Florida vs Missouri, SEC Football

The Missouri Tigers celebrate with fans after scoring a two-point conversion to win in overtime against the Florida Gators in Columbia, Mo. on Saturday, Nov.20, 2021. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — It’s a short work week on the Mizzou beat with the Friday game at Arkansas, but before you can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, let’s take one glance back at Missouri’s 24-23 overtime win over Florida.

Every week, using Pro Football Focus’ data, we take a closer look at the Tigers’ game, starting with complete snap counts for every player on offense and defense, then a deeper dive into their production and ratings.

Overall, this was Mizzou’s highest-graded game for rush defense (85.8) and tackling (85.2). Reminder, PFF grades on the following scale using NFL terms: 90-100, elite; 85-89, Pro Bowl; 70-84, starter; 60-69, backup; 0-59, replaceable.

SATURDAY’S SNAPS  & GRADES

OFFENSE

Mizzou’s top three overall graded players who played at least 10 snaps: center Mike Maietti (86.7), tight end Niko Hea (77.2) and right tackle Connor Wood (68.7).

Offensive line

Left tackle Javon Foster, 66

Center Mike Maietti, 66

Right tackle Connor Wood, 66

Left guard Xavier Delgado, 66

Right guard Luke Griffin, 66

The Tigers did not have right tackle Hyrin White available for the second straight week and it showed at times with some pass protection setbacks. The Tigers gave up a season-high six sacks, but PFF tagged the line with allowing only two of those sacks — and the other four on quarterback Connor Bazelak. Foster had the line’s highest pass-blocking grade (71.9), while Griffin allowed three of the line’s seven pressures.

Maietti, in the game that clinched what will be his first bowl appearance in six college seasons, was strong in the run game, grading at 81.8. Of the Tigers’ 149 rushing yards, 78 came on Tyler Badie runs through the A gaps to Maietti’s left and right on 10 carries — 7.8 yards per attempt. Maietti was also solid in pass-blocking (71.6) with no pressures allowed.

Quarterback

Connor Bazelak, 65

Micah Wilson, 1

Bazelak will be remembered for the incredible 2-point conversion pass that won the game, but before then, he clearly struggled with his accuracy, especially against pressure. Bazelak completed a season-low 57.7% of his passes. That was the lowest completion percentage of the 19 games he’s started at Mizzou.

With Bazelak’s mobility limited by his leg injury, Eli Drinkwitz didn’t call up a lot of long passes that required more time in the pocket — he attempted just one play-action pass — but when Florida got pressure in the pocket, Bazelak completed just 1 of 6 passes for 7 yards. He also had two intentional grounding penalties that put the Tigers behind the chains. On deep balls targeted beyond 20 yards, Bazelak was 2 of 4 for 72 yards.

Wilson, the QB-turned-receiver, took one snap behind center in a full-house backfield play that Florida stopped for a loss.

Running back

Tyler Badie, 59

Dawson Downing, 5

Elijah Young, 1

Badie remains the workhorse and continued to state his case for All-SEC and All-American honors. More than half Badie’s yards — 82 of 146 — came after contact as he averaged nearly 4 yards per carry after a Gators defender touched him.

Here’s where Badie stands in the national rankings:

Rushing yards: Fourth, 1,385, 125.9 per game

Touchdowns: Sixth, 17

Yards from scrimmage: Second, 1,720, 156.4 per game

All-purpose yards: Fourth, 1,725, 156.8 per game

30-yard runs: First, 10

40-yard runs: First, seven

Wide receiver

Keke Chism, 60

Tauskie Dove, 56

Barrett Banister, 46

Dominic Lovett, 7

Micah Wilson, 6

J.J. Hester, 5

Boo Smith, 5

Mookie Cooper, 4

Drinkwitz continues to stick with veterans Dove, Chism and Banister with the youngsters barely seeing the field. Dove was the only wideout with more than 15 receiving yards and he came up big with two first-down catches.

Tight end

Daniel Parker Jr., 46

Niko Hea, 26

Messiah Swinson, 5

Parker and Hea made two of the biggest plays of the day with Hea going 41 yards to the end zone on MU’s go-ahead touchdown catch on a fake screen to Badie. Parker added a strong pass-blocking game (72.2) but will be remembered most for a stat that doesn’t count, his game-winning 2-point conversion catch.

DEFENSE

Mizzou’s top three overall graded defensive players who played at least 10 snaps: defensive tackle Akial Byers (72.8), cornerback Allie Green IV (70.7), defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo (70.3)

Defensive line

End Isaiah McGuire, 61

End Trajan Jeffcoat, 49

Tackle Mekhi Wingo, 38

Tackle Akial Byers, 36

Tackle Kobie Whiteside, 35

Tackle Darius Robinson, 33

End Jatorian Hansford, 28

End Cannon York, 8

The Tigers shortened the bench some — no Arden Walker or Realus George Jr. — but the front four continued to make up for a listless start to the season. Jeffcoat, the SEC defensive lineman of the week, tallied three pressures and three tackles for loss and also played the run well with a rush defense grade of 77.3. Hansford continued to make contributions off the bench with two pressures in limited action.

Linebacker

Chad Bailey, 71

Blaze Alldredge, 68

Devin Nicholson, 4

This might have been MU’s best linebacker game of the season. Bailey led the team with four pressures and added a couple hurries and hits on the QB while posting the team’s top grades for rush defense (84.0) and pass rush (75.9) and the No. 2 tackling grade (83.3) He has become a bona fide SEC linebacker. Don’t forget Alldredge, who led the Tigers with seven PFF stops, including the massive third-down tackle for loss on the option pitch that forced Florida to kick a late field goal. Here’s the best news: Neither linebacker missed a single tackle.

Secondary

Safety Martez Manuel, 72

Nickel Kris Abrams-Draine, 72

Cornerback Allie Green, 72

Safety J.C. Carlies, 69

Cornerback D.J. Jackson, 68

Safety Jalani Williams, 8

Once again, this group was depleted. Cornebrack Akayleb Evans sat out the game for undisclosed reasons, while Shawn Robinson, Ish Burdine, Chris Shearin and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. remained sidelined. But a skeleton crew of DBs were up to the challenge. Outstanding games for both Green and Jackson. Green played every snap, was targeted four times and allowed just two completions for 4 yards total. He broke up a pass and posted the team’s best coverage grade (69.7). Jackson, a true freshman, made his first start and rarely left the field. He was tagged for four completions on seven targets for 40 yards but also led the secondary with three PFF stops. Manuel played well against the run (78.2) while Carlies scored the team’s best PFF tackling grade (87.4).

Dave Matter

@dave_Matter on Twitter

dmatter@post-dispatch.com

This article originally ran on stltoday.com.

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