What is going on with Maty Mauk?

What is going on with Maty Mauk?

Mauk Pic

By Matt Weller, 23 Sports

Monday, October 20-

When ESPN.com ranked the best 100 players in college football this past summer, quarterback Maty Mauk was Missouri’s highest ranked player. In fact, only ten signal callers bested Mauk’s 76 ranking.

Now, more than halfway into the season, despite Mizzou’s 5-2 start, it’s safe to say the redshirt sophomore’s ranking was inaccurate.

Despite a hot start in which Mauk tossed 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions in the first three games of the season, all Missouri wins, the quarterback hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in over a month and the Tigers are subsequently just 2-2 in that stretch.

Making matters worse, Mauk hasn’t completed over 43% of his passes since Mizzou’s September 20th loss to Indiana at Faurot Field, turning in three dismal performances to start SEC play. In fact, over the past two weeks, Mauk is only 15-39 with no touchdown passes and five interceptions.

The poor play from the native of Kenton, OH is surprising, especially considering the exciting he potential he showed as a redshirt freshman last year and the exciting potential he showed to start the 2014 season.

It is no secret that one of, if not Mauk’s greatest strength, is his ability to produce big plays. In fact, half of Mauk’s 14 touchdowns this season have come from at least 20 yards outside of the endzone. He’s also ripped off rushes of 16, 19, and 25 yards this season, showing he can beat teams with both his arm and his legs.

Where Mauk struggles, however, is his inconsistent passing accuracy. Mauk got away with some errant throws against weaker competition to start the season, but hasn’t had that good fortunate against stacked SEC defenses.

A number of Mauk’s interceptions have come on passes in which he stared down his receiving target, something a quarterback won’t often get away with in the SEC, and then floated a pass off his back foot. This is a bad habit many young quarterbacks develop that can usually be fixed with experience, but it’s not something the Tigers can afford to have continue if they have division title aspirations this season.

The good news for Mauk is Missouri’s upcoming schedule is less than daunting. Two of Missouri’s next for oppenents will be Kentucky and Tennessee, two teams in which Mauk posted over 500 yards of offense and eight touchdowns in their meetings last season. He also gets to face off with Vanderbilt and Texas A&M, the two worst defenses in the SEC in terms of scoring and yardage allowed. So, if there was a time for Mauk to turn it around, it would be now.

Mauk’s play will be a key factor as to how Missouri finishes the season. So far in 2014, the Tigers are 3-0 in games in which Mauk has a QBR of over 50 but just 2-2 in which he falls beneath the mark. Mauk’s next opportunity to prove himself will be this Saturday, Mizzou’s homecoming, at Faurot Field against Vanderbilt.