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Mizzou-KSU: Beyond the Box Score

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There's a whole mess of good stuff here.  First of all, I'd like to point out that the EqPts formula I've mentioned from time to time absolutely nailed last week's games (scroll to the end...apparently the formula is so good, that it predicted Sam Bradford's injury).  It predicted MU by 17 (bingo), Tech by 4 (Tech won by 7), KU by 23 (KU won by 38...but I beat the spread!), and OSU by 23 (OSU won by 31...again, a nice cover).  So you have absolutely no reason whatsoever to even remotely doubt my numbers.  Are you listening, Beef??  That's what I thought.

Anyhoo...

(BTBS GLOSSARY)

...let's take a look at last week's Game Keys.

Game Key #1: First Quarter.  It's a no-brainer to say that Q1 is important, but...well, it is.  And here's why: neither team has done a solid job of establishing itself in Q1 recently (i.e. in November).  Mizzou treads water, while K-State just gets blown out of said water.  As you'll see below in the Home/Road splits, KSU has done a good job of dictating the tempo and taking control early at home, but it's yet to be seen just how much the debacle of the last two weeks (both road games) will affect them.  They can't let this game get away from them early.

Q1 Success Rate: KSU 47.6%, Mizzou 35.7%.  One bullet dodged for K-State.

Click 'Full Story' for more.

Game Key #2: Second Quarter.  Right now, you're saying "Lemme guess, Game Key #3 is the third quarter, right?  And Game Key #4 is the fourth quarter.  Why am I reading this?"  Fair point.  I'm not sure why anybody reads these (actually, I don't know if anybody does or not).  But as you'll see in the home/road splits, the tide begins to turn in Q2.  

Mizzou doesn't get its footing very quickly on the road (and the emotion of Senior Day might continue that in Manhattan), but when it does, it doesn't really let go of it.  KSU must not only establish itself in Q1, it must avoid letting go in Q2.

Mizzou 47.4%, KSU 41.2%.  This started to slip away from KSU a bit, but their plodding, length-of-the-field FG drive late in the quarter offset the damage and kept them in the game.

Game Key #3: Third Quarter.  Just kidding.  It's actually third downs.  Pretty sure this is a key every week, but that makes sense, doesn't it?  KSU has a good third-down defense, but Mizzou is devastatingly effective in third downs...to the tune of "best in the country".  ATM was good at stopping third downs, but Mizzou still converted 60%.

But third downs are key on the flipside too--it's KSU's worst offensive down.  Put Josh Freeman in positions where he needs to make a play, and he struggles.  And if they go three-and-out a couple times, this game's over fast.

3rd down success rates: KSU 55.6%, Mizzou 36.4%.  KSU not only dodged this bullet, but they made it a bullet of their own.  You can start to see why KSU was able to make this a game for a while.

Game Key #4: James Johnson.  Jordy Nelson's going to get his catches and yards (he's averaging damn near 10 catches a game)--it's inevitable.  What is at least somewhat, uhh, evitable, is KSU's success running the ball.  I do not have much faith in Josh Freeman's arm, even with a stud receiver like Nelson; my strategy would be to do whatever possible to stuff the run and force the pass.  Again, three-and-outs will be deadly for KSU.  A couple nice stuffs early, and Mizzou could be cruising.  We know how well KSU can run the ball at times if it wants to--both Johnson and Patton went over 100 yards against us last year.  Granted, Patton's been rendered ineffective, but Johnson's been sturdy and dependable, and if you listen to K-State fans, he hasn't touched the ball enough.

Patton was totally ineffective--looked like a shell of the player we saw in Columbia last year--and Nelson did almost nothing until the game was salted away in Q4.  As for Johnson...22 carries, 11.16 EqPts, 0.51 PPP, 40.9% success rate (plus another 0.95 EqPts receiving).  His EqPt total is fantastic, though his low success rate shows that a lot of those points must have come in just a few carries.  Sure enough...his 66-yard TD run was worth 5.39 points.  Take that away, and he only averaged 0.27 PPP.  In other words, Mizzou did a better job against Johnson than you probably think, especially considering Johnson was averaging 0.45 PPP and 53.8% for the season.

Game Key #5: Sacks.  It's the only way K-State stays in the game.  The Mizzou O-line had two breakdowns last week.  Overall, two isn't a bad number, but one of them was on third down, and the other caused a fumble.  KSU's DE corps is better than ATM's, so the MU OL had better come to play.

Sacks: Mizzou 4, K-State 2.  Overall K-State sack rate: 4.8%.  Not bad, but not good enough...especially considering both sacks came on the same drive, and Mizzou was up 17 at the time.

Game Key #6: Pig Brown's replacements.  Justin Garrett played pretty well against the run last week, but Del Howard had probably his worst performance as a Tiger.  He had a silly late hit penalty on McGee and missed at least two tackles that resulted in big gains.  KSU throws too much, but they throw better than ATM does, and Howard/Garrett (Deltin Garward?) will be tested again.

On This Week in Mizzou Football Sunday, Pinkel mentioned that Johnson's long TD run came to fruition due to an out-of-position safety.  Justin Garrett did force a fumble, and I can't remember Del Howard missing any tackles quite as badly as he did against ATM, but that was a huge, momentum-turning play, and it was the safety's job to stop it.  (Of course, if pass interference had been called on the KSU DB who tackled Coffman on 4th down, this play probably wouldn't have happened...or if it did, it wouldn't have mattered nearly as much.  Not that I'm still bitter.)  In all, though, I guess the fact that Jordy Nelson was shut down entirely while the game was being decided in Q3 is a point for the secondary as a whole, and that rubs off well on Deltin Garward.

Game Key #7: Since I don't have special teams listed on here, I'll just create a space for this one.  By my count, KSU has four kick/punt return TDs this year.  Their offense seems to get less explosive by the week, but their return game is all sorts of dangerous.  Be it Leon Patton or James Johnson returning kickoffs, or Jordy Nelson/Deon Murphy returning punts, they can all take it to the house.  Hopefully Nelson's minor injury last week means Murphy has PR duties.  He's dangerous, but he's also much more likely go have a return gone awry.  

Maybe KSU can't keep up with Mizzou offensively, but if they get free points from the return game, it could swing momentum pretty well.

Mizzou special teams: 1 KR TD, 2 blocked PATs
K-State special teams: 1 blocked punt TD, another TD set up on a punt return to the Mizzou 13.

Thanks to Maclin and the combined PAT blocks of Sulak and Chavis, this unit didn't hurt Mizzou nearly as much as it could have.  But many Mizzou fans are having nightmares over the current punting situation.  In a game sans blocked kicks and long returns, Mizzou probably holds the advantage over KU.  Special teams could make such a difference Saturday.

So all in all, I'll pat myself on the back for identifying some important keys there (and pretend that I was the only one to mention those things) and move on to the stats...

Success Rate by Quarter

ALL PLAYS

Q1: KSU 47.6%, Mizzou 35.7%
Q2: Mizzou 47.4%, KSU 41.2%
Q3: Mizzou 46.2%, KSU 31.3%
Q4: Mizzou 58.8%, KSU 42.1%
TOTAL: Mizzou 47.4%, KSU 41.1%

CLOSE GAME ONLY

Q1: KSU 47.6%, Mizzou 35.7%
Q2: Mizzou 47.4%, KSU 41.2%
Q3: Mizzou 60.0%, KSU 33.3%
Q4: Mizzou 55.6%, KSU 0.0%
TOTAL: Mizzou 50.0%, KSU 40.4%

The defense caught a little crap--somewhat justifiably--but in all, team's just aren't going to beat Mizzou with a 40.4% 'close game' success rate.  And once again, Mizzou completely dominated in Q3...

Success Rate by Down

1st: Mizzou 45.9%, KSU 36.7%
2nd: Mizzou 53.8%, KSU 36.0%
3rd: KSU 55.6%, Mizzou 36.4%
4th: Mizzou 50.0%, KSU N/A
TOTAL: Mizzou 47.4%, KSU 41.1%

Some utterly baffling third down stats there...the direct opposite of what I would have predicted.  But the downfield threat of Nelson opened up the underneath passes, as KSU TEs had 7 catches and KSU RBs had 4.  Plus, most of Deon Murphy's catches were underneath as well.  The downfield passing game wasn't there, however.

QB Success Rate

Mizzou

CHASE DANIEL
-- Run: 46.7% (all plays), 48.0% (close plays only)
-- Pass: 50.0% (all plays), 52.8% (close plays only)
-- TOTAL: 48.6% (all plays), 50.8% (close plays only)

Kansas State

JOSH FREEMAN
-- Run: 35.7% (all plays), 40.9% (close plays only)
-- Pass: 44.4% (all plays), 40.0% (close plays only)
-- TOTAL: 41.1% (all plays), 40.4% (close plays only)

Run Success Rate and PPP

Mizzou
Tony Temple: 16 carries, 6.17 EqPts, 0.39 PPP, 43.8% success rate
Jimmy Jackson: 5 carries, 1.64 EqPts, 0.33 PPP, 60.0%
Derrick Washington: 3 carries, 0.79 EqPts, 0.26 PPP, 66.7%
Chase Daniel: 5 carries, 0.67 EqPts, 0.13 PPP, 20.0%
Danario Alexander: 1 carry, 0.61 EqPts, 100.0%
Jeremy Maclin: 2 carries, 0.43 EqPts, 0.22 PPP, 50.0%
Chase Patton: 1 carry, minus-0.10 EqPts, 0.0%
TOTAL: 33 carries, 10.19 EqPts, 0.31 PPP, 45.5%

The solid PPP combined with the shaky success rate perfectly exemplifies Tony Temple's running style.  When he has a successful run, it's quite successful.  But he dances too much to be successful a good chunk of the time.  Would be interesting to see how much he improved if given the med redshirt.

Kansas State
James Johnson: 22 carries, 11.16 EqPts, 0.51 PPP, 40.9%
Josh Freeman: 2 carries, 0.88 EqPts, 0.44 PPP, 50.0%
Leon Patton: 4 carries, 0.21 EqPts, 0.05 PPP, 0.0%
TOTAL: 28 carries, 12.25 EqPts, 0.44 PPP, 35.7%

Johnson and Patton combined for a 34.6% success rate.  That stat alone tells you why Mizzou won by 17.  Yes, Johnson busted the one long TD, but over the course of the game, they couldn't rely on rushing to move the ball, and that made the difference.

Receiver Success Rate and PPP

Mizzou
Jeremy Maclin: 9 catches, 11.52 EqPts, 1.28 PPP, 88.9%
Martin Rucker: 4 catches, 4.06 EqPts, 1.02 PPP, 100.0%
Tommy Saunders: 5 catches, 3.76 EqPts, 0.75 PPP, 40.0%
Jared Perry: 1 catch, 1.40 EqPts, 100.0%
Chase Coffman: 2 catches, 0.98 EqPts, 0.49 PPP, 100.0%
Jason Ray: 2 catches, 0.98 EqPts, 0.49 PPP, 100.0%
Will Franklin: 1 catch, 0.48 EqPts, 100.0%
Danario Alexander: 3 catches, 0.34 EqPts, 0.11 PPP, 33.3%
Derrick Washington: 1 catch, 0.05 EqPts, 0.0%
TOTAL: 28 catches, 23.57 EqPts, 0.84 PPP, 75.0%

The 75% success rate (overall, low for this team) shows that KSU was decent at taking away the deep ball (Maclin's second TD aside).  Chase had to settle for short routes, and while his numbers still ended up quite strong, KSU was successful in this regard.

And by the way, I do love how the entire team seems to be adopting the Rucker-esque "finds being tackled a personal offense" style of running.  I can remember Rucker, Coffman, Saunders, and Ray all carrying tacklers toward the first down marker at different times...KU's got some physical LBs, but we've got physical receivers, so they won't get any sort of advantage there.

Kansas State
Jordy Nelson: 8 catches, 6.50 EqPts, 0.81 PPP, 75.0%
Ernie Pierce: 1 catch, 2.99 EqPts, 100.0%
Jeron Mastrud: 4 catches, 2.39 EqPts, 0.60 PPP, 100.0%
Deon Murphy: 6 catches, 2.25 EqPts, 0.38 PPP, 66.7%
Michael Pooschke: 3 catches, 1.39 EqPts, 0.46 PPP, 66.7%
James Johnson: 3 catches, 0.95 EqPts, 0.32 PPP, 66.7%
Leon Patton: 1 catch, 0.05 EqPts, 100.0%
TOTAL: 26 catches, 16.52 EqPts, 0.64 PPP, 76.9%

Line Yards and Sack Rate

Mizzou
Line Yards: 34 carries, 89.2 line yards (2.62 LY/carry)
Sack Rate (Non-Passing Downs): 28 pass attempts, 1 sack (3.6%)
Sack Rate (Passing Downs): 14 pass attempts, 1 sack (7.1%)

Kansas State
Line Yards: 28 carries, 96 line yards (3.43 LY/carry)
Sack Rate (Non-Passing Downs): 25 pass attempts, 3 sacks (12.0%)
Sack Rate (Passing Downs): 20 pass attempts, 1 sack (5.0%)

The Mizzou D-Line seemed to simultaneously have a great game and a bad one.  KSU's 3.43 LY/carry was way too high, but...

Defensive Success Rates

Defensive Line
Lorenzo Williams: 3.0 tackles, 3.0 successful (100.0%)
Tommy Chavis: 1.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (100.0%)
Ziggy Hood: 1.5 tackles, 1.5 successful (100.0%)
Stryker Sulak: 2.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (40.0%)
Jaron Baston: 1.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (100.0%)
Charles Gaines: 1.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (100.0%)
TOTAL: 10.5 tackles, 9.0 successful (85.7%)

...the 85.7% success rate (and two blocked kicks) was fantastic.  In all, it appears that the D-Line didn't make enough plays (as exemplified by the '20.6% of all plays' figure below), but the plays they did make were quite good.  Kind of a give-and-take there...

Linebackers
Sean Weatherspoon: 11.0 tackles, 6.5 successful (59.1%)
Brock Christopher: 4.0 tackles, 1.5 successful (37.5%)
Luke Lambert: 1.5 tackles, 1.0 successful (66.7%)
Van Alexander: 1.0 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 17.5 tackles, 9.0 successful (51.4%)

Oh where, oh where has Brock Christopher gone...oh wherrrrrrre, oh where can he beeeee...HELLUVA game by 'Spoon, though.

Defensive Backs
William Moore: 7.0 tackles, 3.0 successful (42.9%)
Darnell Terrell: 7.5 tackles, 2.5 successful (33.3%)
Castine Bridges: 3.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (33.3%)
Carl Gettis: 2.0 tackles, 1.0 successful (50.0%)
Justin Garrett: 2.0 tackles, 0.5 successful (25.0%)
Del Howard: 1.5 tackles, 0.0 successful (0.0%)
TOTAL: 23.0 tackles, 8.0 successful (34.8%)

% of plays made by...
Defensive Line: 20.6%
Linebackers: 34.3%
Defensive Backs: 45.1%

Turnover Costliness
KSU1: William Moore INT - 3.63 pts
KSU2: Johnson FUM (forced by Garrett, recovered by Bridges) - 2.81 pts
KSU3: Pooschke FUM (forced by Weatherspoon, recovered by Alexander) - 2.42 pts

Mizzou Total: 0 turnovers, 0 pts
KSU total: 3 turnovers, 8.86 pts

Gotta like Mizzou's chances anytime they have a zero-turnover game.  Would pay a hefty amount of money for another one of those on Saturday.

Statistical MVPs

Offense: Duh.  The Mizzou offense put up 33.76 EqPts on the day.  Jeremy Maclin had 11.95 of them (next highest: Tony Temple's 6.17)...oh yeah, and he had Mizzou's first kick return TD since about 5-6 years before he was born.  This was probably the most obvious MVP decision all season.

Defense: For his 3.0 successful tackles and 3.63 points' worth of turnovers, you could say that William Moore scored 6.63 "points" on defense, which is pretty damn good.  But Sean Weatherspoon's 7.71 "points" (6.5 successful tackles, 1.21 turnover points for forcing Pooschke's fumble) were better.  I'll have to go back and look, but I'm doubting too many guys have put up 6.5 successful tackles in a game this year...maybe none at all.  That's a sick total.

---

And I might as well put this here too...

EqPts Scores (November 17)

These final EqPts scores consist of the EqPts tallied above, plus turnover costliness, plus a Down-Dependent EqPts total that I'm still in the process of mastering.  I'll write a post about it when I get it completely figured out.  I know...you can't wait...

Mizzou 44.3, Kansas State 27.3
Kansas 44.4, Iowa State minus-0.1 (OUCH)
Oklahoma 28.3, Texas Tech 23.6 (surprising)
Oklahoma State 53.9, Baylor 13.3

Here are the latest VOA Rankings that I discussed at the bottom of this post.

Big 12 Offensive Rankings
Oklahoma State 140.9
Missouri 140.1
Texas Tech 127.9
Nebraska 115.6
Kansas 107.7
Texas 107.5
Oklahoma 106.0
Kansas State 104.1
Texas A&M 86.7
Colorado 79.5
Iowa State 55.1
Baylor 51.9

Big 12 Defensive Rankings
Kansas 162.4
Oklahoma 128.3
Texas 126.8
Missouri 121.1
Texas A&M 109.6
Texas Tech 103.1
Iowa State 97.1
Oklahoma State 91.5
Kansas State 83.8
Colorado 79.8
Nebraska 79.0
Baylor 75.2

Big 12 Combined Rankings
Kansas 270.1
Missouri 261.2
Oklahoma 234.3
Texas 234.3
Oklahoma State 232.5
Texas Tech 230.9
Texas A&M 196.3
Nebraska 194.6
Kansas State 187.8
Colorado 159.3
Iowa State 152.2
Baylor 127.1

And finally...

Big 12 Predictions

Remember...the formula was dead on last week...

Nebraska 31, Colorado 30
Texas 27, Texas A&M 21
Oklahoma 33, Oklahoma State 28

And...
Mizzou 25.03, Kansas 24.75

Good lord, even the formula is scared to pick a winner.