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The Missouri offense need only be below average for the Tigers to keep winning

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Derrick Forsythe / Rock M Nation

Missouri 9, Connecticut 6

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Connecticut Missouri Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 61 65
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 100.0%
Avg Starting FP 27.4 38.8 29.6
Possessions 13 12
Scoring Opportunities*
4 6
Points Per Opportunity 1.75 1.17 4.82
Leverage Rate** 62.3% 64.6% 68.7%
Close S&P*** 0.462 0.496 0.587
* 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?) Connecticut Missouri
Total 20.0 24.9
Rushing 7.3 8.1
Passing 12.7 16.8
Success Rate (what's this?) Connecticut Missouri Nat'l Avg
All (close) 32.8% 32.3% 41.8%
Rushing (close) 26.7% 30.3% 42.8%
Passing (close) 38.7% 34.4% 40.7%
Standard Downs 36.8% 38.1% 47.3%
Passing Downs 26.1% 21.7% 29.8%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Connecticut Missouri Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.00 1.19 1.26
Rushing (close) 0.91 0.81 1.06
Passing (close) 1.06 1.53 1.49
Standard Downs 0.69 1.09 1.10
Passing Downs 1.72 1.49 1.81
Line Stats Connecticut Missouri Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 2.08 1.87 2.83
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 11.1% 0.0% 4.7%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 7.7% 6.3% 6.6%
Turnovers Connecticut Missouri
Turnovers 2 2
Turnover Points (what's this?) 11.5 8.6
Turnover Margin +0
Exp. TO Margin Missouri +0.95
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Connecticut +0.95
TO Points Margin Missouri +2.9 points
Situational Connecticut Missouri
Q1 S&P 0.522 0.397
Q2 S&P 0.338 0.473
Q3 S&P 0.562 0.706
Q4 S&P 0.469 0.306
1st Down S&P 0.481 0.557
2nd Down S&P 0.408 0.625
3rd Down S&P 0.509 0.384
Projected Scoring Margin: Missouri by 7.8
Actual Scoring Margin: Missouri by 3

I feel like we've pretty much covered everything that went into this game, good (defense) and bad (offense). Here are just a few more notes that I can wring out of the stats.

Punting + defense = field position

Missouri's offense is the least efficient in the country through three weeks (!), BUT what we've seen from everything else, the improvement doesn't have to be drastic for the Tigers to continue to win more than it loses. The defense is playing at a top-10 level, which basically renders opponents as inefficient as its own offense is. And Corey Fatony has turned into a significant weapon.

Fatony came to Columbia with quite a pedigree, and he's more than lived up to his hype. In terms of averages, Saturday was his worst day -- he averaged only 39.2 yards per punt, and two of his kicks trickled into the end zone. But unlike the game against ASU, Mizzou was very much in control of the field position situation. Considering how awful the offense was, that won the Tigers the game.

1.17

I've already covered this, but holy smokes ... it is really, really hard to average 1.17 points per scoring opportunity. That means you're basically just handing the ball back to your opponent every time you cross their 40. Granted, one of Mizzou's six "opportunities" came when the Tigers were kneeling the ball after Anthony Sherrils' interception. Still, that's five opportunities, one touchdown, one missed field goal, two turnovers on downs, and a punt. That's still 1.4 points per opp, and that's still five shades of gross.

Targets and catches

Mizzou is distributing the ball about as well as it has since Chase Daniel was quarterback. The problem is that nobody but Tyler Hunt is doing anything with the opportunity.

  • Passes to WRs: 13-for-19 for 82 yards (4.3 per target). J'Mon Moore 6-for-8 for 30 (3.8), Wesley Leftwich 2-for-4 for 12 (3.0), Nate Brown 2-for-4 for 10 (2.5), Ray Wingo 1-for-1 for 13, Eric Laurent 1-for-1 for 4, Emanuel Hall 1-for-1 for 4. Wingo was the only WR to average more than 4 yards per target, and he was targeted once.
  • Passes to TEs: 3-for-6 for 22 yards (3.7 per target). Sean Culkin 3-for-5 for 22 (4.4), Jason Reese 0-for-1. Passes to Reese are now 1-for-4 for 5 yards.
  • Passes to RBs: 4-for-6 for 82 yards (13.7 per target). Ish Witter 3-for-4 for 31 (7.8), Tyler Hunt 1-for-1 for 51, Chase Abbington 0-for-1. Take out Hunt's catch and run, and the average sinks to 6.2 per target, but ... well, that's better than anybody else. BRAINSTORM: move the RBs to WR and the WRs to RB. Genius!

128th

From Missouri's statistical profile at Study Hall:

There are 128 teams in FBS, by the way.

Cry Havoc

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

We'll end the post on a happier note. Here's another shot from the stat profile (which I'm incredibly proud of and you should definitely check out weekly).

Mizzou loses Dave Steckel, Markus Golden, and Shane Ray and becomes more disruptive up front. Again ... man ... the offense just has to be below average. It doesn't even have to be good.