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Missouri-Oklahoma: Beyond the Box Score

I think we're starting to figure some things out with the 'Beyond the Box Score' concept.  Mixing observation with some of these weird stats, we've begun to make some pretty astute observations about how a game might unfolded or will unfold.  In my BTBS preview last Thursday, I mentioned that there were three keys to a Mizzou victory at Owen Field.  They were...

1 - Withstand the first quarter OU surge (Q1 is by far OU's best quarter in success rate margin) and keep the game close enough to take advantage of the third quarter MU surge (Q3 is by far MU's best quarter).

2 - Win the turnover battle (the best success rate in the world won't help you if you can't keep from laying the ball on the ground or tossing it to the guys in the other jerseys).

3 - Avoid giving up the homerun (OU's offensive numbers--particularly line yards--suggested that their running game wasn't tremendously consistent, but their RB's were great at breaking the random 60-yarder...and in an amazing atmosphere like Owen Field, a crowd-pleaser like that might be too tough to overcome).

Well, despite the expected Q1 success rate advantage for OU, the score was just 10-7 after 15 minutes.  And safeties William Moore and Pig Brown (plus Brock Christopher) always made sure that a runner that got past the line wasn't able to break more than about a 12- to 15-yarder for most of the game.  So they succeeded on (1) and (3).  I suggested that getting two of three might put Mizzou into position to win unless they horribly failed on the third one.  Well, they horribly failed on turnover margin, and that was the difference in the game.

Click 'Full Story' for more.

Success Rate by Quarter

Note: after examining the success rates by down, I made some slight alterations to what quantifies as a 'successful' play.  First downs (success = 40% of your needed first down yardage) had a success rate around 51%, while second downs (success = 70% of your needed second down yardage) hovered around 42%.  Third and fourth downs (success = 100%) were around 44%.  I figure your odds for 'success' should be about the same on each down, so I upped the requirements on first down (to 50%) and slightly lowered the requirements on second down (to 65%).  Obviously for a third- or fourth-down play to be successful, you need to get the whole thing, so I couldn't alter that one.  These alterations created a situation where your likelihood for success on any down was between 43% and 45%...which works for me.  Not that you needed to know any of this, but I like to share.

Q1: Oklahoma 62.5%, Missouri 35.7%
Q2: Missouri 40.0%, Oklahoma 37.5%
Q3: Missouri 64.0%, Oklahoma 46.7%
Q4: Missouri 52.6%, Oklahoma 50.0%
TOTAL: Missouri 49.4%, Oklahoma 49.3%

(There was only one possession in which the scoring margin was not within 16 points (when Missouri drove for a late score down 41-24), so there is really no need to look at the success rates for close situations only.)

In the end, points are determined by turnovers, big plays, lucky bounces, etc., but success rate shows you how the teams matched up against each other in speed, physicality, etc., and if there was any doubt that Missouri belonged on the same field as Oklahoma, doubt no more.  They were right there.  However, turnovers count for something too, and as you know, turnovers doomed Mizzou.

QB Success Rate

As always, this looks at only situations in which the score was within 16 points or Daniel's flawless (and relatively worthless) final TD drive is not included here.

Chase Daniel: 44.9%
-- Run: 40.0%
-- Pass: 47.7%

Sam Bradford: 51.5%
-- Run: 48.4%
-- Pass: 54.3%

Sam Bradford won this battle, but I'd love for Chase to get another shot in December.

Run Success Rate

Tommy Saunders: 1-for-1 (100.0%)
Jeremy Maclin: 3-for-4 (75.0%)
Jimmy Jackson: 3-for-6 (50.0%)
Chase Daniel: 3-for-8 (37.5%)
Jared Perry: 0-for-1 (0.0%)
Derrick Washington: 0-for-2 (0.0%)
Earl Goldsmith: 0-for-3 (0.0%)
TOTAL: 10-for-25 (40.0%)
TOTAL, RB: 3-for-11 (27.3%)

I realize that Jimmy Jackson and Earl Goldsmith are almost identical in size and stature, but Jimmy Jackson really does run worlds better against strong defenses than Earl Goldsmith does.  Jackson's TD run was reminiscent of his first quarter TD run against Texas in '05.  He builds momentum faster, and really, as long as Jackson is healthy, then he should be ahead of Goldsmith on the depth chart.  He's done much more with his opportunities.  Of course, hopefully this is moot next week and Tony Temple is back to 100%.

Chris Brown = 8-for-13 (61.5%)
Allen Patrick = 5-for-11 (45.5%)
Demarco Murray = 0-for-4 (0.0%)
Sam Bradford = 1-for-2 (50.0%)
Juaquin Iglesias = 1-for-1 (100.0%)
TOTAL: 15-for-31 (48.4%)
TOTAL, RB: 13-for-28 (46.4%)

If you'd told me that we'd hold Patrick and Murray to a combined 5-for-15, I'd have been almost positive that we won the game...but Chris Brown was the difference-maker here.  Sam Bradford was almost flawless, but when OU needed yards, Brown got them.  He was OU's offensive MVP.

Receiver Success Rate

Tommy Saunders = 1-for-1 (100.0%)
Jimmy Jackson = 1-for-1 (100.0%)
Chase Coffman = 6-for-7 (85.7%)
Will Franklin = 5-for-6 (83.3%)
Jeremy Maclin = 3-for-4 (75.0%)
Martin Rucker = 3-for-5 (60.0%)
Danario Alexander = 2-for-5 (40.0%)
Earl Goldsmith = 0-for-1 (0.0%)
TOTAL: 21-for-30 (70.0%)
TOTAL, WR: 11-for-16 (68.8%)
TOTAL, TE: 9-for-12 (75.0%)
TOTAL, RB: 1-for-2 (50.0%)

Chris Brown = 2-for-2 (100.0%)
Joe Jon Finley = 0-for-2 (0.0%)
Jermaine Gresham = 2-for-4 (50.0%)
Juaquin Iglesias = 7-for-7 (100.0%)
Malcolm Kelly = 5-for-5 (100.0%)
Manuel Johnson = 2-for-2 (100.0%)
Demarco Murray = 1-for-2 (50.0%)
TOTAL: 19-for-24 (79.2%)
TOTAL, WR: 14-for-14 (100.0%)
TOTAL, TE: 2-for-6 (33.3%)
TOTAL, RB: 3-for-4 (75.0%)

This does show that OU uses their WR's in primarily downfield roles, whereas Mizzou often throws to theirs at the line of scrimmage.  It also shows that the WR's sustained the OU passing game, as the passes to the TE's were mainly ineffective, other than the TD pass to Gresham.  Iglesias was hit-or-miss all night, making a series of big plays but fumbling twice.

Line Yards and Sack Rate


Missouri: 25 rushes, 54 yards (2.16/carry)
Oklahoma: 32 rushes, 92.3 yards (2.88/carry)

Honestly, without Temple I was worried about Mizzou even reaching 2 per carry, but Jackson and Maclin did just enough to put the rushing game in the positive.  As for OU...this does reaffirm that the MU D-line played tremendously well, holding OU to <3 line yards per carry.  That's two straight games in which the MU D-line was active and involved, and hopefully that continues into the lesser portion of the schedule.</p>


1st-2nd downs: 3-for-31 (9.7%)
3rd-4th downs: 0-for-13 (0.0%)

1st-2nd downs: 1-for-26 (3.8%)
3rd-4th downs: 0-for-9 (0.0%)

Sam Bradford was just elusive enough to avoid a couple sacks from Stryker Sulak and Tommy Chavis, whereas Austin English was just strong enough to get to Chase Daniel a couple times.  I don't know if that made the difference in the game, but the 2nd quarter pressure from English and the OU D-line (not to mention the strong coverage from the DB's) allowed OU to build a 10-point lead before MU got rolling.

Defensive Success Rate

Defensive Line
Lorenzo Williams: 1.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (100.0%)
Ziggy Hood: 2.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (100.0%)
Stryker Sulak: 2.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (60.0%)
Tommy Chavis: 3.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (42.9%)
TOTAL: 9.0 tackles, 6.0 successful (66.7%)

In the last two games, Mizzou's D-Line has been this close to making some great plays.  For Mizzou to take the North, they need to start closing the deal.  They've improved, but they need to improve more now.

Brock Christopher: 8.5 tackles, 6.0 successful (70.6%)
Sean Weatherspoon: 7.0 tackles, 4.5 successful (64.3%)
TOTAL: 15.5 tackles, 10.5 successful (67.7%)

Van Alexander was around the ball a lot, but he just couldn't quite make the big play.  That's disappointing after his strong NU performance.  Luke Lambert is still waiting in the wings, so Van needs to play at a pretty high level.  That said, Christopher and Weatherspoon were both quite always.

Defensive Backs
William Moore: 4.0 tackles, 1.5 successful (37.5%)
Carl Gettis: 3.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (33.3%)
Pig Brown: 7.0 tackles, 2.0 successful (28.6%)
Castine Bridges: 4.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (22.2%)
Justin Garrett: 3.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
Darnell Terrell: 2.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
Paul Simpson: 1.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 24.5 tackles, 5.5 successful (22.4%)

Darnell Terrell did a strong job on Malcolm Kelly for much of the game, plus he recovered a fumble.  However the corners were only average, whereas the safeties--Pig Brown's crushing dropped INT aside--played wonderfully in preventing the homerun and making OU sustain their drives as much as possible.

Turnover Costliness

Oklahoma1: Q1, 13:17, tied at 0 (Iglesias fumble): 4 points
Missouri1: Q1, 1:58, tied at 7 (D.J. Wolfe INT): 5 points
Missouri2: Q3, 12:18, OU up 17-10 (Reggie Smith INT of Maclin): 3 points
Oklahoma2: Q3, 4:41, OU up 23-17 (Iglesias fumble): 3 points
Missouri3: Q4, 11:40, OU up 29-24 (fumbled exchange returned for TD): 5 points
Missouri4: Q4, 4:15, OU up 35-24 (Nic Harris INT): 5 points

Oklahoma Total: 2 turnovers, 7 points
Missouri Total: 4 turnovers, 18 points

As you have concluded if you watched the game and had two healthy eyes (or even just one), turnovers were the difference in this game.  Not only did Mizzou have two more turnovers, but their turnovers were more costly as well, with three coming from inside the Mizzou 20, one of which was returned for a touchdown.  They lost the 'costliness' battle by 11 points...and the game by 10.

Statistical MVPs

Offense: Two Tigers made 6 successful plays each--Chase Coffman and Jeremy Maclin (who also had a lovely kickoff return).  I almost penalized Maclin for his part in two Tiger turnovers (he failed to look back for the ball in the Q1 interception, and he failed to notice that Daniel's handoff had bounced off of him in the game-turning Q4 fumble), but a) both of those turnovers were just as much Daniel's fault as Maclin's, and b) Maclin scored two of Mizzou's three TD's.  It's hard to penalize him too much.  As a whole, the Mizzou offense seemed to succeed and fail equally, but Jeremy Maclin was the standout.

Defense: I loved how the D-line played against the rush, but they failed to sustain much of a pass rush.  I loved how Pig Brown succeeded in his 'last line of defense' role, but that dropped INT was just a killer.  In the end, Brock Christopher made 6 successful plays and was, as usual, the steadiest player on the Mizzou defense.