There seems to be a slight misconception about Missouri’s passing offense.
Yes, it has elements of Baylor’s air-raid style attack and there are some plays where sophomore quarterback Drew Lock only has a half-field read. On those plays, the receivers on the back side of the play usually don’t even bother to run a route.
It was prevalent at the beginning of the season, but the Tigers’ offense doesn’t rely on the half-field reads.
“We only had one pass play that wasn’t a full-field read (against South Carolina), so I don’t know where that came from,” Mizzou offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said Tuesday. “We have some stuff that gets divided in half, but for the most part the entire field is live.”
The offensive scheme has morphed as the season progressed.
“Early in the year, we were in more gap protection,” Heupel said. “As soon as the safety’s off the hash, then you were limited to one side of the football field, because you’ve only got a three-man route.”
Lock said the advantage to occasional half-field reads, aside from giving receivers a rest when playing at a breakneck tempo, is that it cuts down the amount of information that must be processed.
“He’s got a ton of decisions to make pre-snap,” Heupel said. “There’s pre-snap decisions in the pass game and also in the run game. There’s post-snap decisions in the pass game and the run game as well. There’s a ton of things that he has to do and make extremely quick decisions on. Sometimes, there’s more than one right decision.”
That was the case on Lock’s first interception at South Carolina.
The Tigers and Gamecocks were tied at 21-21 in the third quarter and senior defensive tackle Josh Augusta had just converted a momentum-shifting fourth down.
Heupel explains the play call as Mizzou went for the jugular.
“We had a double move on both sides of the ball, so you end up picking one pre-snap based on corner leverage and all those things,” he said. “We’ve got a chance. He’s got to put that ball out there.”
With the ball on the right hash, Lock said he misread the safety — a point first-year coach Barry Odom also raised — and underthrew the pass to freshman wide receiver Dimetrios Mason on the boundary side of the field. That meant he never saw junior J’Mon Moore streaking downfield all alone on the field side.
“It isn’t a game of perfection, man,” Heupel said. “You just keep competing and keep playing. … It was underthrown, but there’s other things in the course of that play that could help it be better from not just Drew’s perspective.”
It was a slow week for questions, but here they are:
He violated team rules. That was the official party line when sophomore defensive end Walter Brady, a Freshman All-American defensive end as a redshirt freshman in 2015, was dismissed along with senior defensive tackle Harold Brantley on the eve of Barry Odom’s first fall camp.
Brady took to Twitter as speculation mounted to say it wasn’t an academic or legal issue. It might be possible to reach some reasonable conclusions by reading between those lines. As for a landing spot, Brady isn’t playing anywhere this fall as far as I have heard.
Lots of people wonder if I was supposed to be Ted or my parents simply spelled “Tod” wrong, but there’s actually kind of a sad story attached.
Before my mother met my father, she’d made up her mind that, if she was ever blessed with a child — and I’m not sure I count as a blessing, but I digress — she wanted to name a boy Todd or a girl Heidi.
One of my dad’s sisters had given birth to a son several years before and named him Todd, but he died from, if memory serves, a birth defect before leaving the hospital. Exact same thing happened to a close friend of hers in California. When my mom found out she was pregnant with a boy, she still wanted to use the name, but she also wanted to be respectful of her sister-in-law and long-time friend. Both signed off on her using the name, and even appreciated to various degrees.
But a compromise was struck, wherein the spelling of my name was changed. The second “d” was dropped, so there’s still only one “Todd” in the family and his memory’s secure. Ironic subplot, my mother’s family has German lineage. I’m descended from a Bruner family who immigrated to Maryland in the 1870s. Do you know the German word for death? Yeah, it’s “Tod,” so my mom inadvertently named me “Death.”
Sometimes, I like to act all offended when I tell that story after people have mocked the unusual spelling of my first name, solely for the shamed reaction. As a man who regularly jams his own foot in his mouth, though, it really doesn’t bother me. It’s a way to keep that cousin’s all-too-short life alive and makes for a somewhat interesting story.