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Missouri 42, Florida 13: Beyond the box score

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On smirks, a dominant line, and the closest thing to a positive offensive identity.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri 42, Florida 13

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Florida Missouri Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 79 49
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 56.3%
Avg Starting FP 23.8 44.7 29.8
Possessions 15 11
Scoring Opportunities*
3 3
Points Per Opportunity 4.67 4.33 4.69
Leverage Rate** 29.1% 49.0% 68.3%
Close S&P*** 0.266 0.418 0.506
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) Florida Missouri
Total 16.2 8.0
Rushing 9.2 6.9
Passing 7.0 1.1
Success Rate (what's this?) Florida Missouri Nat'l Avg
All (close) 25.0% 38.9% 42.0%
Rushing (close) 33.3% 63.2% 43.5%
Passing (close) 16.7% 11.8% 40.4%
Standard Downs 34.8% 45.8% 47.3%
Passing Downs 7.7% 25.0% 30.5%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Florida Missouri Nat'l Avg
All (close) 0.33 0.54 0.85
Rushing (close) 0.37 0.53 0.73
Passing (close) 0.25 0.56 0.99
Standard Downs 0.31 0.52 0.77
Passing Downs 0.53 0.58 1.14
Line Stats Florida Missouri Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 2.64 3.28 2.93
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 11.1% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 22.2% 0.0% 7.4%
Turnovers Florida Missouri
Turnovers 6 1
Turnover Points (what's this?) 32.2 4.0
Turnover Margin Missouri +5
Exp. TO Margin Missouri +2.7
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Missouri +2.3
TO Points Margin Missouri +28.2 points
Situational Florida Missouri
Q1 S&P 0.332 0.463
Q2 S&P 0.148 0.385
Q3 S&P 0.419 0.211
Q4 S&P 0.508 N/A
1st Down S&P 0.413 0.281
2nd Down S&P 0.288 0.408
3rd Down S&P 0.496 0.375
Projected Scoring Margin: Missouri by 20.0
Actual Scoring Margin: Missouri by 29

Four keys revisited

Let's check on what I called this game's key factors in Friday's preview.

1. Short memories

Again, if Missouri's offense plays like it did last week, nothing else matters. The line has to be prepared and effective against Florida's athletic front four. The receivers have to catch the passes they get two hands on. And even if Maty Mauk is going to be running around a bit too much for our (or his coaches') liking, he has to make better decisions when he's doing it. Mizzou's offense isn't suddenly going to be excellent again, but Mizzou also might not need it to be. Give your defense a long field to work with when you fail, and you might have more time to figure things out.

So yeah, competence or bust here.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It does bear mentioning that Missouri easily had the better -- least bad -- offense in the first half, and while there was never any hope for big plays (longest play: Maty Mauk's 19-yard run on third-and-17), Mizzou showed decent pre-garbage time efficiency on the ground. The first 13 carries of the evening for Russell Hansbrough and Marcus Murphy gained 64 yards (4.9 per carry), and 10 of the 13 gained at least three yards. Mauk reminded us of his running ability at times, as well, and the line cranked out a better-than-average 3.28 line yards per carry.

If we're trying to figure out how Missouri crafts some sort of positive offensive identity moving forward, it has to start there. If Missouri backs can average 4.9 yards per carry against Florida (and better against worst defensive fronts), and if Mauk can continue providing some sort of run threat, either via designed run plays or scrambles that don't start with him spinning five yards backwards, that's not bad. It's not particularly good, but we're not worried about good just yet.

As I've mentioned before, if you turn third-and-4 or even third-and-5 into a rushing down of sorts and hammer away with your two best play-makers (RH and MM), that might get you somewhere. And that point, if opponents have to adjust to the fact that you're running efficiently and steadily, then things open up in the passing game. And as long as the passing game is semi-competent -- not even good, just not horrendous -- then with a top-10 defense and strong special teams, you can quite possibly beat a majority of your remaining opponents (Vandy, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Arkansas), go to a January 1 bowl game, and reassess your offense, quarterback and all, in the offseason.

Still ... the passing game does have to be semi-competent. And at the moment, it feels somewhere south of salvageable. Even factoring out garbage time, the passing success rate was 11.8 percent. That's absolutely awful. And remember: this year's Florida defense isn't last year's Florida defense. The Gators will give you some big pass plays if you are able to mind your p's and q's. Mizzou could not and has not in a while.

Again, Missouri will have a chance to figure some things out against a Vandy defense that hasn't been too hot this year. If the Tigers are going to post decent offensive numbers again this season, it'll probably happen on Saturday. In terms of both quality and identity, we'll see what is uncovered on Homecoming.

2. Passing downs

Both defenses have significant advantages on passing downs. Mizzou's ability to close out drives on passing downs was the reason the Tigers were able to pull off a late comeback against South Carolina, and Mizzou's inability to catch up after falling behind schedule was the reason they needed a comeback against South Carolina in the first place.

Count the passing downs successes for each team -- not even big plays, just conversions on third-and-7 or eight-yard gains on second-and-11 -- and you'll probably figure out who won.

Passing Downs Success (non-garbage time): Missouri 3, Florida 1.

WINNER! (Yuck.)

3. The Treon wildcard

True freshman Treon Harris filled in against Tennessee when Driskel completely lost the plot, and while he didn't actually do much -- 2-for-4 passing, four rushes for 24 yards -- Florida did score twice with him behind center. He provides a mobility threat that Driskel doesn't, even if he's still relatively new to the offense. [...]

We have no idea whether a sustained dose of Harris might result in a sea change for the Florida offense as a whole, or whether his limitations will be quickly exploited. Like a good guitar player, Harris is benefiting from unknowns and mystique. But until we do know what he's capable of, it's a little scary to think of him jumping in and changing everything about how (and how well) Florida's offense operates.

Harris did eventually find a bit of a rhythm, helping Florida to rack up quite a few yards (and 13 points) in garbage time. But in the first half, with the game still somewhat in question, Harris was 2-for-3 for 8 yards and a sack/lost fumble. In three series with Harris, Florida scored zero points and averaged 2.7 yards per play. That's an obvious win for Mizzou.

4. Ray, Golden, Brantley, Hoch, Vincent, Augusta, Harris...

[E]ven if Harris is the real deal, if his line is getting beaten, his options are limited. Mizzou's defensive line -- its entire front seven, really -- faces a Florida front that is solid but beatable. If Mizzou wins this trench battle handily, holding up to attempted run blocking and getting passing downs pressure on whichever quarterback, then the name of Florida's quarterback won't matter that much.

Florida's offensive line is just good enough to make me think the Gators could hold their own with a good gameplan and execution. But Mizzou's defensive line was good at the beginning of the year and appears to be getting better. IF the Tigers dominate here, that might be enough as long as ... well, see Factor No. 1 above.

While Missouri was going up 42-0, the Tigers allowed 89 yards in 48 plays; the Mizzou front seven itself outscored Florida in that span, 12-0. Shane Ray, Markus Golden, Harold Brantley, Lucas Vincent, Marcus Loud, Matt Hoch, and Charles Harris combined for 16.5 tackles, five tackles for loss, four sacks, two hurries, three pass breakups, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown. Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones combined to average 4.0 yards per carry. I would call that an appropriate level of domination.

Targets & Catches

NSFW.

Darius White: 6 targets, 2 catches, 9 yards (1.5 yards per target)
Bud Sasser: 5 targets, 3 catches, 9 yards (1.8)
Jimmie Hunt: 5 targets, 1 catches, 2 yards (0.4)
J'Mon Moore: 1 target, 0 catches
Sean Culkin: 1 target, 0 catches

Pretty rude of Sasser to insist on remaining the leading receiver and forcing everybody to let him have the highest average/total.

Here's where I remind you that Mizzou won. Handily.

Poor Jeff

I wrote a bit about Mizzou-Florida in today's Numerical.

Florida's 42-13 Homecoming loss to Missouri was as hapless and listless as you'll see. The Gators' defense showed up -- it usually does -- and held the Tigers' similarly listless offense to a touchdown (from a short field), two field goals (one from a short field), five three-and-outs, and only one sustained drive of more than 24 yards. But that only matters if your offense and special teams units don't completely implode. Mizzou's Marcus Murphy returned both a kickoff and punt for touchdowns (he also scored the Tigers' lone offensive touchdown), the Mizzou defense scored twice (on a Markus Golden fumble return and a Darvin Ruise interception return), and the Tigers went up 42-0, holding Florida to 89 yards in 48 plays in the process.

This was exactly the kind of game you tend to see before a coach is shown the door. In 2004, Zook's Florida lost to what was eventually a 3-8 Mississippi State team, turning the ball over three times and allowing a punt return touchdown. Saturday was the signal that the end is officially near for Muschamp. It's just a matter of when the end comes ... and whether Foley can make a better hire this time around.

Actually, two other things from this remarkably ridiculous game:

1. Starting quarterbacks Jeff Driskel (Florida) and Maty Mauk (Missouri) combined to go 13-for-37 for 70 yards with three interceptions, five sacks, and a fumble. Driskel had no time to find an open receiver, and Mauk simply had no open receivers. Average yards per attempt, including sacks: 0.7. Florida's Treon Harris was able to move the ball a bit in garbage time, but everybody had already changed the channel by then.

2. Driskel gave the greatest "son of a b----" smirk you'll ever see when Harris threw a jump-ball touchdown late in the third quarter. Harris was getting dragged down and threw a terribly ill-advised pass into triple coverage, but somehow Tevin Westbrook came down with the ball, doing Harris one more favor in this game than Driskel has gotten all year.

Via SEC Network

As bad as I felt for Driskel as Ray, Brantley, and company were repeatedly destroying him in the backfield (at one point, even Mrs. Bill C looked up from her iPad and said "Shouldn't they get that guy out of there?"), I felt even worse for him after that touchdown. That was just rude.

Swamped

Here are Florida's last five four-touchdown home losses:

November 17, 1979: Kentucky 31, Florida 3
October 12, 2002: LSU 36, Florida 7
October 1, 2011: Alabama 38, Florida 10
November 30, 2013: Florida State 37, Florida 7
October 18, 2014: Missouri 42, Florida 13

There were zero such losses in five years under Galen Hall, zero in 12 years with Steve Spurrier, one in three years with Ron Zook, none in six years with Urban Meyer ... and three in four years with Will Muschamp. Yeah, he's gone.

Beyond that, though, realize what Missouri accomplished, offense or no offense. We talk about missed opportunities in tough venues against name-brand teams -- the football team missing a chance to win in the Swamp in 2012, the basketball team missing a chance to win at Rupp Arena in 2013, etc. -- but this a seized opportunity and a blowout on par with the 2008 win in Lincoln. Florida stinks, sure, and Missouri's offense has just as many question marks now as it did a week ago. But Mizzou just won by 29 points in the Swamp. That's never anything but awesome.