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Mizzou Analytics MVPs: A star re-emerges on offense, the secondary receives love on defense

The Tigers had their fair share of performers on the analytical spectrum in their nail-biting 33-31 win over Florida on Saturday

Cal Tobias/Rock M Nation

Head Coach Eliah Drinkwitz’s team put on an explosive offensive performance that was good for 508 total yards of offense with a zero in the turnover column, but was met with a defensive performance that allowed 500 yards yet provided some key turnovers that substantially turned the tide of the game.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. led the Tiger defense playing 69 out of 70 defensive snaps on Saturday night, while every single member of the offensive line, Brady Cook, and Cody Schrader played 70 of 70 offensive snaps.

As far as the receiving group, they racked up 16.6 yards per reception on 20 catches whilst averaging 11.3 yards after catch per reception. In the running game, 14 of the Tigers runs came from zone sets while 14 of them came from gap sets, displaying a remarkably perfectly balanced attack that produced 185 yards at 6.4 yards per carry and two touchdowns.

Taking a slight gander at the pass rush, the team generated eight pressures on Saturday, with six of them coming from Johnny Walker Jr. and Darius Robinson, with Robinson picking up the only sack of the night. Considering that Florida had as many injuries as they did on their offensive line, it was a less than stellar night for the pass rush, which is why they won’t be featured in this weeks segment.

Offense: Luther Burden III

After a few somewhat quiet (for his standards) weeks, Burden came alive in key moments for the Tigers on Saturday, getting back to what he does best and providing gargantuan play after gargantuan play to propel the Tigers to a triumph. Burden’s 158 yards on nine receptions were his first time eclipsing the 100 yard mark since the LSU game, and his second highest receiving total this season.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Burden’s injury that he was reportedly dealing with apparently signifcantly hampered his ability to move lateral and make cuts, and for a wide receiver that heavily relies on his ability to miss tackles in space that’s going to hamper his production. However, in Week 12 it seemed as if the pre-injury Luther was back, as he made some ginormous plays that piggybacked off his vintage elusive ability and his ability to generate separation in the second level.

Luther most likely could have been the best WR in Week 12 in terms of the VAT score if he had some touchdowns to his name, but if you ask him whether he’d take a touchdown or the clutch 4th and 17 pickup on the final drive of the game I think Missouri fans all know which option he is selecting. Burden’s 94th percentile score in the VAT category is his second best of the season, just behind his 97th percentile score he incurred during the Memphis game.

Just right here you can see the movement that Burden has re-gained, movement Missouri fans have not seen from him since his injury troubles had really become apparent. Luckily for him and this team, his health has come back at a big time and this offense is going into a key, potential NY6-clinching matchup against Arkansas with almost everyone healthy.

Defense: Jaylon Carlies

For the majority of the early part of this season, the safeties took quite a beating and were considered the chink in the Tiger defenses armor this season. However, as the home stretch of this season has panned out, the safeties have begun to be a strength for the Tigers, and Carlies’ dispatch on Saturday was an exposé of that fortitude. Carlies was targeted three times in coverage against the Gators, and allowed zero receptions while picking up a pass breakup and an interception, with two of those targets coming against star Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall.

@AdeenRao_ | Twitter

Carlies put up the clamps on Saturday and netted his best performance in the VAT category all-season and by a pretty large margin with his previous best being in the 72nd percentile. This was Carlies’ first week allowing no receptions, and believe it or not was his first game this season having a less than 50% reception rate.

Saturday was Carlies’ second time this season picking up an interception and a pass breakup in the same game, having previously done so against South Carolina. Carlies also picked up four stops in the tilt, his highest total of the season.

After not having a single game with a coverage grade higher than 70, Carlies’ coverage grade was a colossal 87.1, putting him in the upper echelon of free safeties in the country for Week 12.

One could argue that on his interception, Carlies was just in the right place at the right time. However, as many have said prior to this, most of those who are in the right place at the right time just tend to be good at what they do, and Carlies was great at what he did against Florida on Saturday.


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.

Free Safeties

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