I’ll show you a bunch of charts and numbers that characterize the 62-24 molly-whoppin’ Tennessee delivered to Mizzou on Saturday but truly, this is the only image you need:
Regardless, I will do my job. For you. Because otherwise I don’t know why I’m doing it.
So that’s what an ass beating looks like. And what sucks is that the Missouri offense, essentially, played the same game it usually plays. The difference is that the defense threw up, slipped on their vomit, landed in it, and then exploded.
Let’s look at my keys to the game because...tradition!
When Missouri Has the Ball
44% success rate running the ball and 46% success rate passing the ball seems high, right? Especially given the total inability for the ground game to not get tackled in the backfield.
Convert on 3rd Downs
Coming in to the game the Tennessee defense was forcing 3-and-outs 50% of the time while the Missouri offense was going 3-and-out 18% of the time. Missouri had two 3-and-outs in 10 possessions which is 20%, so that was about par for the course. The issue is that, even if you’re not getting thrown off the field in three plays, you do need to convert whatever 3rd-downs you get. I figured Mizzou would need a 70% conversion rate to keep up with Tennessee; they ended with 43.7% with an average distance to go on 3rd-down of 8.6 yards. On a day where Missouri averaged 5.3 yards per play.
Throw to Win
I asked for a 45% success rate when throwing the ball and got 46%, the second worst passing success rate on the year behind the Central Michigan game. This was exacerbated by four drops - three by Keke Chism alone - but, even if those passes were caught, it wasn’t going to make much of a difference. Tennessee’s defensive line was good enough to create pressure by itself and the rest of the defense played off and made sure that nothing got behind them. Football is easy!
Finish your dang drives
I hoped for 7 scoring opportunities with 5 points scored per opportunity. We got 5 scoring opportunities with 4.8 points per opportunity. That wouldn’t have cut it if Tennessee had merely played to their season averages in both, let alone dropped a ten ton atomic bomb onto Faurot.
When Tennessee Has the Ball
Hey, kid, do you want to see a dead body?
Hey, Martez Manuel had a good havoc game! Let’s see what everyone else did in that regard!
Pounce on Passing Downs
Passing downs is 2nd-and-8+, 3rd-and-5+, and 4th-and-5+. Tennessee ran 79 plays. Of those 79 plays, only ELEVEN (11!) were passing downs situations, and seven of those came in the 2nd half of the game. In those eleven passing downs situations, they threw the ball 8 times with a 50% success rate and ran it three times with no successful plays (those three runs were all in the 4th quarter, by the way). That’s a 36% success rate which, yes, exceeds my 30% request. But it really never mattered because they were either, a.) keeping up with the chains or b.) just reeling off a series of 10+ yard gains.
Martez Manuel had two tackles for loss and Kris Abrams-Draine broke up one pass. That’s it! 5% havoc rate woooooooooooooooooooo
The Little Things
Outgained on a per play basis, fewer scoring opportunities, fewer points per opportunity, gave the ball away more. Hell, even our old friend “field position” was a total knock out in favor of the Volunteers.
But hey, your #1 Special Teams Unit in the country came through and beat the hell out of Tennessee’s special teams unit. **** yeah. Hang the banner.
- I’ve been charting advanced stats for Missouri football games for about six years now. I’ve never seen a team - Mizzou or one of its opponents, ever have a success rate as high as Tennessee accomplished in the 1st quarter of Saturday’s game.
- Saturday’s game also marked the 2nd-consecutive game that the Missouri offense has been on the field in the 3rd quarter for less than 10 plays. I’m no football coach but I feel like that’s not the best way to win a game.
- I know it happened against our Tigers, but seriously, this is the most beautiful rushing box score you could ever imagine. 63% success rate rushing the ball. Volunteers rushers gained at least 4-yards on nearly 57% of their carries. If they got 4-yards they averaged 8.6 yards after that. And the Tennessee offensive line averaged 3-yards of pushing the Missouri defensive line back and creating a lane to run through. A reminder— the most an offensive line can ever get credit for in the running game 4.5 yards. That’s beautiful.
- On the opposite side, Missouri’s run game was less than stellar. Young, Harris, Smith, Downing, and Luper had 8 carries with middling results, but our boy Tyler Badie had no shot. 2 yards per carry is rough, but a 38% success rate is the 2nd worst behind his 33% success rate against BC. He only gained 4 yards on 38% of his carries, and while Tennessee’s offensive line was opening, getting three yards of push, Missouri’s offensive line was opening 0.8 yards of push against Tennessee’s defensive line. Yikes.
- Given Tennessee’s starting field position on each of its 11 drives, Tennessee could have gone 706 yards on the day. The Volunteers amassed 683 yards, meaning Missouri’s defense successfully stopped them from moving a total of 23 yards. If made field goals count as yardage, Missouri successfully stopped the Volunteers from moving 1 total yard.
- Let’s see, how else can I make you sad? Oh! Hendon Hooker had a 79% completion rate with an average of 11.2 yards per attempt! What? Come back, I’m not done yet!
Game sucked. Let’s hope the Tigers can outscore North Texas.