Alright, as with last week's piece, I'll start with KSU-MU analysis, then drop in all of last week's Big 12 BTBS box scores...and as always, the most interesting stuff is bolded...
|% Close = 41.8%|
|34.6%||Field Position %
|0.29||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.45|
|.616||S&P (Success + PPP)||0.867|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|9.58||Total T/O Pts||8.56|
|-1.02||Turnover Pts Margin||+1.02|
|0.771||1st Down S&P||1.008|
|0.545||2nd Down S&P||0.810|
|0.451||3rd Down S&P||0.535|
- The Mizzou offense sputtered all night, as Chase Daniel seemed to have misplaced what arm strength he has in the locker-room before the game. The defense, however, never gave K-State even a millisecond to breathe. These are about the best close-game defensive stats that you'll ever see from a Mizzou defense. Mizzou's 0.868 close-game S&P was a big disappointment considering the opponent, but K-State's 0.329 close-game S&P was amazingly low.
- Mizzou's biggest defensive problems in '08: occasional Passing Down lapses, Passing PPP. K-State's Passing Downs S&P: 0.304. K-State's Passing PPP: 0.20. The fact that KSU only managed an overall 0.29 PPP despite a 93-yard run against the Mizzou scrubs tells you all you need to know, really. We're all quick to unleash fury when Mizzou's defense doesn't live up to standards (as against Baylor), but we should be just as quick to throw praise in their direction when they're this dominant. K-State's problem hasn't been offense this year (they don't have a great offense, but it's certainly been solid, especially in the passing game), but Mizzou completely and totally shut them down.
- Mizzou was as big an overachiever as you could find in the first half of the season when it came to success on Passing Downs. But Chase Daniel has lost his mojo in this regard, and he knows it. We can win the North even if he doesn't rediscover the magic, but we sure as hell won't have a chance in the Big 12 title game without it.
And now, a review of last week's "key players"...
Key Players: Kansas State
WRs Deon Murphy and Aubrey Quarles
While Josh Freeman was in the game (i.e. while the game was still technically a game), Deon Murphy had 3 catches for 32 yards and 0.90 EqPts. Aubrey Quarles? A big fat goose egg. I mentioned that Banks was the #1 threat, and he would likely get the Carl Gettis Treatment, and he did indeed. With Freeman at QB, Banks had 7 catches...for 24 yards and a 28.5% success rate, which is just awful. Granted, Banks was still in the game late and predictably did much better against Mizzou's 2nd- and 3rd-stringers, scoring two TDs and putting up 103 yards in the last two minutes. Congrats for that, Brandon. FAIL.
QB Josh Freeman
I'll say this much: Freeman's instincts running the ball have improved. He rushed 13 times for 69 yards and a 54% success rate, infinitely better than the 32 yards (on 12 carries) and 17% success rate of Lamark Brown. However, he does not even appear to be a 1% better passer than he was when he stepped onto Faurot Field two years ago as a true freshman. His BTBS passing line: 29 pass attempts, 27.6% success rate, 4.02 EqPts (0.14 PPP), 0.415 S&P. That's horrid. SEMO's QB did better than that against Mizzou. EPIC FAIL.
DE Brandon Harold
Harold's line: 2.0 tackles (both successful), 2 personal foul penalties worth 30 yards and 0.93 EqPts. Yeah...that's a FAIL.
CB Joshua Moore
Moore's line: 6.0 tackles (3.0 successful...not bad for a CB), 1.5 tackles for loss. He didn't have one of KSU's INTs, but he played relatively well. I'll give him a MARGINAL PASS.
Key Players: Mizzou
LB Aaron O'Neal
Senior Day wasn't quite as big a production as I thought it would be, though seeing the pictures, it looks like it was as emotional as ever on the field. Chase Daniel and others weren't all that sharp, but it was an easy 41-10 (+14 junk points) win, and I'd say that alone makes it an EPIC PASS.
It would have been a lot more fun, I guess, if Mizzou had been clicking on all cylinders for their Faurot Field finale, but that's life. The fact that so many fans can be this annoyed by what was for all intents and purposes a 31-point conference win shows how far this program has come (and at the same time, how far K-State has fallen). Despite lackluster play at times, yesterday's BTBS rankings remind you that Mizzou still has the best defense and by far the best offense in the Big 12 North, and they should (SHOULD) rather easily win out and take the North title going away.
I know this isn't the season we had in mind (six more points against OSU, and we'd still be in the title hunt despite the Texas debacle), but as we cruise toward hopefully another 10-win season, we should still be thankful for just how much this staff and these players (particularly the senior class) have raised our expectations. The 20 wins we've put together in not even two full seasons represents the win output of the last three years of both Brad Smith and Corby Jones, and those were considered high marks for the program.
And beyond that...the battle cry is still firmly intact: 2003 KANSAS STATE. Chase Daniel has two more games to find his rhythm, and then it's time to make life complete hell for an opponent shooting for the BCS Championship game. Our dreams were shot a year ago, and while this isn't the scenario we dreamed of back in August, shooting somebody else's dreams and making the Fiesta Bowl would still be pretty nice, no?
Other Big 12 Games
|% Close = 64.8%|
|32.8%||Field Position %
|0.35||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.58|
|0.834||S&P (Success + PPP)||1.283|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|8.40||Total T/O Pts||9.95|
|+1.55||Turnover Pts Margin||-1.55|
|0.854||1st Down S&P||1.395|
|0.887||2nd Down S&P||1.140|
|0.661||3rd Down S&P||1.135|
- Most amazing stat of the year: Texas Tech was 11-for-11 on Passing Downs on Saturday night. ELEVEN FOR ELEVEN. ON PASSING DOWNS. Okie State beat Mizzou because they were actually able to shut Mizzou down in those opportunities, but Tech was having none of it. They could not be stopped.
- Really, this one almost qualifies for second most amazing stat of the year: Tech only faced 11 Passing Downs in 80 plays. Their leverage rate of 86% is, I think, the highest I've seen. There's efficiency, and then there's efficiency.
- This is the perfect example of how Tech's offense puts pressure on the other team's offense to succeed. OSU was able to run the ball very effectively (4.09 line yards per carry is quite high, and a 0.994 S&P is good), but they failed in the big-play moments early on, failure begot more failure, and suddenly they were down big. You have to hit the ground running against Tech, and you can't let up. I'll use my old "It's like playing Pete Sampras--he breaks your serve once, and you're toast" analogy here... only (*sniff*) I don't get to use it in reference to Mizzou anymore.
|% Close = 93.5%|
|31.9%||Field Position %
|0.43||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.53|
|0.896||S&P (Success + PPP)||1.077|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|5.02||Total T/O Pts||15.47|
|+10.45||Turnover Pts Margin||-10.45|
|1.054||1st Down S&P||1.084|
|0.970||2nd Down S&P||0.936|
|0.388||3rd Down S&P||1.299|
- Turnovers almost did Nebraska in big-time here. Without turnovers, this was a blowout.
- Really, this game came down to two things: success rates and 3rd downs. Both teams had equal big-play ability in the passing game, but KU's 40.0% success rate throwing the ball hurt them...and NU's 57.5% success rate passing allowed the Huskers to control the ball. That, and NU was beyond dominant on 3rd downs.
- These pass defense numbers from KU have to have Colt McCoy and Chase Daniel licking their lips.
- I'm glad we played Nebraska when we did. Not saying we couldn't still beat them, but there's no question that they're playing better and we're playing worse than we were on October 4.
|% Close = 20.5%|
|62.1%||Field Position %
|0.69||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.23|
|1.168||S&P (Success + PPP)||0.532|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|0.00||Total T/O Pts||21.77|
|+21.77||Turnover Pts Margin||-21.77|
|1.023||1st Down S&P||0.540|
|1.423||2nd Down S&P||0.401|
|1.147||3rd Down S&P||0.465|
- Once again, it's hard to get a read on how OU will respond to a close game because once again, they made ridiculously short work of an inferior opponent. A&M ran 6 plays, and the game was over.
- Note to ATM: if you're going to give up a 30-point deficit in EqPts, it's not a good idea to also give up a 22-point deficit in turnover points. Good god...they're lucky to have only lost by 34. Lucky for them, OU can't cover kickoffs to save their lives, and ATM got some cheap points that way.
|% Close = 63.2%|
|33.8%||Field Position %
|0.37||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.43|
|0.530||S&P (Success + PPP)||0.953|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|8.31||Total T/O Pts||11.05|
|+2.74||Turnover Pts Margin||-2.74|
|0.404||1st Down S&P||0.983|
|0.574||2nd Down S&P||0.946|
|0.555||3rd Down S&P||0.861|
- Power to Baylor for figuring out how to keep this one relatively respectable without being able to complete a worthwhile pass (other than the one to Kendall Wright to tie the game at 14-14...that was literally their only even medium-sized pass play. It's actually pretty hard to manage a 4.4% passing success rate. You'd have figured they'd have gotten 2-3 decent passes just by accident.
- The 4.6% success rate on Passing Downs is almost as impressive.
- Not too sure what else to say about this one. Robert Griffin is to the point where he's as good as he's going to be this year. Mizzou's defense isn't as fast as Texas', and Baylor moved the ball with the thinnest of margins for error against the Tigers last weekend. Against UT, the short passing just isn't going to work.
|% Close = 100.0%|
|49.3%||Field Position %
|0.37||Points Per Play (PPP)||0.55|
|0.777||S&P (Success + PPP)||1.000|
|CLOSE GAME ONLY|
|0.00||Total T/O Pts||5.99|
|+5.99||Turnover Pts Margin||-5.99|
|0.944||1st Down S&P||0.986|
|0.669||2nd Down S&P||0.832|
|0.540||3rd Down S&P||1.058|
- I am still having trouble believing that this game was on (regular cable) TV, and KU-NU was not. Not sure the thought process on that one, but I can say that the first half of this game was horrendous. Lucky for CU, Cody Nolte-Hawkins is good for at least one rescue per season. Against the Cyclones' putrid secondary, Coach's Son Hawkins was able to sub in in the second half and move the ball at will after Tyler "Don't Call Me Taylor" Hansen was unable to find a rhythm in the first 30 minutes.
- This was another game that came down to third downs, and the fact that CU managed to almost lose this game despite dominating 3rd downs to this level is just absurd. Every single one of Colorado's six penalties, however, seemed to come at ridiculously inopportune times (including a Q2 ISU drive where CU ran into or roughed the kicker not once, but twice...), and ISU was able to hold on to the lead for dear life much longer than they deserved.
- If Chase Daniel doesn't rediscover his rhythm at Jack Trice Stadium this weekend, he may never find it.