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Mizzou Links, 10-9-08

Okay this headline really annoys me: "Despite criticism Tigers' secondary insists it's improving."  We don't have to take their word for it.  The stats bear that claim out as well.  Here are the pass efficiency ratings for the five starting QBs we’ve faced so far (taking into consideration that 115.0 to 130.0 is considered good)

  • Illinois: 181.9 (season average: 145.23)
  • SEMO: 90.9 (season average: 124.25)
  • Nevada: 106.7 (season average: 133.78)
  • Buffalo: 116.3 (season average: 150.09)
  • Nebraska: 144.1 (season average: 156.04)

Granted, it’s still early, so each team’s season averages could be skewed good or bad, but Mizzou has held four of five opponents below their season average in pass efficiency.  They held Nevada and Buffalo far below their averages (which is to be expected against a non-BCS team), and the only reason Nebraska even approached their season average was because Ganz went 4-for-5 for 61 yards and a TD against the scrubs at the end.

Beyond this, could have a great pass defense and still rank pretty low on the yardage scale considering a) opponents run a ton of plays against them because the offense scores so quickly, and b) opponents pass a ton against them because they’re pretty much immediately down 10 points as soon as the game starts.  The thing about passing yards is that, unlike rushing yards, if you insist strongly enough, you can rack up quite a few yards.  It's yards per attempt that matters (and for Mizzou opponents TDs per attempt also matters--and both measures are included in Pass Efficiency), and after the first-game breakdowns, Mizzou has been above average in that regard.

Oklahoma State links!

Brock Christopher: under the radar and awesome.

From the time he was old enough to enjoy his family’s twice-a-year trips to Columbia to watch the Tigers play on Saturdays, Christopher knew he was born to play linebacker at Missouri. Coming from Kearney, a Class 4 powerhouse program northeast of Kansas City, Christopher probably could have enhanced his recruiting stock and drawn more interest from other programs had he not cut off the process so early - he committed to MU in April of his junior year - but drawing attention has never been his thing.

Instead, his teammates are doing it for him this season.

...

"He’s not flamboyant," Weatherspoon said. "He’s not going to be jumping up and down all the time. But he’s a great linebacker and a great counterpoint to myself. … Maybe if he gets a little more excited out there, people might be watching him then."

Time of possession: worthless.

Derrick Washington: really, really good.  Jaron Baston: improving by the day.

Mizzou expectations: great.

Joe Posnanski has a great write-up of Mizzou's change in fortunes in SI.  I swear I wrote about the early-'90s and Omniturf last night before I read this.  Of course, I didn't say Chase Daniel has "affable arrogance", so Joe wins this round.

Football recruiting links!  First, Maplewood ATH Bryant Allen still likes Mizzou, though they may no longer be the far-and-away favorite.  Wisconsin has moved well into the picture.  Mizzou, two 4-star kids are working to schedule official visits to Mizzou: Dallas safety Kevin Brent and NC WR Jheranie Boyd.

Finally...Mizzou Volleyball actually put up a helluva fight last night in Manhattan, only getting outscored by four points all match.  Unfortunately they were taken down in four sets, 25-23 22-25 23-25 22-25.  A small difference in kill %, 6 service errors, and -4 block deficit did the Tigers in.  That they played well is a small moral victory, but the loss sent them to 8-8 (2-4 in the Big 12), so...a moral victory didn't cut it.