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Mizzou Analytics MVPs: A week for the men in the trenches

Missouri’s exemplary performance against Vanderbilt featured big performances from skill position players, but the work on the line is what won them the game.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 23 Memphis at Missouri

Eliah Drinkwitz’s Tigers had 532 Yards of offense whilst allowing 300 en route to a dominant 38-21 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, and the usuals at the skill positions made their mark.

Luther Burden III, Theo Wease Jr. and Brady Cook all had exceptional performances in the game, and the only group who really struggled was the secondary after a few large plays were given up.

This week’s installment of Analytics MVPs features two guys who are having excellent seasons thus far.

Offense: Javon Foster

Javon has consistently been one of the highest graded tackles in the country per PFF, and he continued to excel this week. Foster didn’t allow a single pressure on 41 attempts against, and had no sacks, hits, or hurries on his card for yet another perfect week. Foster continues to be a massive reason for why the offense has shot up so high in recent weeks, especially in the passing game.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Foster was one of the best pass blocking linemen in the country from his sample size, and had perfect scores in the pressures, hurries, and efficiency categories. For those who might ask, how is 66, 57, and 66% perfect? Well that’s because 34, 43, and 34% of offensive linemen also didn’t allow any pressures, hurries, hits, or sacks this week.

You can look at any offensive play from the Vandy games highlights, and you’ll likely find a perfectly executed block from 76. His ability to secure Brady Cook’s blindside this season has been a huge reason why Brady’s confidence in the pocket these past couple weeks has soared.

Foster, unlike a few of the Tigers offensive linemen, isn’t one dimensional at all. Despite the fact that his excellence is clearly most seen in the passing game, he’s a very serviceable run blocker as well.

Defense: Josh Landry

Landry wreaked havoc in the defensive interior all game, racking up five tackles, and five combined sacks, hits, and hurries. In addition to that, Vanderbilt’s offensive line was one of the most poorly graded lines in college football last week, and it’s thanks to the performance of Landry and his comrades.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Landry was absolutely exceptional in the pass rush, and only had a tough score in the run defense category. He was decently ranked compared to other players at his position, but something I want to point to is just the overall body of work of the defensive line.

The Tigers’ defensive unit has absolutely lit up the pressure seat, and the data chart above from SIS shows it. They have generated pressures agains their opponents unlike any other team in the country, and players like Landry are a big reason why.

Legend

Offensive Line

Pass Block: Pass Blocking Score, comprised of various pass blocking stats and factors

Run Block: Run Blocking Score, comprised of various run blocking stats and factors

Pressures: Pressures Allowed

Hurries: Hurries Allowed

Efficiency: Overall Blocking Efficiency

Interior Defensive Line

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