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Missouri’s offensive line has some of the best line stats in the country

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

It was Offensive Line Day for Mizzou’s Tuesday media gathering. Good time for it, as Mizzou’s offensive line has been stupendous of late.

In Missouri’s 45-16 victory over Florida last weekend, the Gators left Columbia without a single tackle for loss, compared to the Tigers’ eight. In fact, Missouri has allowed the fewest tackles for loss in the country with only 25, and it is tied for eighth in sacks per game.

It’s not too shabby for a line that boasts three underclassmen starters in sophomores Yasir Durant and Tre’Vour Simms and redshirt freshman Trystan Castillo.

“I think we’ve gotten better now with some experience,” [OL coach Glen] Elarbee said. “They’re not young to it anymore, and they’re learning to finish and play a little more physical.”

Elarbee likes his line nasty and physical, and his line is giving him what he wants.

“Obviously, we like playing physical. That’s what we want to pride ourselves on,” Elarbee said. “I think they enjoy getting to go and run the ball. There’s something, you know, classic or barbaric about being an offensive lineman and trying to just push somebody around.”

Apparently, a monstrosity from Moe’s is the secret behind the newfound nastiness. I guess that makes sense.

Its name is the Wrong Doug, and it consists of an assortment of Mexican-inspired ingredients sandwiched between two crunchy tortilla shells, all wrapped in a warm tortilla. Moe’s Southwest Grill, a chain restaurant, serves it, and the Tigers’ offensive line has been ordering it for nearly four weeks during its regular Wednesday trip to the restaurant across from the northern part of MU’s campus. So the biggest Tigers have been eating this wrap since right before the Mizzou football team began winning again.

“I’m getting tired of it,” offensive tackle and captain Paul Adams said. “But I love winning.”

Paul Adams, a true team player.

We all know how offensive system and quality of supporting cast have a lot to do with line stats — aside from PFF grades (which have its own obvious set of issues), it’s almost impossible to single out contributions from the line on the stat sheet — but it’s impossible to ignore how good Mizzou’s line stats are.

  • 8th in Adj. Sack Rate (fourth in standard downs sack rate, seventh in passing downs sack rate)
  • 16th in Adj. Line Yards (18th in stuff rate, seventh in Rushing S&P+)

Short-yardage is still a bit of an issue (80th in power success rate), but Mizzou is one of only four offenses to rank in the top 20 in both Adj. Sack Rate and Adj. Line Yards, and one of the four (Army) doesn’t actually pass. Literally. (The other two: Mississippi State and Nebraska.)

Tennessee’s defense, by the way: 103rd in Adj. Line Yards and 80th in Adj. Sack Rate. The Vols do have bring some defensive strengths to the table, but this is another matchup Mizzou can win.

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