The No. 14 Missouri Tigers only dropped two spots in the College Football Playoff rankings after their 30-21 loss to No. 2 Georgia in Athens on Saturday, and their valiant performance provided some notable candidates for our Analytics MVP selections.
Offense: Theo Wease Jr.
Wease’s five receptions for 90 yards in the game was good for the best wideout performance from either team aside from Ladd McConkey’s seven receptions for 95 yards (sorry, I know).
Wease was an absolute weapon on back shoulder throws throughout the game, and has shown that all season. A play where you can see his skill on those contested plays is his beautiful touchdown catch against Kentucky.
Wease showed his beautiful contested ability on many occasions during his time at Oklahoma. His contested ability has been a productive addition to a Mizzou team that lost its only positive contested-catch threat in Dominic Lovett to the transfer portal.
If you read my Athens gameday environment piece, both people I interviewed for it expected Theo Wease to be a big contributor for the Tigers on Saturday. It’s understandable why, as his size and prowess in the air was a nightmare mismatch for Georgia’s corners (an extremely rare occurrence) and that’s precisely why Wease was targeted 11 times.
Defense: Darius Robinson
Robinson was an absolute force for what feels like the millionth time this season, as he put up a staggering four tackles with one sack. Robinson’s three pressures were tied for the leading amount on the team, with one of those pressures each being a sack, a QB hit, and a QB pressure.
Robinson’s performance was so good that Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart had to give a statement of great reverance about him postgame:
“He’s just a grown man,” Smart said. “One of the hardest people to block in our league.”
Robinson has been one of the best edge defenders in the country, both in his ability as a pass rusher — with stats like HHS and Pass Rush — and a run stopper.
On this play here you can see Robinson’s explosiveness on the outside and his ability to burn an offensive line that had only allowed six sacks leading into this game like nothing. Robinson’s ability to also secure tackles in the backfield is remarkable, as tackling has been a recurring problem with most of the Tiger defense this season.
Darius Robinson’s award this week means that he has clinched the title of having the most defensive analytics MVPs this season, as this is his fifth time receiving the honor and the next highest amount of wins is Kris Abrams-Draine with two. Unless KAD can pull it out the next three weeks, Robinson will likely have sole possession of that top spot.
Depth: Average Depth of Target, used to show if a wideout is typically a short passing threat, a deep threat, or one that spreads the field.
Evasive: Missed Tackle Rate, how often can a wideout break tackles in space.
Catching: A wideout’s catch rate on catchable balls thrown in his direction.
Contested: A wideout’s contested catch rate in 1-on-1 situations.
Drops: How often a wideout drops the ball.
TDR: A wideout’s touchdown to reception rate.
Route Run: A wideout’s yards per route run.
QBR: A QB’s NFL QBR when a wideout is targeted.
YAC: Yards After Catch.
YPR: Yards Per Reception.
Pass Rush: Pass Rush Score, comprised of various pass rushing stats and factors
Run Defense: Run Defense Score, comprised of various run defense stats and factors
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.
HHS: Hits, Hurries, and Sacks generated
Efficiency: Overall Defensive Efficiency