week.
    Motivation. You have not played that well yet. And you are not ticketed to SECCG. Drop this one and you may not control your destiny.
    Concern. Parrish and secondary against the deep ball.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Cojones

    More like an inevitability than a concern, Will. Lock’s good and he’s going to connect. In minimizing the damage, we play off and prevent the big ones, but give up the 20+ yarders all day and that will cause the fans great discomfort. Coaches gotta coach and we just pull our hair, but it won’t end with us feeling like the King Kong we now feel about our D.

    Outscoring’em is the name of this game.


  9. noseanmorono

    My fear is that defensive stat of limiting 20+ yard plays is inflated when you look at the three SEC foes we’ve faces are last in the conference in creating them on offense.

    I’m hoping we demonstrate that it’s because we’re that good in the secondary, and that we keep the Tigers off the field with nice, long, sustained road-grading throughout the game.


    • Russ

      Are those three teams last because they’ve played us, or are we at the top because we played them? Or maybe a little of both?


  10. TMC DAWG

    I think that Cheney will let Jake have a little more pass plays in this game. With the meat of the schedule coming up he needs to get some confidence Aganist Florida and Auburn he’s gonna have to throw some.