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Quantifying the Pig Brown injury...

I figured since I have "Points Per Play" at my disposal, I could use it to look at how much Pig Brown's injury might hurt us.

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I've been using Points Per Play for evaluation of the offense, but I hadn't really applied it to defense yet.  Here are the 'Points Per Play' for tackles made by Mizzou defenders (obviously the lower the better).  This post is about Pig, but on the off-chance somebody wanted to see them all, I'm posting them all.  I'm a benevolant stat nerd.

Defensive Line
Lorenzo Williams: minus-0.09
Charles Gaines: 0.02
Stryker Sulak: 0.02
Jaysen Corbett: 0.05
Ziggy Hood: 0.08
Tommy Chavis: 0.14
Jaron Baston: 0.16
John Stull: 0.22
Tyler Crane: 0.28

Van Alexander: 0.19
Brock Christopher: 0.20
Sean Weatherspoon: 0.26
Luke Lambert: 0.33
Steve Redmond: 0.52

Defensive Backs
Paul Simpson: 0.25
Castine Bridges: 0.32
Pig Brown: 0.40
Carl Gettis: 0.43
William Moore: 0.49
Hardy Ricks: 0.50
Darnell Terrell: 0.53
Justin Garrett: 0.58
Del Howard: 0.58

Now...this doesn't take into account the number of tackles a Pig Brown replacement might miss that Pig would have made--there's obviously no way to quantify that.  There's also no way to measure the plays Pig's replacements won't make simply by not making reads as well.  But of the plays they've actually made, Garrett & Howard both average about 0.18 PPP more than Pig.  Over the course of 7-10 tackles a game, that suggests that the loss of Pig means offenses will score about 1.5-2.0 more EqPts per game.

Now let's take success rate into account...

Success Rates
Pig Brown: 41.5%
Del Howard: 36.4%
Justin Garret: 29.4%
Delstin Garward: ~33.3%

So over the course of 100 plays, Pig Brown makes about 8 more 'successful' plays than the combination of Howard and Garrett...or very roughly, 1 per game.  That extra play could keep a drive alive, but overall I don't think we can assign more than about 1 point per game to that.

So basically the loss of Pig Brown is worth 2.5 to 3 points a game.  Lucky for Mizzou, they don't seem to play in games that close, win or lose.  But coming down the stretch, with two challenging road games and a possible winner-take-all matchup with KU at the end of the year, you really don't want to be saddled with that handicap.  My BTBS numbers came up with a 28-23 prediction for MU-CU this Saturday.  Taking this into account, that could be more like 28-26 or 27-24...and more like a game where one lucky (or unlucky) bounce could decide things...that's a situation we don't want.  Guess we'll see on Saturday.  Cross your fingers.