Mizzou-Iowa State: Beyond the Box Score PREVIEW

Looking at websites and message boards, it appears the main storylines for this weekend's Battle for the Telephone Trophy are more focused on how many butts will be in the seats, or whether Monte Wyrick really did hold (he didn't, and the only thing this picture proves is that he actually made physical contact for 0.1 seconds), or how bad ZouDave's choice of highlight video music is (I told him he should have gone with Blue Man Group).  Everybody seems to think they've got all the information they need in regard to who will probably end up victorious this weekend, and they're probably right.  But we're going to jump inside the numbers just to make sure.

Success Rate by Quarter

Mizzou (all plays)
Q1: Mizzou 50.3%, Opponents 44.6% (Conf. Avg.: 44.7%)
Q2: Mizzou 49.0%, Opponents 44.5% (Conf. Avg.: 45.3%)
Q3: Mizzou 58.0%, Opponents 46.0% (Conf. Avg.: 45.9%)
Q4: Mizzou 50.0%, Opponents 46.2% (Conf. Avg.: 42.9%)
TOTAL: Mizzou 51.9%, Opponents 45.4% (Conf. Avg.: 44.7%)

Iowa State (all plays)
Q1: Opponents 49.5%, Iowa State 42.9%
Q2: Opponents 49.0%, Iowa State 32.6%
Q3: Opponents 55.8%, Iowa State 33.8%
Q4: Opponents 39.7%, Iowa State 38.6%
TOTAL: Opponents 48.5%, Iowa State 37.3%

Ouch.

Click 'Full Story' for more.

We're going to attempt something a little new here.  A lot of stat sites use what's called a "Value Over Average" (VOA).  In a rudimentary sense, you can determine a team's VOA by comparing their numbers to the average numbers.  For instance, Mizzou's offense has a 51.9% success rate.  The overall average is 44.7%.  VOA = (51.9/44.7)*100 = 116

Anything >100 = better than average.  (For defense, you'd use the Overall Average divided by the team's average...that way if the team's average is better--i.e. lower--the resulting number is >100.

So the VOAs for MU and ISU are as follows...
MU Offense: 116
MU Defense: 99
ISU Offense: 83
ISU Defense: 92

Mizzou (close games only)
Q1: Missouri 50.3%, Opponents 44.6% (Avg: 44.6%)
Q2: Missouri 50.4%, Opponents 40.0% (Avg: 45.7%)
Q3: Missouri 63.4%, Opponents 43.3% (Avg: 48.0%)
Q4: Opponents 41.7%, Mizzou 35.7% (Avg: 40.5%)
TOTAL: Mizzou 51.0%, Opponents 42.3% (Avg: 44.9%)
VOA: Mizzou Offense 114, Mizzou Defense 106

Iowa State (close games only)
Q1: Opponents 49.5%, Iowa State 43.1%
Q2: Opponents 47.7%, Iowa State 36.5%
Q3: Opponents 55.3%, Iowa State 32.6%
Q4: Opponents 34.9%, Iowa State 28.4%
TOTAL: Opponents 47.3%, Iowa State 36.4%
VOA: Iowa State Offense 81, Iowa State Defense 95

And one more...

Mizzou (CONFERENCE games only)
Q1: Opponents 53.5%, Mizzou 52.5% (Avg: 44.4%)
Q2: Missouri 48.3%, Opponents 41.5% (avg: 46.3%)
Q3: Missouri 65.1%, Opponents 36.4% (avg: 47.0%)
Q4: Missouri 51.9%, Opponents 43.6% (avg: 44.2%)
TOTAL: Missouri 54.7%, Opponents 43.1% (avg: 45.5%)
VOA: Missouri Offense 120, Missouri Defense 106(!)

Missouri is well above average in conference games despite having played the conference's best defense (OU) and the probably the conference's two best offenses not named Mizzou (OU, Tech).  Love seeing that.

Iowa State (CONFERENCE games only)
Q1: Opponents 57.8%, Iowa State 34.5% (oof)
Q2: Opponents 51.8%, Iowa State 31.3% (ouch)
Q3: Opponents 62.7%, Iowa State 26.7% (good gracious!)
Q4: Opponents 46.4%, Iowa State 41.3% (not bad)
TOTAL: Opponents 54.1%, Iowa State 33.7%
VOA: Iowa State Offense 74, Iowa State Defense 84

Yeah, that's bad.  I'm thinking this won't be the game where Mizzou stops making third-quarter streaks...

(And in case you were wondering...)

Success Rates, MU@ISU 2006
Q1: MU 65.0%, ISU 37.5%
Q2: ISU 57.9%, MU 20.0%
Q3: ISU 65.4%, MU 33.3%
Q4: ISU 50.0%, MU 45.8%
TOTAL: ISU 54.7%, MU 44.1%

Truly a tale of two games.  Lucky for us, Ryan Kock graduated.

QB Success Rate

Close Games
Chase Daniel: 51.5%
-- Run: 49.4%
-- Pass: 52.9%

Bret Meyer: 36.7%
-- Run: 33.8%
-- Pass: 40.0%

Close Conference Games
Chase Daniel: 53.1%
-- Run: 53.2%
-- Pass: 53.1%
(How freaking consistent can you be??)

Bret Meyer: 33.2%
-- Run: 31.5%
-- Pass: 34.7%

Run Success Rates (close games) and Points Per Play (all plays)

Mizzou
Tony Temple: 18-for-50 (36.0%) / 71 carries, 21.6 points / 0.30 PPP
Chase Daniel: 23-for-38 (60.5%) / 59 carries, 17.4 points / 0.29 PPP
Jeremy Maclin: 12-for-18 (66.7%) / 23 carries, 16.0 points / 0.70 PPP
Jimmy Jackson: 12-for-24 (50.0%) / 30 carries, 14.0 points / 0.47 PPP
Derrick Washington: 6-for-12 (50.0%) / 20 carries, 5.9 points / 0.30 PPP
Martin Rucker: 5-for-10 (50.0%) / 11 carries, 5.0 points / 0.45 PPP
Earl Goldsmith: 4-for-11 (36.4%) / 18 carries, 3.7 points / 0.21 PPP
Chase Patton: 0-for-0 / 4 carries, 3.3 points / 0.82 PPP
Marcus Woods: 2-for-4 (50.0%) / 14 carries, 3.2 points / 0.23 PPP
Tommy Saunders: 1-for-1 (100.0%) / 1 carry, 0.4 points
Danario Alexander: 0-for-0 / 1 carry, minus-0.2 points
Jared Perry: 0-for-0 / 1 carry, minus-0.4 points
TOTAL: 78-for-159 (49.1%) / 253 carries, 90.0 points / 0.36 PPP
TOTAL, RBs: 42-for-101 (41.6%) / 153 carries, 48.5 points / 0.32 PPP

Iowa State
J.J. Bass: 33-for-95 (34.7%) / 114 carries, 27.7 points / 0.24 PPP
Jason Scales: 23-for-69 (33.3%) / 94 carries, 19.7 points / 0.21 PPP
Bret Meyer: 20-for-51 (39.2%) / 70 carries, 19.6 points / 0.28 PPP
Alexander Robinson: 3-for-14 (21.4%) / 22 carries, 4.2 points / 0.19 PPP
Marquis Hamilton: 1-for-4 (25.0%) / 4 carries, 0.3 points / 0.07 PPP
Wallace Franklin: 0-for-1 (0.0%) / 1 carry, 0.0 points
Euseph Messiah: 0-for-1 (0.0%) / 1 carry, 0.0 points
Austin Arnaud: 0-for-0 / 6 carries, 0.0 points
Phillip Bates: 0-for-3 (0.0%) / 6 carries, minus-1.2 points / minus-0.19 PPP
TOTAL: 80-for-238 (33.6%) / 318 carries, 70.4 points / 0.22 PPP

Receiver Success Rate

Mizzou
Martin Rucker: 28-for-35 (80.0%) / 47 catches, 32.4 points / 0.69 PPP
Will Franklin: 22-for-26 (84.6%) / 30 catches, 28.6 points / 0.95 PPP
Jeremy Maclin: 22-for-25 (88.0%) / 32 catches, 28.0 points / 0.87 PPP
Chase Coffman: 24-for-27 (88.9%) / 38 catches, 23.4 points / 0.62 PPP
Danario Alexander: 8-for-15 (53.3%) / 18 catches, 11.1 points / 0.61 PPP
Tommy Saunders: 10-for-12 (83.3%) / 16 catches, 9.0 points / 0.56 PPP
Greg Bracey: 0-for-1 (0.0%) / 3 catches, 4.5 points / 1.49 PPP
Jared Perry: 3-for-4 (75.0%) / 9 catches, 4.2 points / 0.47 PPP
Tony Temple: 2-for-4 (50.0%) / 4 catches, 3.8 points / 0.95 PPP
Jimmy Jackson: 4-for-6 (66.7%) / 6 catches, 1.6 points / 0.27 PPP
Derrick Washington: 1-for-1 (100.0%) / 1 catch, 1.3 points
Jason Ray: 1-for-2 (50.0%) / 2 catches, 0.7 points / 0.35 PPP
Earl Goldsmith: 1-for-2 (50.0%) / 3 catches, 0.4 points / 0.13 PPP
TOTAL: 126-for-160 (78.8%) / 209 catches, 148.9 points / 0.71 PPP

Iowa State
Todd Blythe: 24-for-30 (80.0%) / 38 catches, 28.9 points / 0.76 PPP
R.J. Sumrall: 20-for-30 (66.7%) / 38 catches, 16.5 points / 0.43 PPP
Marquis Hamilton: 18-for-22 (81.8%) / 30 catches, 16.0 points / 0.53 PPP
Ben Barkema: 5-for-5 (100.0%) / 9 catches, 5.2 points / 0.58 PPP
Phillip Bates: 2-for-4 (50.0%) / 5 catches, 3.7 points / 0.74 PPP
Derrick Catlett: 4-for-7 (57.1%) / 10 catches, 3.5 points / 0.35 PPP
Milan Moses: 4-for-7 (57.1%) / 8 catches, 3.0 points / 0.38 PPP
Alexander Robinson: 2-for-5 (40.0%) / 5 catches, 2.5 points / 0.50 PPP
Wallace Franklin: 1-for-2 (50.0%) / 2 catches, 2.2 points / 1.08 PPP
J.J. Bass: 2-for-4 (50.0%) / 7 catches, 1.6 points / 0.23 PPP
Jason Scales: 2-for-6 (33.3%) / 10 catches, 1.5 points / 0.15 PPP
Houston Jones: 1-for-1 (100.0%) / 1 catch, 0.3 points
Euseph Messiah: 0-for-2 (0.0%) / 2 catches, 0.1 points / 0.07 PPP
TOTAL: 85-for-125 (68.0%...bad) / 165 catches, 85.0 points / 0.52 PPP

There is no doubt in my mind that there is a rating system to be created out of points and success rates...and once I figure out what it is, it will reinvent statistics as we know it.  REINVENT.  MARK IT DOWN.

That said, I don't have a clue how to pull that one together just yet, so all this tells me at the moment is that Mizzou has better, stronger, faster athletes/players at RB and WR/TE, and they know how to utilize their talent better.  You didn't need to see too many numbers to figure that one out.

Line Yards & Sack Rate (Offense)

Missouri (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 245 carries, 802.1 yards (3.27/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 239 pass attempts, 8 sacks (3.3%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 79 pass attempts, 3 sacks (3.8%)

Iowa State (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 314 carries, 764.6 yards (2.44/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 193 pass attempts, 6 sacks (3.1%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 97 pass attempts, 5 sacks (5.2%)

Conf Average (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 2.89/carry (Missouri VOA: 113, ISU VOA: 84)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 3.9% (Missouri VOA: 118, ISU VOA: 126)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 4.8% (Missouri VOA: 126, ISU VOA: 92)

AVERAGE VOA (All Games)

To get one rushing (line yards) score and one passing (sack rate) score, I'm averaging the two sack rate VOAs, then averaging that with the line yards VOA...

-- Missouri: 117
-- Iowa State: 97

And now for Big 12 games...

Missouri (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 110 carries, 349.4 yards (3.18/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 93 pass attempts, 4 sacks (4.3%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 31 pass attempts, 2 sacks (6.5%)

Iowa State (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 152 carries, 321.9 yards (2.12/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 102 pass attempts, 6 sacks (5.9%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 52 pass attempts, 2 sacks (3.9%)

Conf Average (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 2.97/carry (Missouri VOA: 107, ISU VOA: 71)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 3.9% (Missouri VOA: 91, ISU VOA: 66)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 4.4% (Missouri VOA: 68, ISU VOA: 113)

AVERAGE VOA (Conf Only)
-- Missouri: 94
-- Iowa State: 81

I just threw a lot of numbers out there...what do I think they mean?  Well...I'm not sure the Mizzou O-line is quite as strong as people think it is.  It hasn't mattered--and it likely won't all season--simply because the talent at the skill positions is so damn good.  The O-line is sufficient enough to not get in the way of the talent, and that's all it needs to be.

Line Yards and Sack Rate (Defense)

Missouri (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 209 carries, 604.4 yards (2.89/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 221 pass attempts, 10 sacks (4.5%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 99 pass attempts, 4 sacks (4.0%)

Iowa State (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 269 carries, 832.2 yards (3.09/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 187 pass attempts, 11 sacks (5.9%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 70 attempts, 5 sacks (7.1%)

Conf Average (All Games)
-- Line Yards: 2.89/carry (Missouri VOA: 100, ISU VOA: 94)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 3.9% (Missouri VOA: 115, ISU VOA: 151)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 4.8% (Missouri VOA: 83, ISU VOA: 148)

AVERAGE VOA (All Games)
-- Missouri: 100
-- Iowa State: 122

Missouri (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 67 carries, 163.2 yards (2.44/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 104 pass attempts, 4 sacks (3.8%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 47 pass attempts, 2 sacks (4.2%)

Iowa State (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 123 carries, 374.1 yards (3.04/carry)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 112 pass attempts, 6 sacks (5.4%)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 31 pass attempts, 1 sack (3.2%)

Conf Average (Conf Only)
-- Line Yards: 2.97/carry (Missouri VOA: 122, ISU VOA: 98)
-- 1st-2nd Down Sack Rate: 3.9% (Missouri VOA: 99, ISU VOA: 138)
-- 3rd-4th Down Sack Rate: 4.4% (Missouri VOA: 97, ISU VOA: 73)

AVERAGE VOA (Conf Only)
-- Missouri: 110
-- Iowa State: 102

I think you see here where Gene Chizik's biggest strength lies.  They get after the QB.  That said, they've been infinitely less effective in conference play (likely because the talent level of Texas and OU is a smidge higher than Northern Iowa and Kent State), but this is still their biggest strength.

Defensive Success Rates

Mizzou

Defensive Line
Lorenzo Williams: 13.0 tackles, 12.5 successful (96.2%)
Charles Gaines: 4.0 tackles, 3.5 successful (87.5%)
Ziggy Hood: 16.5 tackles, 11.0 successful (66.7%)
Jaysen Corbett: 1.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (66.7%)
Stryker Sulak: 18.0 tackles, 11.0 successful (61.1%)
Tommy Chavis: 16.5 tackles, 10.0 successful (60.6%)
Jaron Baston: 4.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (50.0%)
Tyler Crane: 1.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
John Stull: 0.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 75.5 tackles, 51 successful (67.5%)

Linebackers
Luke Lambert: 4.0 tackles, 2.5 successful (62.5%)
Van Alexander: 19.5 tackles, 11.0 successful (56.4%)
Brock Christopher: 47.0 tackles, 25.5 successful (54.3%)
Sean Weatherspoon: 46.5 tackles, 24.0 successful (51.6%)
Steve Redmond: 1.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 118.5 tackles, 63.0 successful (53.2%)

Defensive Backs
Paul Simpson: 3.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (42.9%)
William Moore: 40.5 tackles, 15.5 successful (38.3%)
Pig Brown: 48.5 tackles, 17.5 successful (36.1%)
Castine Bridges: 15.0 tackles, 5.0 successful (33.3%)
Hardy Ricks: 16.0 tackles, 4.5 successful (28.1%)
Justin Garrett: 9.5 tackles, 2.5 successful (26.3%)
Carl Gettis: 16.5 tackles, 3.0 successful (18.2%)
Del Howard: 8.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (17.6%)
Darnell Terrell: 18.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (5.6%)
TOTAL: 176.0 tackles, 52.0 successful (29.5%)

% of plays made by...
Defensive Line: 75.5 of 370.0 (20.4%)
Linebackers: 118.5 of 370.0 (32.0%)
Defensive Backs: 176.0 of 370.0 (47.6%)

Obviously the '% of plays made by...' numbers are going to be skewed by having just played Texas Tech (also significantly affected: LB Success Rate...Christopher and Weatherspoon saw their %'s drop considerably after playing so much in coverage), but overall these numbers are improving with each progressive game.

Iowa State

Defensive Line
Ahtyba Rubin: 21.5 tackles, 19.5 successful (90.7%)
Bryce Braaksma: 15.0 tackles, 12.0 successful (80.0%)
Nate/Nick Frere*: 10.0 tackles, 7.0 successful (70.0%)
Kurtis Taylor: 23.5 tackles, 14.5 successful (61.7%)
Rashawn Parker: 13.0 tackles, 8.0 successful (61.5%)
Chris Weir: 2.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (60.0%)
Bailey Johnson: 5.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (45.5%)
Christopher Lyle: 4.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (22.2%)
TOTAL: 95.5 tackles, 65.0 successful (68.1%)

(* I didn't realize there were two Frere's, so when I was entering the play-by-play, I only had "Frere" making the tackle.  Forgive me if I don't want to go back through all the ISU games and determine which Frere it was...especially since I didn't realize there were two J. Smith's (Jesse and James) until I'd done two of their games.  Stupid ISU and their recycled names.  So for these purposes, it's one guy.  And since they're both DL's, that's not a big deal.)

Linebackers
Derec Schmidgall: 3.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (66.7%)
Jesse Smith: 34.0 tackles, 20.5 successful (60.3%)
Josh Raven: 7.5 tackles, 4.5 successful (60.0%)
Michael Bibbs: 12.5 tackles, 5.5 successful (44.0%)
Alvin Bowen: 50.0 tackles, 18.0 successful (36.0%)
Fred Garrin: 10.0 tackles, 2.5 successful (25.0%)
TOTAL: 117.0 tackles, 53.0 successful (45.3%)

Defensive Backs
Steve Johnson: 12.0 tackles, 7.5 successful (62.5%)
Chris Brown: 21.5 tackles, 10.0 successful (46.5%)
Jon Banks: 36.0 tackles, 15.0 successful (41.7%)
James Smith: 40.5 tackles, 13.5 successful (33.3%)
Chris Singleton: 33.0 tackles, 11.0 successful (33.3%)
Drenard Williams: 3.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (33.3%)
Allen Bell: 33.0 tackles, 6.0 successful (18.2%)
Caleb Berg: 5.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
Brandon Hunley: 1.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 185.5 tackles, 64.0 successful (34.5%)

% of plays made by...
Defensive Line: 95.5 of 398.0 (24.0%)
Linebackers: 117.0 of 398.0 (29.4%)
Defensive Backs: 185.5 of 398.0 (46.6%)

Alvin Bowen is the ultimate 'quality vs quantity' guy in terms of defensive numbers.  He and Baylor's Joe Pawelek both made an infinite number of tackles in 2006, but the question was, how many of those tackles were "that was a nice play!" tackles, and how many were "well, somebody had to tackle the guy" tackles at the end of 12-yard gains?  Looking at the numbers here, it looks like we've got much more of the latter than the former.  A 36% success rate at LB is quite poor...as is the team's LB success rate as a whole.  That said, the secondary's 34.5% success rate is quite solid...which suggests that Chizik takes some risks and attacks with a DB a decent amount of time...and it (occasionally) pays off.

Turnover Costliness

Mizzou
-- Offense: 12 turnovers, 42.87 'costliness' points (3.57 avg)
-- Defense: 17 takeaways, 61.69 'costliness' points (3.63 avg)
-- Margin: +5 on turnovers, +18.82 on costliness

Iowa State
-- Offense: 20 turnovers, 70.61 'costliness' points (3.53 avg)
-- Defense: 14 takeaways, 41.48 'costliness' points (2.96 avg)
-- Margin: minus-6 on turnovers, minus-29.13 on costliness

I don't know what to say here beyond Advantage: Mizzou.

Statistical MIPs

Mizzou Offense: The one strength Iowa State seems to possess is getting after the quarterback, and a lot of ISU's successful play comes from the middle of the D-line--Ahtyba Rubin and Bryce Braaksma.  That suggests to me that the interior of the Mizzou O-line needs to play well to avoid whatever small chance of an upset exists.  What Mizzou interior lineman most wants to play well and redeem himself?  That's right...Monte Wyrick.

(How'd you like THAT logic??)

Mizzou Defense: I haven't come up with one difference-maker from the stats, so I'll just take the time to mention that Charles Gaines and Tommy Chavis have stepped it up bigtime in the last three weeks, and if that's a permanent step instead of a momentary surge, Mizzou's going to be very hard to beat.

ISU Offense: Mizzou's defense has been super-effective in stopping Big 12 opponents' running games and making them one-dimensional.  ISU has been ineffective and inconsistent running the ball, but junior J.J. Bass has shown the most potential in that regard.  If ISU is to compete, they're going to have to establish the run like they did last year.  If Mizzou was able to shut down a one-dimensional Graham Harrell, they'll shut down a one-dimensional Bret Meyer.

ISU Defense: Since I mentioned them earlier, I'll take the lazy way out and say that Ahtyba Rubin and Bryce Braaksma (who had a really nice game against OU) are the closest things to difference makers that ISU has.

Regular, English-language preview up tomorrow.

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