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Beyond the Box Score: Whatever you do, do NOT look at this

It’s so bad

Let’s play a game: I’m going to give you the success rates and total yardage of four different teams from 2020. Your challenge is to figure out which team it is based off of those stats. Here we go!

  • Team A: 55.8% passing success rate, 45.7% rushing success rate, 629 total yards
  • Team B: 40.6% passing success rate, 33.3% rushing success rate, 200 total yards
  • Team C: 34.5% passing success rate, 32.2% rushing success rate, 211 total yards
  • Team D: 50.0% passing success rate, 55.8% rushing success rate, 615 total yards

Can you figure out who these mystery teams are?

I’ll give you one more second...

...

Ok!

Team A is Missouri against Vanderbilt - who is Team C - earlier this year.

Team D is Georgia against Missouri - who, yeah, is team B - from this past Saturday.

That’s right! Georgia did to Missouri what Missouri did to Vanderbilt.

Anyway...there’s really not a whole lot we can glean from this game but I’ll go through the key stats to show you just how dominant Georgia was.....and yet, still tied with Missouri at the half! College football is weird!

Advanced Box Score

Missouri’s Offense vs. Georgia’s Defense

Missouri’s Offense vs. Georgia’s Defense

Explosive Plays (through the air)

I posited that Missouri needed 8 to 10 explosive plays to effectively move the ball on one of the two best defenses in the country. They got 3:

Larry Rountree III’s 21-yard catch in the 1st quarter

Messiah Swinson’s 29-yard catch from Keke Chism’s Colt-45 in the 2nd quarter

Damon Hazelton’s 33-yard catch at the start of the 3rd quarter

That’s it.

You’ll notice none of these are running plays. The longest rush of the day went for 9 yards; every other rush went for less than 5. Yuck.

Winner: Georgia

Third Downs

I simply asked that Missouri have a better third-down conversion percentage than Georgia. Instead, the Tigers went 3-11 (27) while the Bulldogs rudely went 8-13 (61.5%).

Winner: Georgia

Finish your dang drives

I thought that the Tigers needed to hit 35-40 points, either by generating 10 scoring opportunities with at least 4 points per trip OR averaging 7 points per trip over 5 scoring opportunities. Good news! Missouri averaged a season-best 7 points per opportunity! Bad news! Mizzou generated 2 scoring opportunities.

Winner: Georgia

Missouri’s Defense vs. Georgia’s Offense

Missouri’s Defense vs. Georgia’s Offense

Make ‘em throw

The goal was to keep the rushing success rate under 45% and their standard downs success rate under 40%...but Georgia decided to have a 55.8% rushing success rate paired with a 76% success rate on standard downs. 51 of Georgia’s 74 plays were run on standard downs - a whopping 68% of all their plays - meaning 68% of the time Georgia was on pace with down and distance. Good for them. Bad for Missouri.

Winner: Georgia

Turnovers

If you want to beat an elite team you need to generate some turnovers and I wanted to see Missouri at least +2 in the turnover department. They were -1 for the day.

Winner: Georgia

Extra Points

Let’s hope this is the worst it’s ever going to get for a Drinkwitz rushing attack

What can men do against such reckless hatred?

The Tigers averaged 1.5 yards per carry. The line opened up an average of 1.1 yards of space for the backs. If Missouri ran the ball, they got 4 yards on just 19% of their carries and were stuffed at or behind the line 28% of the time. It was a losing proposition to try to run on Georgia and they still tried 21 times to no avail. Drinkwitz offenses need a good ground game to get going; on Saturday they got nothing.

Drink definitely watched the Florida-Georgia game from earlier this season...

:(

...in which Kyle Trask abused the Georgia secondary with passes to running backs on wheel routes and slot guys going deep. Rountree and Knox combined for 12 targets in an effort to use that short passing game to break some big ones. The problem is that a.) they combined for 60 yards, and b.) Drink was using Rountree instead of Badie. Tyler had 3 targets, 2 catches, 0 yards through the air and no touches in the ground game. I’m all about not going to tried and true methods that opponents game plan for, but at some point, Drink needed to get Badie more involved, which he openly admitted to post game. However, this is the second game in a row where Badie is underutilized; against Arkansas he was the catalyst that sparked the comeback, against Georgia he was mostly kept on the sideline.

These might be the only stats you need:

LOOK AT ALL THE BLOOD

I’m not sure how many teams have won a game while running 20 fewer plays for 415 fewer yards and getting more than doubled up in yards per play. I’m sure there’s one or two, but yeah, there was just no way Missouri was winning this game.

However, this is really the one stat you need:

Since 2017, Georgia has recruited 76 blue-chip players, 2nd best in the SEC behind Alabama’s 87. In that same time frame Missouri has recruited 4 blue-chip players, worst in the SEC. Yes, even worse than Vanderbilt who has 7.

Drinkwitz is improving the recruiting but it’s going to take awhile. And until Missouri isn’t getting 16-fewer blue-chippers than the third worst recruiting team in the SEC, they can’t reliably expect to compete in games against the elites. Yes, scheme and development help close the gap a little. But it’s way better to scheme and develop 4- and 5-star guys than 2- and 3-star guys.

Conclusion

Georgia was way better and it showed. Missouri gets at least one more chance to win a game as they hit the road against an evenly-matched opponent in Mississippi State.