Mizzou-Buffalo: Beyond the Box Score

We're trying out a couple of new figures today...please try to contain your excitement...

Missouri


Buffalo

% Close = 81.21%
63.5% Field Position % *
36.5%
82.4% Leverage % **
65.3%
TOTAL
74 Plays 75
39.41 EqPts 18.59
67.6% Success Rate 36.0%
0.53 Points Per Play (PPP) 0.25
1.208 S&P (Success + PPP) 0.608
CLOSE GAME ONLY
66 Plays 55
37.93 EqPts 14.84
69.7% Success Rate 34.5%
0.57 PPP 0.27
1.272 S&P 0.615
RUSHING
13.05 EqPts 3.41
62.1% Success Rate 29.0%
0.45 PPP 0.11
1.071 S&P 0.400
3.68 Line Yards/carry

1.45

PASSING
26.36 EqPts 15.19
71.1% Success Rate 40.9%
0.59 PPP 0.35
1.297 S&P 0.754
NON-PASSING DOWNS
72.1% Success Rate 42.9%
0.58 PPP 0.28
1.297 S&P 0.709
PASSING DOWNS
46.2% Success Rate 23.1%
0.33 PPP 0.19
0.792 S&P 0.417
TURNOVERS
3 Number 2
9.23 Points Lost 6.95
4.47 Points Given 2.92
13.70 Total T/O Pts 9.87
-3.83 Turnover Pts Margin +3.83

* Field Position % = an attempt to get at the field position battle.  This basically says that there were a total of 74 plays run in opponents' field position, and Mizzou ran 63.5% of them (47) to Buffalo's 36.5% (27).

** Leverage % = the % of a team's total plays that were Non-Passing Downs.  Mizzou ran 74 total plays, and 61 of them were Non-Passing Downs.  61/74 = 82.4%.  The higher the number, the better an offense was at staying out of Passing Downs and awkward situations.

So what do these numbers tell us?  Basically the same thing that our eyes did--that Mizzou statistically dominated, but Buffalo was good at a) holding onto the ball (75 plays was more than I thought they ran...especially considering how generally unsuccessful they were) and b) ripping the ball out of Mizzou's hands.  Kenji Jackson's game-ending INT helped Mizzou in the Turnover Points Margin, but in the end turnovers kept the Fightin' Turner Gills in the game.

One thing our eyes may not have seen was just how unsuccessful Buffalo was at running the ball.  They had some success with the toss sweeps at times, but let's just say that anytime Mizzou allows a 0.400 S&P on the ground, I'll take it.  Buffalo was just good enough at passing to move the chains, but their lack of big-play potential (sans the one long TD on the double-move) killed them.  To beat Mizzou you have to a) force turnovers and b) put up as many easy points as possible.  Buffalo succeeded at (a), but not at (b), and that's why they still lost by 21.

One more thing: a 67.6% success rate is just sick.  To date, Mizzou's been both efficient and explosive.  Buffalo tackled wonderfully, and that limited Mizzou's explosiveness (even Mizzou's biggest gain--the bomb to Tommy Saunders--was shorter than it could have been because of good tackling), but they could do nothing to Mizzou's efficiency.  Efficiency was why Tim Tebow ran away with the Heisman last year, and it's why Chase Daniel is threatening to do the same (though granted, we're only one-third through the regular season).

Rushing

Derrick Washington: 7.12 EqPts (66.7% success rate, 1.062 S&P)
Jeremy Maclin: 3.54 EqPts (on 2 carries)
Jimmy Jackson: 1.43 EqPts (on 3 carries)
Chase Daniel: 0.68 EqPts (25.0% success rate, 0.420 S&P)
De'Vion Moore: 0.28 EqPts (on 2 carries)

  • Again, Buffalo limited Mizzou's explosiveness, but Washington was still efficient as hell.

Receiving

Jeremy Maclin: 8.41 EqPts (92.9% success rate, 1.529 S&P)
Chase Coffman: 6.52 EqPts (80.0% success rate, 1.452 S&P)
Tommy Saunders: 4.88 EqPts (100% success rate, 2.220 S&P)
Danario Alexander: 3.43 EqPts (on 1 catch)
Derrick Washington: 1.24 EqPts (100% success rate, 1.413 S&P)
Jared Perry: 0.97 EqPts (on 2 catches)
Andrew Jones: 0.91 EqPts (on 2 catches)

  • My one qualm here (aside from the fumbles): not enough action for the freshmen.  Andrew Jones is already proficient at the 8-yard underneath pass, and a reliable option like that is going to be important when we hand the keys to Blaine Gabbert next year, but the WRs--Jackson, Egnew, Kemp--have seen the field, but haven't seen any balls their way in the last two weeks.  It's clear who Chase Daniel is most comfortable throwing the ball to, and I guess if teams aren't going to sell out to take the ball out of Maclin and Coffman's hands, then it's hard to complain about them getting pass after pass.  But I do hope that at least one of the freshmen--probably Jackson--works his way into Daniel's rotation.

Defense

Successful Tackles

Sean Weatherspoon - 7.0 (0.5 sack)
Brock Christopher - 5.5
Ziggy Hood - 2.0 (2 sacks)
Castine Bridges - 2.0 (0.5 sack)
Tommy Chavis - 1.5 (1 sack)
Kenji Jackson - 1.5 (1 INT)
Hardy Ricks - 1.5
Stryker Sulak - 1.0
Terrell Resonno - 1.0

% of plays made by...

Defensive Line: 22.1%
Linebackers: 42.3%
Secondary: 35.6%

  • Anytime your secondary is making less than 40% of your tackles, your opponent probably isn't scoring many points.  That's some crazy-good work by the LBs.
  • Brock Christopher picked the wrong time to have a great game--he was completely overshadowed by 'Spoon.
  • Way to prove yourself, Kenji Jackson.  I'm going out on a limb and predicting you to be a 3-year starter.
  • Castine Bridges played well--he made some nice run-support tackles, got himself half a sack, and didn't get burned deep--that was Kevin Rutland, who didn't do much of anything against UB.
  • Ziggy Hood is becoming more disruptive by the week.

Summary

Not sure what else to say here.  The defense played well, the offense put up good numbers...this was a total blowout without the fumbles.  And even with the fumble explosion, Mizzou's still only averaging one fumble per game.  And nobody's fumbled twice.  (And knock on wood*, but the biggest "holding onto the ball" question mark coming into the season--Derrick Washington--has yet to lay the ball on the ground.)

* Seriously, knock on wood.  Right now.  Do it.

In other words, unless it happens again, I'm fully confident in calling this a "stuff happens" kind of game.  And anytime you can win a "stuff happens" game by 3 TDs, you're doing alright. 

This obviously wasn't quite as statistically dominant a performance as the Nevada game was, and Mizzou still managed to give up one deep ball, which is a smidge disconcerting, but the overall defensive numbers have rounded into shape quite well.  'Spoon is playing himself into the first two rounds of the draft, Brock Christopher is as good a 'second fiddle' LB as there is in the Big 12, teams still can't throw at Carl Gettis, Ziggy Hood is improving, Tommy Chavis continues to be the most underrated defensive player in the Big 12 North...oh yeah, and some guy named William Moore should be almost totally healthy in two weeks.  I have two nagging complaints, which really isn't many: 1) I'll say it again--we're still giving up one deep ball a game, and 2) Stryker Sulak has more or less disappeared since the Illinois game--it's time for him to step up once again.

This is the perfect time for a bye week.  Time to rest, work on fumbling and secondary communication, get healthy, and prepare for the fact that Nebraska is going to give us 100% of what they've got in two weeks.

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