Monday, February 27, 2017

Farewell to 2016: Missouri Tigers

The SEC had a down year compared to other years, as Alabama was the lone team to win 10 games or more in 2016. That is an unusual turn of events for the self proclaimed best conference in college football. The East was still down, as Florida and Tennessee continued to struggle despite having high expectations. Georgia is still trying to find themselves under Kirby Smart. LSU made a mess of the Les Miles situation. Ole Miss was clouded over by off-field issues. Here is a look back at the 2016 SEC season, on a team by team basis.

Missouri Tigers
4-8 (2-6)

2016 Schedule
Lost to West Virginia 26-11
Beat Eastern Michigan 61-21
Lost to Georgia 28-27
Beat Delaware State 79-0
Lost to LSU 42-7
Lost to Florida 40-14
Lost to Middle Tennessee 51-45
Lost to Kentucky 35-21
Lost to South Carolina 31-21
Beat Vanderbilt 26-17
Lost to Tennessee 63-37
Beat Arkansas 28-24

MVP Offense: QB Drew Lock, WR J'Mon Moore, RB Damarea Crockett
Considering how bad Missouri was in 2016, there were a few bright spots on offense. Lock took over an embattled QB position and passed for 3399 yards with 23 scores and 10 picks. He averaged 36.2 passes per game, and 283.3 yards passing. His only draw back was that he only completed 54% of his passes, which is an area of needed improvement for the junior to be.
Moore was the top target in the passing game. He caught 62 passes for 1012 yards, and scored 8 times in the passing game.He averaged 16.32 yards per reception, and 5.2 catches per game. He caught 9 passes against Tennessee, and had 8 receptions in four separate games.
Crockett was a solid find as a freshman in 2016. He ran for 1062 yards and scored 10 times, averaging 6.94 yards per carry, and just 13.91 carries per game. He ran for 156 yards and 4 scores against Middle Tennessee, and the Tigers still lost the game.
MVP Defense: DL Charles Harris
Charles Harris was a bright spot on a bad defense. The DE finished second on the team in tackles with 61, and led the team with 12 TFLs. He also led the team with nine sacks, and recorded 10 QB hurries to go with two PBUs and 2 forced fumbles.
Others of Note
Ish Witter finished with 6 rushing scores on 750 yards rushing.
Dimitrios Watson was the only other receiver with over 40 receptions.
Donovan Newsom led the team with 73 tackles from the secondary.
Missouri finished with 72 team TFLs. The offense allowed 36.
Tiger QBs were sacked just 14 times all season.
Senior DB Aarion Penton broke up 12 passes on the season. He also picked off 5 passes. Missouri was penalized 7.4 times per game at home, and 6.7 times per game on the season.
Missouri fumbled the football 13 times. The defense only forced 6.
Freshman kicker Tucker McCann connected on just 6/12 FGs.
Sophomore Punter Corey Fatony averaged 43.85 yards per punt on 5.5 punts per game.
Best Win: Arkansas 28-24
The win over the Razorbacks was their second in three games, and helped the Tigers finish strong and knock the Razorbacks down one peg in the bowl selection charts. It was the treated like a bowl game for Missouri, and they head into 2017 on a high note after a long season.
Worst Loss: Middle Tennessee 51-45
It is never aceptable for an SEC team to fall to a team from Conference USA. Missouri wasted a massive Crockett performance as well. If the defense had played half as well as the offense, they win this game.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 Missouri State, 9/16 Purdue, 10/21 Idaho, 10/28 at U Conn
I would favor Missouri over both Missouri State and Purdue right now, and they should be able to handle Idaho as well. The U Conn game may present a challenge, but if Missouri can win all four of these, which there is a chance of, the Tigers are back in a bowl.

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