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Mizzou Analytics MVPs: One man rumbled, another humbled

This week’s MVPs were about as obvious as they get on one side of the ball and a tough decision on the other.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Tennessee at Missouri Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This week, the now No. 9 Missouri Tigers took down the then-13th ranked Tennessee Volunteers, in a 36-7 shellacking that resulted in the school’s largest win over an AP Top-15 team since the polling system began in 1936. Contrary to the scoreline, the game stayed close for a substantial amount of time, and led to some big time plays needing to be made to increase the Tigers’ lead and put the game out of reach for the Volunteers.

One man absolutely dominated on the offensive side of the ball and brought some relative ease to my decision. On the defensive side of the ball, edge rushers have dominated the impact scores for the Tigers, but this week a field general lit up the stat sheet. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the MVPs for this week:

Offense: Cody Schrader

I already had the chance to write about Schrader’s performance in an earlier article this week, but Schrader made the most of fantastic blocking at the hands of the Tiger offensive line. He also was a lethal threat in the passing game, constantly slipping through the cracks of the Volunteer secondary and picking up massive chunk gains that defined key drives for the Tigers.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

It was mostly greens all across the board and for good reason, as he had a historic day against a quality opponent. The offensive line’s 94th percentile score in the run blocking category was its best score since the Memphis game earlier this season, and its second best all season behind that very contest. Reasons for why the line has been so prolific can include the added emphasis on disciplined football, and their ability to work so fluidly as a cohesive unit that trusts each other and their bell-cow (Schrader).

Schrader’s efforts earned him the honor of Doak Walker’s National Player of the Week award, given to the nation’s best running back. His opportunistic attitude as a pass-catcher, and his ruggedness as a runner make him one of the hardest men to gameplan around in the SEC, and this week Josh Heupel got a well-drawn-out lesson on just how much of a gamebreaker Cody Schrader can be.

The Broyles Award is given to the season’s most outstanding walk-on, and with over 1,300 scrimmage yards on the season against some of the toughest defenses in college football, Schrader has certainly made his case for the award. Whether he wins the award or not will come down to how he has finished the season, but to me there is no doubt that if the season ended right now he’d be slated to make a speech with an award in his hands.

Defense: Chuck Hicks

Receiving his first analytics MVP honor of the season, Chuck Hicks led the Tigers with 61 total snaps on the defensive side of the ball, and made them count. Hicks made four tackles on the night with three of them being Stops, and scored an 80.3 in the run-defending category, his best of the season against a run offense that came into the game full steam ahead.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Since Chad Bailey’s injury in the LSU game, Hicks has taken a higher role at the middle linebacker slot and has excelled, and his veteran presence was felt through a variety of impact plays. While his impact was mostly felt in the run game, Hicks also held his own in the tackling and coverage departments which is precisely the reason he was able to secure the award this week.

Hicks picked up the massive fumble recovery at the end of the first half which gave the Tigers the chance to put up three points on the board just before the half, a swing in momentum that proved to be vital to the game turning fully in Missouri’s favor.


Running Backs

Breakaway: An RBs ability to break a run loose in space.

Elusiveness: An RBs ability to miss tackles in open space.

After Contact: An RBs ability to get yards after contact.

Security: An RBs fumble rate.

Protection: Yards Before Contact, this is used as a measure to see how good the protection a RB gets is, and is a hindrance in the RB VAT formula.

Drops: An RB’s drop rate.

Route Run: An RB’s yards per route run, often shows how good an RB is at route running.

TD/ATT: An RB’s ratio of touchdowns to rushing attempts.

YPA: An RB’s yards per attempt.

Middle Linebackers

Pass Rush: An overall score with a variety of metrics that gives a player an overall pass rushing score

Run Defense: Run Impact Score, defined by how well a player is doing at stopping the run

Stops: On a first down, if the offense gets 45% of the way to a first down or less.

On a second down, if the offense gets 60% of the way to a first down or less.

On a third or fourth down, if the offense doesn’t get a first down.

Coverage: An out of 100 score, that constitutes how well a player did in coverage in their limited opportunites.

Tackling: A player’s missed tackle rate.