Mizzou-OSU: Beyond the Box Score

So as I was entering play-by-play data yesterday, I had an extra spring in my step.  I was very curious what the BTBS data would say about this game...how it would explain the whole "outgained them, broke even on turnovers...still lost at home" thing.  Well...now I'm wishing I hadn't looked at this...wishing I had just skipped right over the BTBS piece this week.  Mizzou dominated in almost every statistical category except one: Passing Downs.  You know that whole concept of "leverage" that I've been pushing recently?  If you haven't hopped on board the Leverage train yet, you might want to do so now, as Leverage cost Mizzou an undefeated record.

Missouri


Okie State

% Close = 100.0%
53.8% Field Position % *
46.2%
81.4% Leverage % **
65.3%
TOTAL
70 Plays 72
28.09 EqPts 26.73
55.7% Success Rate 41.7%
0.40 Points Per Play (PPP) 0.37
0.958 S&P (Success + PPP) 0.788
RUSHING
7.46 EqPts 13.24
56.3% Success Rate 35.7%
0.47 PPP 0.32
1.029 S&P 0.672
2.83 Line Yards/carry
2.28
PASSING
20.63 EqPts 13.48
57.7% Success Rate 50.0%
0.40 PPP 0.45
0.974 S&P 0.949
NON-PASSING DOWNS
63.2% Success Rate 44.7%
0.45 PPP 0.39
1.077 S&P 0.834
PASSING DOWNS
23.1% Success Rate 36.0%
0.21 PPP 0.34
0.438 S&P 0.701
TURNOVERS
3 Number 3
8.85 Points Lost 8.28
6.09 Points Given 5.78
14.94 Total T/O Pts 14.06
-0.88 Turnover Pts Margin +0.88
  • So Missouri outgained OSU in terms of yards and EqPts...
  • They split in turnover margin...
  • They out-leveraged them (in terms of how many Passing Downs they forced)...
  • They won the field-position battle...
  • They dominated the OSU O-line in terms of line yards (OSU was averaging over 3.6 line yards per carry)...
  • They didn't miss their season S&P average by much...
  • They held OSU to what was by far their lowest S&P of the season...
  • And they lost.  Because they were absolutely horrific on Passing Downs.
  • There were 6 turnovers in the game, and almost all of them were relatively huge.  Mizzou's were worth 4.68 points (Danario trips and falls), 5.89 points (Daniel bombs it to nobody in particular), and 4.37 points (Lavine steps in front of Maclin).  OSU's were worth 6.13 points (Baston recovers fumble at end of half), 3.66 points (Bridges INT) and 4.28 points (Moore sticks Bryant, Gettis recovers).  Any one of those doesn't happen, and the result is probably significantly different.
  • Finally, I can't say enough about how well OSU tackled.  They were fast, and they didn't miss.  That was the biggest reason they held Mizzou to 0.40 Points Per Play.

More analysis after the jump.

Let's go into a little more detail...

S&P by Quarter

Q1
Missouri: 53.8% / 0.36 PPP / 0.894 S&P
Oklahoma State: 59.1% / 0.37 PPP / 0.956 S&P

Q2
Missouri: 45.0% / 0.39 PPP / 0.843 S&P
Oklahoma State: 33.3% / 0.10 PPP / 0.428 S&P

Q3
Missouri: 65.0% / 0.43 PPP / 1.082 S&P
Oklahoma State: 35.7% / 0.85 PPP / 1.203 S&P

Q4
Missouri: 58.8% / 0.41 PPP / 0.998 S&P
Oklahoma State: 33.3% / 0.29 PPP / 0.619 S&P

You see a nice spike in Mizzou's numbers in the second half, once they basically gave up on the run and focus on quick short passing as their new "running game".  Meanwhile, OSU did a good job of gameplanning (success in Q1 and Q3), while the Mizzou defense made very good adjustments (success in Q2 and Q4).

S&P by Down

1st Down
Missouri: 60.5% / 0.41 PPP / 1.014 S&P
Oklahoma State: 36.4% / 0.25 PPP / 0.618 S&P

2nd Down
Missouri: 60.9% / 0.50 PPP / 1.111 S&P
Oklahoma State: 52.0% / 0.51 PPP / 1.034 S&P

3rd Down
Missouri: 22.2% / 0.11 PPP / 0.332 S&P
Oklahoma State: 38.5% / 0.40 PPP / 0.780 S&P

Just a staggering job by OSU of preventing Mizzou from having success where they're used to it the most--3rd downs (and, somewhat consequently, Passing Downs).  Mizzou was as consistent as always on 1st and 2nd downs, but the clutch plays belonged to OSU.  Yet another reason why I wish we could play this team again...like, right now.

Projections vs Performance

Here, we'll look at actual performance compared to what was projected in last week's BTBS preview.

Mizzou Rushing

Avg Projected Mizzou Rushing Output: 13.6 EqPts
BTBS Adjusted Projection: 19.0
Actual Performance: 7.5

Chase Daniel: 2.97 EqPts, 100.0% success rate, 1.595 S&P
Derrick Washington: 2.49 EqPts, 25.0% success rate, 0.561 S&P
Jimmy Jackson: 1.38 EqPts on 1 carry
Jeremy Maclin: 0.62 EqPts on 2 carries

Though it was on Passing Downs where Mizzou had its biggest failures, chances are that failure in the running game caused a lot of those Passing Downs, especially in the first half.  Chase Daniel did well at eating away chunks of yards when given the opportunity, and you could make the case that he should have run the ball a bit more, but seeing how dead his arms and legs seemed to be in the 4th quarter already, he probably took enough hits as is.  But the game hinged at least somewhat in OSU's ability to shoot the gaps at just the right times and take away Derrick Washington's effectiveness.

Mizzou Passing

Avg Projected Mizzou Passing Output: 23.7 EqPts
BTBS Adjusted Projection: 28.0
Actual Performance: 20.6

Jeremy Maclin: 5.16 EqPts, 100% success rate, 1.645 S&P
Chase Coffman: 4.91 EqPts, 63.6% success rate, 1.083 S&P
Tommy Saunders: 3.44 EqPts, 100% success rate, 1.689 S&P
Derrick Washington: 2.78 EqPts, 71.4% success rate, 1.111 S&P
Danario Alexander: 2.48 EqPts on 2 catches
Earl Goldsmith: 1.32 EqPts, 100% success rate, 1.441 S&P
Jared Perry: 0.53 EqPts on 2 catches
Andrew Jones: 0.49 EqPts on 1 catch

Once again, both the projections and my own projections were too optimistic about Mizzou's offensive performance.  Credit OSU's gameplan for a lot of that.

OSU Rushing

Avg Projected OSU Rushing Output: 13.7 EqPts
BTBS Adjusted Projection: 14.0
Actual Performance: 13.2

The projections were actually a smidge optimistic about OSU's offensive performance too.  Just imagine how good these numbers would look for Mizzou without Hunter's one long TD run.  If if's and but's were candy and nuts...

OSU Passing

Avg Projected OSU Passing Output: 17.7
BTBS Adjusted Projection: 15.0
Actual Performance: 13.5

Credit where it's due: Mizzou's pass defense came to play.  They were hitting hard, and they were two plays away from a wonderful performance.  Of course, both of those plays went for TDs--one an obvious miscommunication on the play-action TD; the other, a confusing play where there ended up being two OSU players (Bryant & Davis) and one MU player (Ricks) in the same part of the endzone.  Unfortunately, Davis made the catch.  Regardless, Mizzou's pass defense played better than the numbers suggested they would, and this further reinforces the fact that it wasn't the Mizzou defense that cost them this game.

Mizzou Defense

Because of the solid defensive play, I thought I'd show you the breakdown for "successful" defensive tackles...

Sean Weatherspoon: 4.5 successful tackles (69.2% success rate)
Justin Garrett: 3.5 (46.7%)
William Moore: 3.0 (42.9%)
Jaron Baston: 2.5 (100.0%)
Tommy Chavis: 2.5 (100.0%)
Brock Christopher: 2.5 (71.4%)
Carl Gettis: 2.5 (55.6%)

Three members of the secondary with a success rate above 40% is just weird.  But this does further support that our secondary a) hits hard and b) supports the run defense wonderfully.

Summary

For regular football fans, this game was a treat.  Big plays were made on both sides of the ball.  All the big-name offensive players (Daniel, Maclin, Coffman, Robinson, Hunter, Bryant) made plays at one point or another; all of Mizzou's defensive playmakers made some big hits and stops; OSU had guys like Jeremiah Price and Orie Lemon making names for themselves.  It was a fun game...unfortunately, the result left something to be desired.

If nothing else, the BTBS stats point to what we basically already knew: Mizzou played well...except for when it didn't.  (Brilliant analysis, I know.)  The Mizzou Offense clicked along as always on Non-Passing Downs...but for really only the second time in the last 20 games, they were horrific on Passing Downs.  The Mizzou receivers played well...except for the dropped passes (which don't really work themselves into BTBS numbers).  The Mizzou defense played great...aside from three specific plays.

All these things point squarely to the "It just wasn't our day" truism, but that doesn't make the loss any easier to accept.  Mizzou fans should take comfort in the fact that the Tigers still match up relatively well against Texas, and they're still clearly (to my eyes) a Top 10 team.  The problem is...5-1 isn't nearly as promising as 6-0, and the Tigers quite obviously need to beat Texas to keep their national title hopes (and possibly Chase Daniel's Heisman hopes) alive.

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