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Mizzou-Alabama Snap Counts: Busy night for O-line, Gillespie

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Alabama Missouri Football

Alabama's Najee Harris, center, is knocked out of bounds by Missouri's Tyree Gillespie, left, and Nick Bolton, right, during the first quarter of a game on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo. - As we wrote a few weeks back, we’re now incorporating Pro Football Focus’ statistics into our Mizzou football coverage, which means an ample supply of numbers to share after every game this season. First up, we’ll take a look at snap counts for the Mizzou offense and defense. We’ll get more into the individual grades on Monday, but per PFF, here are the team’s three-highest graded players who played significant snaps (more than 50) on each side of the ball from Saturday’s 38-19 loss to No. 2 Alabama:

Missouri

Offense: Center Michael Maietti, slot receiver Jalen Knox and right tackle Larry Borom.

Defense: Outside linebacker Tre Williams, boundary safety Tyree Gillespie and strong safety Martez Manuel.

Alabama

Offense: Quarterback Mac Jones, receiver Jaylen Waddle, running back Najee Harris

Defense: Cornerback Josh Jobe, inside linebacker Dylan Moses, inside linebacker Christian Harris

Here’s a glance at Mizzou's offensive and defensive snap counts for the first game of the Eliah Drinkwitz era:

OFFENSE

Offensive line

Larry Borom, right tackle: 75

Case Cook, right guard: 75

Michael Maietti, center: 75

Xavier Delgado, left guard: 75

Zeke Powell, left tackle: 75

• Mizzou’s offense was officially on the field for 73 plays, but the 75 includes a couple plays waved off by penalties. Mizzou stuck with the same five guys for every snap. Left tackle was the one position at the beginning of the week where MU was uncertain on the starter, but Powell never left the field.

“I saw a lot of fight,” Drinkwitz said of his O-line. “I thought those guys answered the bell. It wasn’t an issue of not being good enough. I thought they fought. I thought they opened holes.”

Wide receiver

Keke Chism: 59

Jalen Knox: 50

Damon Hazelton: 46

Barrett Banister: 35

Dominic Gicinto: 16

Tauskie Dove: 15

D'ionte Smith: 8

Kris Abrams-Draine: 3

Micah Wilson: 1

• Hazelton came off the field midgame for a few series but finished the night as one of the two core outside receivers. Chism was targeted only a couple times, while Knox and Hazelton were the night’s most popular targets.

Tight ends

Daniel Parker Jr: 33

Niko Hea: 28

Logan Christopherson: 9

Messiah Swinson: 1

• No surprise here. Parker is the team’s most established tight end, but interesting to see Hea as the clear No. 2.

Running back

Larry Rountree: 38

Tyler Badie: 24

Dawson Downing: 9

• No snaps for freshman Elijah Young, who missed some time in camp with a hamstring injury. 

Quarterback

Shawn Robinson: 56

Connor Bazelak: 19

• Bazelak worked the first series of the second quarter and the final possession of the game, but Robinson is clearly the staff’s top choice. Outside of a few regrettable decisions with the ball, Robinson was incredibly accurate in the short to mid-range passing game. His completion percentage (76.0) was the best of any SEC starting quarterback Saturday. 

DEFENSE

Defensive line

Kobie Whiteside: 51

Tre Williams: 51

Chris Turner: 37

Akiel Byers: 31

Markell Utsey: 30

Isaiah McGuire: 27

Trajan Jeffcoat: 25

Darius Robinson: 17

• Williams is almost exclusively a stand-up outside linebacker but plays along the line of scrimmage in the new BUCK linebacker role. Jeffcoat, in his first game action since 2018, played more snaps than we might have expected — and gave the line a decent push off the edge.

Linebacker

Nick Bolton: 63

Devin Nicholson: 45

Cameron Wilkins: 21

Chad Bailey: 6

• Bolton will rarely come off the field this year, and Nicholson has clearly established himself as the team’s No. 1 middle linebacker.

Safety

Tyree Gillespie: 68

Josh Bledsoe: 61

Martez Manuel: 59

Jalani Williams: 6

• Gillespie played every snap of the game for Mizzou’s defense — and played them well. Manuel was excellent in his new strong safety role.

Cornerback

Ish Burdine: 51

Ennis Rakestraw: 49

Adam Sparks: 31

Jarvis Ware: 11

JC Carlies: 8

• Ware would have played more but injured his knee in the first half, opening the door for Burdine to play significant snaps. Drinkwitz was pleased with Rakestraw’s debut but said he probably played more snaps than the team planned.

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