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Bye Week Breakdown 2: Offense by the Numbers

The Tigers used to be so good. Sigh...

NCAA Football: Missouri at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Four weeks ago, I broke down the Missouri offensive performance over 4 games. At the time, it was fun and good! Because I’m a dummy who craves accuracy in my assessment of the team, I’m going to go ahead and do the same exercise again, this time with 8 games worth of a data and so, SO much more angst built up around the team. With the help of the SB Nation analytical data miners, let’s dive into the raw data to see just how far the Tigers have fallen in a month.

How does this 8-game sample of overall offense compare to the previous 4-game sample?

  • SP Rank: 53rd -> 61st (-8 spots)
  • Success Rate: 47.3% -> 44.9% (-2.4%)
  • IsoPPP: 1.14 -> 1.17 (+0.03)
  • Average Field Position: 30.0 -> 29.5 (-0.5)
  • Turnover Margin: +1 -> +2.2 (+1.2)
  • Points Per Scoring Opportunity: 4.10 ->4.06 (-0.04)

Turnover margin is better and the explosive plays are slightly more impactful! YAY! Everything else is worse, most troubling the overall success rate and points per scoring opportunity. Remember, the Troy and Ole Miss games were actually excellent for the offense, so the fact that two games can drag an 8-game sample size down this far is telling in how miserable the offense performed the past two weeks.

The run was used much more as a big-hitting tool rather than an efficiency tool in the first 4-games of the year. Here are the changes:

  • Success Rate: 46.0% -> 46.2% (+0.2%)
  • Efficiency: -4.4% -> -4.6% (-0.2%)
  • Explosiveness: -0.06 -> -0.10 (-0.04)
  • Opportunity Rate: 44.5% -> 45.4% (+0.9%)
  • Stuff Rate: 16.8% -> 16.5% (-0.3%)

Some slight movement, both positive and negative, on this one. Despite Dooley being quick on the trigger on moving away from the run, it’s actually been the most consistent performer in regards to the advanced stats. That should really be an indicator to Dooley (because, you know, he reads my stuff, right?) that, in the long run (pun intended), sticking with the ground game can/will pay off.

This is the one I wanted to compare the most. Ready for some blood?

  • Success Rate: 48.8% -> 43.4% (-5.4%)
  • Efficiency: 6.0% -> 2.5% (-3.5%)
  • Explosiveness: 19.7% -> 31.5% (+11.8%)
  • Completion Rate: 61.9% -> 60.2% (-1.7%)
  • Sack Rate: 4.9% -> 6.4% (+1.5)

Woof. This is every bit as bad as I thought it would be. Other than the passing game becoming ridiculously more explosive in nature, everything else sunk dramatically. Apparently, the Troy and Ole Miss games weren’t enough to counteract a 50% completion day against the worst pass defense in the world. I do wonder, however, how much the bleeding could be stymied by receivers not dropping the ball, but there’s no advanced stat to measure that.... yet.

Missouri was pretty good on Standard Downs (downs where the offense is just as likely to run as it is pass, and therefore, have an advantage). My initial thought was that, despite the last two weeks, that would stay true...

  • Success Rate: 51.3% -> 51.4% (+0.1%)
  • Efficiency: -0.5% -> -0.1% (+0.4%)
  • Explosiveness: 0.09 -> 0.06 (-0.03)
  • Line Yards Per Carry: 2.57 -> 2.57
  • Sack Rate: 5.0% -> 4.8% (-0.2%)

...and I was right. Slightly more efficient, slightly less explosive, line yards per carry has stayed exactly the same (did not anticipate that with the way the line has looked) and sack rate improved a tick. But again, standard downs aren’t the issue with the Tiger offense.

Most offenses are worse off on passing downs (where the yards-to-go is enough that you tend to pass) unless you have a Manziel/Mayfield/Tua/Lawrence-type of quarterback. In the first four games the Tigers were Top 35 in success and efficiently. Did that hold?

  • Success Rate: 36.6% -> 28.7% (-7.9%)
  • Efficiency: 3.1% -> -4.1% (-7.2%)
  • Explosiveness: -0.05 -> 0.22 (+0.27)
  • Line Yards Per Carry: 2.61 -> 3.07 (+0.46)
  • Sack Rate: 4.7% -> 8.9% (+4.2%)

Lol, nope. Massive regression in success rate, efficiency, and sack rate paired with minimal improvement in explosiveness and line yards per carry. This has been the Achilles Heel of the offense over the past two games, and again, for the numbers to fall this much with only a two game sample size added means the Tigers have been struggled substantially. Good thing we have numbers to tell you that, huh?

Standard Down Success Rate: 55.5% -> 54.9% (-0.06%)

1Ds on 1st/2nd down: 70.8% -> 67.9% (-2.9%)

Big Play Rate: 8.6% -> 7.2% (-1.4%)

Avg. 3rd Down Distance: 7.10 -> 7.10

3rd Down Success Rate: 41.9% -> 42.7% (+0.08%)

Remember, the first 4-game sample size included a dismal 2-10 third down performance against SEMO. As I mentioned yesterday, OIe Miss is the only team who didn’t keep Mizzou under 50% 3rd-down-conversion rate so, while I’m surprised the 3rd down distance didn’t change and the success rate improved (slightly), none of these are good, especially with the potential this offense should have.

3rd-and-Long Percentage: 41.0% -> 46.6% (+5.6%)

3rd-and-Short Percentage: 9.8% -> 12.7% (+2.9%)

3rd-and-Long Success Rate: 16.0% -> 16.4% (+0.4%)

3rd-and-Medium Success Rate: 56.7% -> 56.3% (-0.4%)

3rd-and-Short Success Rate: 50.0% -> 66.7% (+16.7%)

Good news: we improved the percentage of getting 3rd-and-short! Bad news: the average 3rd-down-yards-to-go has been nearly 8 yards and the Tigers are one of the worst teams at converting 3rd-and-long.

30-21-yard line SR: 41.9% -> 31.7% (-10.2%)

20-11-yard line SR: 50.0% -> 39.0% (-11.0%)

I-10-yard line SR: 39.4% -> 45.5% (+6.1%)

I-10-yard line Turnover Rate: 3.0% -> 4.6% (+1.6%)

1&G SR: 42.9% -> 45.0% (+2.1%)

Goal Line Success Rate: 27.3% -> 42.9% (+15.6%)

Good thing the Tigers don’t find themselves in the red zone all that often because... well.... they’re one of the worst teams in the world at finding success there!


Massive regression all around, paired with bad tactics, a hobbled quarterback, and an offensive coordinator who’s moving away from what made the team successful in the front portion of the schedule. Just more context as to why the Tigers have struggled as of late. Again, these things can be corrected, but it’s tough to start correcting things against the toughest stretch of the schedule.