Mizzou-Nevada: Beyond the Box Score

I have this done already, so I may as well post the BTBS a day early.

Another week, another set of mind-blowing BTBS numbers for the Mizzou offense.  But notice this too: against Texas Tech, Nevada put up a 0.779 S&P and 26.88 EqPts.  Against Mizzou, those numbers were 0.666 S&P and 19.97 EqPts.  So while Mizzou and Tech gave up roughly the same number of actual points, Mizzou's defense performed better as a whole.  And it's performing incrementally better each week.

To the numbers we go!  And for The Beef, I'm once again bolding the key points.  You're welcome.

Missouri


Nevada

% Close = 29.5%
TOTAL
65 Plays 84
48.55 EqPts 19.97
55.4% Success Rate 42.9%
0.75 Points Per Play (PPP) 0.24
1.301 S&P (Success + PPP) 0.666
CLOSE GAME ONLY
26 Plays 18
22.60 EqPts 6.15
57.7% Success Rate 55.6%
0.87 PPP 0.34
1.446 S&P 0.897
RUSHING
12.13 EqPts 9.66
31.0% Success Rate 48.8%
0.42 PPP 0.22
0.729 S&P 0.713
PASSING
36.42 EqPts 10.31
75.0% Success Rate 36.6%
1.01 PPP 0.25
1.762 S&P 0.617
NON-PASSING DOWNS
56.0% Success Rate 50.9%
0.75 PPP 0.30
1.309 S&P 0.811
PASSING DOWNS
53.3% Success Rate 25.9%
0.74 PPP 0.10
1.273 S&P 0.360
TURNOVERS
0 Number 1
0.00 Points Lost ** 1.18
0.00 Points Given *** 7.00
0.00 Total T/O Pts 8.18
+8.18 Turnover Pts Margin -8.18

Notice how quickly Mizzou put this out of reach.  Less than 30% of the game was played in "close" circumstances--that's almost as low as it was against SEMO last week.  Against Mizzou, you're under such pressure to score and score early that one mistake can feel like having your serve broken by Pete Sampras--you just don't know how you're going to make up the distance you've just given up on the scoreboard.

Mizzou Passing (in order by points)

Chase Daniel: 28.20 EqPts, 82.1% success rate (GOOD GOD), 1.01 PPP, 1.829 S&P
Chase Patton: 4.08 EqPts, 50.0%, 1.02 PPP, 1.520 S&P
Blaine Gabbert: 0.37 EqPts, 33.3%, 0.12 PPP, 0.455 S&P

  • 82.1% success rate for Chase Daniel.  EIGHTY-TWO POINT ONE PERCENT SUCCESS RATE.  GOOD GOD.  And for the second straight week, Mizzou averaged over 1 point per pass.  Every time the ball leaves Chase Daniel's arm, that's another point on the scoreboard.
  • Patton occasionally unleashes a pretty bad ball, but you can't complain with a 1.520 S&P from the second-string guy.
  • I do wish we would run the full playbook when Gabbert's in the game.  I want to see what his touch is on the downfield passes.  We're getting so unbelievably spoiled with Daniel's touch on the 20-yard passes.

Mizzou Rushing (in order by points)

Derrick Washington: 7.63 EqPts, 1.58 S&P
Chase Patton: 1.61 EqPts (on 1 carry)
De'Vion Moore: 1.39 EqPts, 0.339 S&P
Chase Daniel: 0.47 EqPts (on 1 carry)
Blaine Gabbert: 0.34 EqPts (on 1 carry)
Jeremy Maclin: 0.28 EqPts, 0.139 S&P
Jimmy Jackson: 0.20 EqPts, 0.065 S&P
Danario Alexander: 0.10 EqPts (on 1 carry)
Tyron Reece: 0.12 EqPts (on 1 carry)
Shaun Scott: -0.01 EqPts (on 1 carry)

  • Derrick Washington was once again outstanding, putting up a 62.5% success rate and 1.58 S&P.
  • Unfortunately, the rest of the Tigers put up only a 19.0% success rate and 0.404 S&P.  A lot of this was due to the high percentage of junk time carries, but still...aside from Washington's big run, the running game really never took off.  One carry skews the numbers, but it's still something I'd like to see improve against Buffalo.
  • De'Vion Moore had a forgettable game but still looked pretty hard to bring down.

The passing game, on the other hand, was near perfect.

Mizzou Receiving (in order by points)

Jeremy Maclin: 14.42 EqPts, 3.40 S&P
Chase Coffman: 9.56 EqPts, 2.59 S&P
Jared Perry: 7.84 EqPts, 2.31 S&P
Tommy Saunders: 3.72 EqPts, 1.62 S&P
Derrick Washington: 0.38 EqPts (on 1 catch)
Jon Gissinger: 0.37 EqPts (on 1 catch)
Danario Alexander: 0.15 EqPts (on 1 catch)

  • Every single reception resulted in a "successful" play.  That's crazy.  The combination of efficiency and aggressiveness being shown by the Mizzou passing game right now is damn near unprecedented.
  • 14.42 EqPts from one guy?  Really?  That's four more EqPts than all Nevada receivers managed combined.
  • When your "possession" receivers (Perry, Saunders) are putting up 1.62 and 2.31 S&P's and going for close to 100 yards each, you know you can do no wrong.
  • I re-watched most of the game yesterday, and I actually think Danario Alexander is 100% healthy, or damn close.  He's never been the most agile of runners, but on the reverse--his first touch of '08--he was running like the rigid-but-powerful colt I remembered from '07.  Plus, he didn't look gimpy on his one catch or the other two plays in which he was the target (the pass interference call in the endzone, and the inside screen he dropped).  He needs to get some more game action to get back his feel for the game, but I'm not too concerned about his health.
  • I'd like to have seen the freshmen get involved again, but oh well I guess.

Mizzou Defense - Successful Tackles

Sean Weatherspoon - 6.5
William Moore - 3.0
Will Ebner - 2.5
Stryker Sulak - 2.5
Luke Lambert - 2.0
Jaron Baston - 1.5
Tommy Chavis - 1.5
Brock Christopher - 1.5

Mizzou Defense - % of plays made by...

Defensive Line: 12.0 total tackles, 75.0% success rate (19.0% of total tackles)
Linebackers: 21.5 total tackles, 62.8% success rate (34.1% of total tackles)
Defensive Backs: 29.5 total tackles, 22.0% success rate (46.8% of total tackles)

  • Weatherspoon was all over the freaking field, especially considering he missed a couple tackles.  But what, he couldn't come up with another Pick Six?  What the hell, Sean?
  • Will Ebner continues to make big plays in limited playing time.  Hell, I'm starting to wonder if he's our third-best LB at this point.
  • The lack of sacks in the last two games is almost starting to concern me, but the D-line is still making plays, so I'm not worried yet.  And it's a lot of people making plays--Sulak, Baston, Chavis, Hood, Jacquies Smith, Chris Earnhardt, and Terrell Resonno all had a hand in a successful tackle.
  • A word about unit success rates: as a whole, anything over 75% is good for the DL, anything over 60% is good for the LBs, and anything over about 25% is good for the DBs.  So by that, the front seven played quite well and made quite a few plays.  If we were to take pass breakups into account, I'm pretty sure the DBs would grade out pretty well too.
  • A word about the % of tackles by unit: I like to see the DL making 25% or so of the defense's tackles, but it's hard to quantify being that, if they're occupying blockers and the LBs are making quality tackles, then the D-line still did its job.  So instead we'll say this: as a whole, you'd like to see your front seven making at least 55-60% of the overall tackles.  Mizzou's front seven only accounted for about 53% of the overall tackles, but considering how close William Moore's been playing to the line, you could almost throw him into the "front seven" mix.  Bottom line is, Nevada put up 488 yards against Texas Tech and only 362 against Mizzou.  Take away the inexcuseable TD on the last play of the first half, and that number drops to 320 yards, which would be pretty outstanding against Nevada and Colin Kaepernick.
  • Another thing that's almost starting to concern me: we're not forcing as many turnovers as I expected to see.  It's probably not an actual problem by any means.  I mean, 1) our #1 turnover maker (William Moore) has been hobbled, 2) we're making the turnovers we do force count (3 defensive TDs in 3 weeks), 3) we're not turning the ball over at all (KNOCK ON WOOD), and 4) five takeaways in three games certainly isn't bad.  My own high goals expected a little more, is all.

Summary

Only 4 times in 2007 did somebody produce as high a Passing S&P as Mizzou did on Saturday: Toledo (against Northern Illinois), Clemson (against Central Michigan), Florida (against Western Kentucky) and Oklahoma (against North Texas).  Nevada doesn't have a great defense, but it's needless to say their defensive unit is more capable and talented than the 2007 versions of those teams above, especially after what they did to Texas Tech last week. 

The rushing game left a bit to be desired after Washington's first carry, but the passing game is simply unconscious right now.  My mom actually asked me on the phone yesterday if they're peaking too early.  I said it's a smidgen of a concern, but overall nobody really seems to be playing over their heads.  It's just "read, react, rack up the yards" right now, and I have no reason to believe they won't continue playing above their 2007 level the rest of the season.  Which is an unbelievably scary thought.

As for the defense, things are beginning to look up.  If not for the mini-Hail Mary at the end of Q2, there really wouldn't be anything to complain about; but honestly, that play may have been a good thing because the defense played pissed off in the second half and completely shut down a pretty solid offense.  Buffalo has a decent offense with a decent QB (the awesomely-named Drew Willy), but they don't have the big-play capability that Nevada has.  If Mizzou plays at its current level, the Bulls will be lucky to score the 17 that Nevada did.  And if the defense continues to improve incrementally, then I'll be surprised to see Buffalo cross into double digits.

As we've been saying the last couple of days, soak this in, Mizzou fans.  On Football Outsiders the other day, a Tennessee fan told me that he doesn't feel like he soaked in and enjoyed UT's 1996-99 run enough.  We all expect Mizzou to win at a pretty strong level after this year, but we may never see another offense that can do what this offense is doing right now.  Appreciate Chase Daniel, appreciate Jeremy Maclin, appreciate Chase Coffman, and take in every minute of this.  Don't start looking ahead to Nebraska or Texas or Kansas or (cross your fingers) OU at Arrowhead just yet--there's too much to enjoy in the meantime.

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