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Mizzou Analytics MVPs: An offensive star continues to make his mark alongside a defensive newcomer

Let’s take a look at who excelled analytically in Missouri’s 34-27 win over Memphis.

Memphis v Missouri Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images

Alright folks, it’s a new week, and that means it’s time to look at your Mizzou Analytics MVPs for Week 4.

There were a ton of players that excelled for your No. 23 Missouri Tigers (believe me I will be saying that for as long as I can) as they racked up a gargantuan 542 yards of total offense while the defense picked up two turnovers and had some crucial stops.

Offense: Luther Burden III

This is Burden’s second Analytics MVP award of the season and it’s only Week 5, and to be quite frank this could’ve (and arguably should’ve) been his third, as he had a lights out performance against Kansas State too.

This was a classic Luther Burden game: Cook found him in tight windows and in open space so he could get yards after catch and continue to miss tackles as he has done all season better than anyone in the country.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Right off the bat, Luther’s route running numbers were absolutely absurd on Saturday, and you could really tell live. Burden is one of those players who runs every route like it’s his last, and that’s why he was able to get so much separation on Saturday.

As per usual, Burden dominated the evasive and yards after catch categories, as he leads the country in both those categories this season overall.

No touchdowns certainly hampers Luther’s numbers but as you all know, you don’t need to be scoring touchdowns to be making an impact on the field.

Burden’s depth of target numbers was at about what we saw last season, but everywhere else was miles higher. While the small depth of target numbers are alarming, every wideout has a niche in the team, and Burden’s just so happens to be the guy that can miss tackles on screens like no other and turn 1-5 yard plays into 30+ yard plays on the regular.

A great example is a play like this where Burden was five yards behind the line of scrimmage but because of his speed and ability to miss tacklers, was able to turn it into a 26-yard score. Plays like this will certainly hamper a player’s depth of target, and Burden has looked like these every game.

Defense: Kris Abrams-Draine

KAD overall has been one of the highest-graded coverage guys in the country, and he showed that prowess against Memphis on Saturday, only having 5 targets against in 55 coverage snaps. KAD allowed just two receptions for five yards this week and picked up an INT.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Right off the bat, the coverage grade for KAD is absolutely incredible, as he was the 2nd highest graded coverage corner in the country in Week 4.

Just from what I saw at the game, Abrams-Draine often was draped all over his receivers and that can explain the incredible coverage grade, and he also had great numbers in the pass breakup and forced incompletion categories.

On his most reputable play of the night, you can see KAD’s coverage awareness and most importantly how perfectly he timed turning around to go up for the INT.

I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we see Abrams-Draine as an MVP this season, as he’s been locking guys down all season.

All in all, the Tigers had an absolutely outstanding performance this week, and if these two hadn’t put in such great performances, there were still plenty of great players to pick out this week (Although if Burden keeps performing like this the originality of this series might go downhill quick).


Wide Receivers

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.


Catching: Opposition Catch Rate when Targeted

Tackling: Missed Tackle Rate

QBR: QBR Against when Targeted

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.

Incompletions: Forced incompletion rate

YPC: Yards Per Coverage Snap Allowed

Coverage: Overall Coverage Grade (Conglomerate of various coverage stats)

Receptions: Average Coverage Snaps before a reception is allowed

Targeted: Average Coverage Snaps before this CB is targeted

Pass Breakups: Pass Breakup Rate