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Missouri’s offense is different without Damarea Crockett

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Duh, David. Tell me why...

Missouri v Kentucky
A healthy Damarea Crockett is the Missouri pass offense’s best friend, somewhat paradoxically.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Missouri star running back Damarea Crockett is going to be out for a little while. For this weekend’s game at Connecticut, at least.

It’s never a good thing when one of your top offensive players gets shelved for the foreseeable future. But how bad of a thing could it be for Missouri?

The Tigers’ offense has played 283 non-garbage-time snaps this year, by the Bill Connelly definition (the game is 25 points or closer in the second quarter, 22 or closer in the third, 17 or closer in the fourth): Damarea Crockett has played 126 of those snaps and sat for the other 157.

Here is how the Tigers’ offense has performed in those 126 as opposed to those 157:

Totals

With
Run: 67 for 430 (6.42 avg.), 2 TD, 2 fumbles lost
Pass: 30-of-57, 643 yards (11.3 avg.), 7 TD, 3 INT
Sack: 2 for -13 (-6.50 avg.), fumble lost
Total: 126 plays, 1060 yards (8.41 avg.), 9 TD, 3 INT, 3 fumbles lost
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 53.2/46.8

Without
Run: 61 for 341 (5.59 avg.), 2 TD
Pass: 50-of-95, 856 yards (9.01 avg.), 10 TD. 2 INT
Sack: 1 for -8, fumble lost
Total: 157 plays, 1189 yards (7.57 avg.), 12 TD, 2 INT, fumble lost
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 38.9/61.1

With Crockett in the game, the Tigers average 14.8 percent more yards per rush, 25.4 percent more yards per pass and 11.1 percent more yards per play overall than when he isn’t in the game.

Weirdly, though, Missouri scores a touchdown about 6.5 percent less frequently when Crockett is off the field and turns the ball over about 150 times more frequently.

The thing that’s really interesting to me, though, is the play distribution.

Missouri is a 53-47 run team with Crockett in the game. It’s a 61-39 pass team with him out.

You could see that in his absence last week against Idaho, when the Tigers threw on 14 of their 20 non-garbage-time plays against the Vandals.

You can see that in the Tigers’ set diversity as well:

Offensive Sets

With
3-0-2: 59 (46.8)
3-1-1: 34 (27.0)
4-0-1: 27 (21.4)
Wildcat: 3 (2.38)
2-1-2: 2 (1.59)
5-0-0: 1 (0.79)

Without
3-0-2: 64 (40.8)
3-1-1: 50 (31.8)
4-0-1: 41 (26.1)
5-0-0: 1 (0.64)
2-1-2: 1 (0.64)

The Tigers run out of their four-wide, pass-heavy set 22 percent more frequently with Crockett on the sideline than when he’s on the field.

The move away from the run game should continue this week with Crockett out, the Emanuel Hall/J’Mon Moore/Johnathon Johnson dueling renaissances and Drew Lock and Co. .going up against the Huskies’ dead-last-in-the-FBS-ranked pass defense (373.4 yards allowed per game).

Teams throw 57.6 percent of the time against Connecticut. For good reason.

So, while it may not be much of an issue this week, it could get to be more of one when the Tigers slip back into SEC play.

Against Power-5 defenses, the Tigers’ run offense is comparable with Crockett in the game and when he’s out. Actually, Missouri runs for 10.3 percent more yards per play when he’s out than when he’s in: 5.12 vs. 4.64.

But the Tigers have also been a significantly better passing team when Crockett has been in the game. Missouri is averaging 8.67 yards per pass, which is 37.8 percent better than the 6.29 the Tigers average when he’s out.

That is interesting. Power-5 defenses seem to respect Crockett’s run threat, which opens up the pass game. They don’t seem to respect the threats Ish Witter and Larry Rountree offer as much, which makes sledding tougher for Lock.

Here are the Power-5 and non-Power-5 splits with and without Crockett this year, along with offensive set frequency:

Power-5

With
Run: 53 for 246 (4.64 avg.), fumble lost
Pass: 21-of-43, 373 yards (8.67 avg.), 4 TD, 2 INT
Sack: 1 for -7, fumble lost
Total: 97 plays, 612 yards (6.31 avg.), 4 TD, 2 INT, 2 fumbles lost
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 54.6/45.4

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 48 (49.5)
3-1-1: 23 (23.7)
4-0-1: 20 (20.6)
Wildcat: 3 (3.09)
2-1-2: 2 (2.06)
5-0-0: 1 (1.03)

Without
Run: 43 for 220 (5.12 avg.), TD
Pass: 32-of-68, 428 yards (6.29 avg.), 3 TD, INT
Sack: 1 for -8, fumble lost
Total: 112 plays, 640 yards (5.71 avg.), 4 TD, INT, fumble lost
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 38.4/61.6

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 40 (35.7)
4-0-1: 37 (33.0)
3-1-1: 34 (30.4)
5-0-0: 1 (0.89)
----------

Non-Power-5

With
Run: 14 for 184 (13.1 avg.), 2 TD, fumble lost
Pass: 9-of-14, 270 yards (19.3 avg.), 3 TD, INT
Sack: 1 for -6
Total: 29 plays, 448 yards (15.4 avg.), 5 TD, INT, fumble lost
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 48.3/51.7

Offensive Sets
3-1-1: 11 (37.9)
3-0-2: 11 (37.9)
4-0-1: 7 (24.1)

Without
Run: 18 for 121 (6.72 avg.), TD
Pass: 18-of-27, 428 yards (15.9 avg.), 7 TD, INT
Total: 45 plays, 549 yards (12.2 avg.), 8 TD, INT
Run/Pass Play Distribution: 40.0/60.0

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 24 (53.3)
3-1-1: 16 (35.6)
4-0-1: 4 (8.89)
2-1-2: 1 (2.22)

Missouri has split its games evenly this year when it comes to whether the offense averages more yards per play with Crockett in the game or without (excluding Idaho, of course, because he didn’t play).

But, when the non-Crockett snaps are more productive, they tend to be modestly so. When the Crockett snaps are more productive, they tend to be dramatically so.

Missouri State
With: 29-448 (15.4)
Without: 25-200 (8.00)

South Carolina
With: 26-141 (5.42)
Without: 28-201 (7.17)

Purdue
With: 11-23 (2.09)
Without: 7-24 (3.43)

Auburn
With: 13-43 (3.31)
Without: 18-43 (2.39)

Kentucky
With: 28-205 (7.32)
Without: 48-361 (7.52)

Georgia
With: 19-200 (10.5)
Without: 11-11 (1.00)

Would you look at that Georgia split? Yeesh.

So, if Crockett is out for a little while, Missouri needs to bank on Witter and Rountree keeping opposing defenses as honest as Crockett has once the competition steps back up again. Or the pass game — and the offense as a whole — suffers.


Here’s a game-by-game breakdown, if you’re into that sort of thing. And remember, these are just “non-garbage time” snaps, not all offensive snaps:

Missouri State

With
Run: 14 for 184, 2 TD, fumble lost
Pass: 9-of-14, 270 yards, 3 TD, INT
Sack: 1 for -6
Total: 29 plays, 448 yards, 5 TD, INT, fumble lost

Offensive Sets
3-1-1: 11
3-0-2: 11
4-0-1: 7

Without
Run: 12 for 50
Pass: 7-of-13, 150 yards, 3 TD
Total: 25 for 200, 3 TD

Offensive Sets
3-1-1: 15
3-0-2: 7
4-0-1: 3
----------

South Carolina

With
Run: 18 for 97
Pass: 4-of-8, 44 yards, INT
Total: 26 plays, 141 yards, INT

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 14
3-1-1: 9
4-0-1: 3

Without
Run: 11 for 41
Pass: 6-of-17, 160 yards, TD
Total: 28 plays, 201 yards, TD

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 13
3-1-1: 8
4-0-1: 7
----------

Purdue

With
Run: 5 for 11
Pass: 2-of-6, 12 yards
Total: 11 plays, 23 yards

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 7
4-0-1: 3
3-1-1: 1

Without
Run: 3 for 7
Pass: 3-of-4, 17 yards
Total: 7 plays, 24 yards

Offensive Sets
4-0-1: 3
3-1-1: 3
3-0-2: 1
----------

Auburn

With
Run: 7 for 32
Pass: 2-of-6, 11 yards, INT
Total: 13 plays, 43 yards, INT

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 7
4-0-1: 4
3-1-1: 1
5-0-0: 1

Without
Run: 7 for 22
Pass: 5-of-10, 29 yards
Sack: 1 for -8, fumble lost
Total: 18 plays, 43 yards, fumble lost

Offensive Sets
4-0-1: 11
3-0-2: 5
3-1-1: 2
----------

Kentucky
With
Run: 13 for 74, fumble lost
Pass: 6-of-14, 138 yards, 2 TD
Sack: 1 for -7, fumble lost
Total: 28 plays, 205 yards, 2 TD, 2 fumbles lost

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 13
3-1-1: 8
4-0-1: 4
2-1-2: 2
Wildcat: 1

Without
Run: 19 for 144, TD
Pass: 16-of-29, 217 yards, TD
Total: 48 plays, 361 yards, 2 TD

Offensive Sets
3-1-1: 18
3-0-2: 17
4-0-1: 13
----------

Georgia
With
Run: 10 for 32
Pass: 7-of-9, 168 yards, 2 TD
Total: 19 plays, 200 yards, 2 TD

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 7
4-0-1: 6
3-1-1: 4
Wildcat: 2

Without
Run: 3 for 6
Pass: 2-of-8, 5 yards, TD, INT
Total: 11 plays, 11 yards, TD, INT

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 4
4-0-1: 3
3-1-1: 3
5-0-0: 1
----------

Idaho

Without
Run: 6 for 71, TD
Pass: 11-of-14, 278 yards, 4 TD, INT
Total: 20 plays, 349 yards, 5 TD, INT

Offensive Sets
3-0-2: 17
4-0-1: 1
3-1-1: 1
2-1-2: 1