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When the going gets tough, Missouri’s offense has trouble getting going

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NCAA Football: Kentucky at Missouri
Against Power-5 competition, Drew Lock and the MU offense’s best times have come as the games are slipping away.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s take a look at a little snippet of Missouri’s offensive production against Power-5 defenses.

Run: 85 for 448 (5.27 avg.), 3 TD, fumble lost

Pass: 34-of-68, 427 yards (6.28 avg.), 4 TD

Sack: 3 for -24 (-8.00 avg.)

Total: 156 plays, 851 yards (5.46 avg.), fumble lost

Drives: 26

TD: 7

FG: 0

Points: 50

TOP: 46:15

Avg. Plays: 6.00

Avg. Yards: 32.7

Avg. TOP: 1:47

Plays Per Minute: 3.37

Looks pretty good, right? A healthy 4.8 yards a carry (counting sacks) and, while the pass accuracy isn’t great, the 6.3 yards an attempt and seven touchdowns overall against one turnover is a good ratio.

Scoring touchdowns on 27 percent of their drives and averaging 1.92 points a drive? That’s 29 points in a 15-drive game, which is what Missouri is averaging this year.

Not too shabby. So what’s the catch?

Well, those numbers are only from when Missouri is three scores (17 points) or more behind Power-5 opposition. So the defense is either in vanilla defense or has called off the dogs in some other way.

How have the Tigers acquitted themselves when the games have been close? Eh, you probably don’t want to know.

Leading

Run: 30 for 96 (3.20 avg.)

Pass: 8-of-16, 114 yards (7.13 avg.), 3 INT

Bad Snap:1 for -14

Total: 47 plays, 196 yards (4.17 avg.), 3 INT

Drives: 9

TD: 0

FG: 1

Points: 3

TOP: 17:08

Avg. Plays: 5.22

Avg. Yards: 21.8

Avg. TOP: 1:54

PPM: 2.74

—-

Tied

Run: 15 for 45 (3.00 avg.)

Pass: 15-of-27, 110 yards (4.07 avg.), TD

Total: 42 plays, 155 yards (3.69 avg.)

Drives: 10

TD: 1

FG: 0

Points: 7

TOP: 13:29

Avg. Plays: 4.20

Avg. Yards: 15.5

Avg. TOP: 1:20

PPM: 3.12

—-

Down 1-8 Points

Run: 20 for 95 (4.75 avg.)

Pass: 13-of-28, 223 yards (7.96 avg.), 2 TD, 2 INT, 2 fumbles lost

Bad Snap: 1 for -15

Total: 49 plays, 303 yards (6.18 avg.), 2 INT, 2 fumbles lost

Drives: 14

TD: 2

FG: 1

Points: 17

TOP: 12:45

Avg. Plays: 3.50

Avg. Yards: 21.6

Avg. TOP: 0:55

PPM: 3.84

—-

Down 9-16 Points

Run: 33 for 143 (4.33 avg.), fumble lost

Pass: 21-of-44, 299 yards (6.80 avg.), INT

Sack: 1 for 0

Total: 78 plays, 442 yards (5.67 avg.), INT, fumble lost

Drives: 15

TD: 0

FG: 1

Points: 3

TOP: 20:43

Avg. Plays: 5.20

Avg. Yards: 29.5

Avg. TOP: 1:23

PPM: 3.77

—-

Down 17+ Points

Run: 85 for 448 (5.27 avg.), 3 TD, fumble lost

Pass: 34-of-68, 427 yards (6.28 avg.), 4 TD

Sack: 3 for -24 (-8.00 avg.)

Total: 156 plays, 851 yards (5.46 avg.), fumble lost

Drives: 26

TD: 7

FG: 0

Points: 50

TOP: 46:15

Avg. Plays: 6.00

Avg. Yards: 32.7

Avg. TOP: 1:47

PPM: 3.37

——-

That whole “Leading” column comes from the Georgia game, when the Tigers had nine drives with which to expand on their lead and only did so with one field goal.

In fact, all 27 of the points Missouri has scored against Power-5 competition when the Tigers have been up, tied or down by only one score came against Georgia, over 15 drives.

The other four games in this study — 0 points in 18 drives. The only times the offense comes alive in a meaningful way is when Missouri is down by at least two scores.

The problems?

1. Can’t Run: 207 yards on 67 carries (3.09 per) when it’s a one-score game.

2. Turnovers Galore: two touchdowns against seven turnovers (five picks, two fumbles lost) in these situations.

So even the modest offensive gains from last year to this one — third in the SEC in passing offense against Power-5 competition, eighth in total offense, 10th in rush offense, 12th in points per game -- are a little bit of fool’s gold.

I mean, not to be a Negative Nancy, but it just kind of shows that, while the Tigers’ young offense can be intermittently powerful, it hasn’t really done so with anything on the line.

Here are the splits from each Power-5 game, if you’re curious:

West Virginia

Tied

Run: 4 for 10 (2.50 avg.)

Pass: 3-of-5, 11 yards (2.20 avg.)

Total: 9 plays, 21 yards (2.33 avg.)

Drives: 2

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 2:33

Avg. Plays: 4.5

Avg. Yards: 10.5

Avg. TOP: 1:17

PPM: 3.53

——

Down 1-8 Points

Run: 3 for 33 (11.0 avg.)

Pass: 0-of-2

Total: 5 plays, 33 yards (6.60 avg.)

Drives: 1

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 1:11

Avg. Plays: 5.0

Avg. Yards: 33.0

Avg. TOP: 1:11

PPM: 4.23

——

Down 9-16 Points

Run: 15 for 46 (3.07 avg.), fumble lost

Pass: 10-of-24, 189 yards (7.88 avg.)

Total: 39 plays, 235 yards (6.03 avg.), fumble lost

Drives: 7

TD: 0

FG: 1

Points: 3

TOP: 9:10

Avg. Plays: 5.57

Avg. Yards: 33.6

Avg. TOP: 1:19

PPM: 4.25

——

Down 17+ Points

Run: 24 for 100 (4.17 avg.)

Pass: 11-of-22, 82 yards (3.73 avg.), TD

Sack: 1 for -9

Total: 47 plays, 173 yards (3.68 avg.)

Drives: 6

TD: 1

FG: 0

Points: 8

TOP: 12:53

Avg. Plays: 7.83

Avg. Yards: 28.8

Avg. TOP: 2:08

PPM: 3.65

--—-

Georgia

Leading

Run: 30 for 96 (3.20 avg.)

Pass: 8-of-16, 114 yards (7.13 avg.), 3 INT

Bad Snap:1 for -14

Total: 47 plays, 196 yards (4.17 avg.), 3 INT

Drives: 9

TD: 0

FG: 1

Points: 3

TOP: 17:08

Avg. Plays: 5.22

Avg. Yards: 21.8

Avg. TOP: 1:54

PPM: 2.74

——

Tied

Run: 3 for 9 (3.00 avg.)

Pass: 5-of-7, 63 yards (9.00 avg.), TD

Total: 10 plays, 72 yards (7.20 avg.), TD

Drives: 1

TD: 1

FG: 0

Points: 7

TOP: 2:14

Avg. Plays: 10.0

Avg. Yards: 72.0

Avg. TOP: 2:14

PPM: 4.48

——

Down 1-8 Points

Run: 3 for 4 (1.33 avg.)

Pass: 10-of-15, 199 yards (13.3 avg.), 2 TD, 2 fumbles lost

Total: 18 plays, 203 (11.3 avg.), 2 TD, 2 fumbles lost

Drives: 5

TD: 2

FG: 1

Points: 17

TOP: 3:20

Avg. Plays: 3.60

Avg. Yards: 40.6

Avg. TOP: 0:40

PPM: 3.60

--——

LSU

Tied

Run: 1 for 2

Pass: 2-of-5, 9 yards (1.80 avg.)

Total: 6 plays, 11 yards (1.83 avg.)

Drives: 2

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 2:19

Avg. Plays: 3.00

Avg. Yards: 5.50

Avg. TOP: 1:10

PPM: 2.59

——

Down 1-8

Run: 3 for 20 (6.67 avg.)

Pass: 1-of-4, 8 yards (2.00 avg.), INT

Total: 7 plays, 28 yards (4.00 avg.), INT

Drives: 2

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 1:47

Avg. Plays: 3.50

Avg. Yards: 14.0

Avg. TOP: 0:54

PPM: 3.93

——

Down 9-16

Run: 2 for 3 (1.67 avg.)

Pass: 2-of-3, 20 yards (6.67 avg.)

Total: 5 plays, 23 yards (4.60 avg.)

Drives: 1

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 1:46

Avg. Plays: 5.00

Avg. Yards: 23.0

Avg. TOP: 1:46

PPM: 2.83

——

Down 17+

Run: 14 for 67 (4.79 avg.)

Pass: 13-of-26, 151 yards (5.81 avg.), TD

Sack: 2 for -15 (-7.50 avg.)

Total: 42 plays, 203 yards (4.83 avg.), TD

Drives: 7

TD: 1

FG: 0

Points: 7

TOP: 12:28

Avg. Plays: 6.00

Avg. Yards: 29.0

Avg. TOP: 1:47

PPM: 3.37

--——

Florida

Tied

Run: 6 for 20 (3.33 avg.)

Pass: 2-of-6, 10 yards (1.67 avg.)

Total: 12 plays, 30 yards (2.50 avg.)

Drives: 4

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 4:58

Avg. Plays: 3.00

Avg. Yards: 7.50

Avg. TOP: 1:15

PPM: 2.42

——

Down 1-8 Points

Run: 4 for 2

Pass: 0-of-3, INT

Total: 7 plays, 2 yards (0.29 avg.), INT

Drives: 3

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 2:24

Avg. Plays: 2.33

Avg. Yards: 0.67

Avg. TOP: 0:48

PPM: 2.92

——

Down 9-16 Points

Run: 7 for 45

Pass: 1-of-4, 15 yards, INT

Total: 11 plays, 60 yards (5.45 avg.), INT

Drives: 2

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 3:39

Avg. Plays: 5.50

Avg. Yards: 30.0

Avg. TOP: 1:50

PPM: 3.01

——

Down 17+ Points

Run: 29 for 198 (6.83 avg.), 2 TD, fumble lost

Pass: 4-of-9, 73 yards (8.11 avg.)

Total: 38 plays, 271 yards (7.13 avg.), fumble lost

Drives: 7

TD: 2

FG: 0

Points: 14

TOP: 12:06

Avg. Plays: 5.43

Avg. Yards: 38.7

Avg. TOP: 1:44

PPM: 3.14

--——

Kentucky

Tied

Run: 1 for 4

Pass: 3-of-4, 17 yards (4.25 avg.)

Total: 5 plays, 21 yards (4.20 avg.)

Drives: 1

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 1:25

Avg. Plays: 5.00

Avg. Yards: 21.0

Avg. TOP: 1:25

PPM: 3.53

——

Down 1-8 Points

Run: 7 for 36 (5.14 avg.)

Pass: 2-of-4, 16 yards (4.00 avg.)

Bad Snap: 1 for -15

Total: 12 plays, 37 yards (3.08 avg.)

Drives: 3

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 4:03

Avg. Plays: 4.00

Avg. Yards: 12.3

Avg. TOP: 1:21

PPM: 2.96

——

Down 9-16 Points

Run: 9 for 49 (5.44 avg.)

Pass: 8-of-13, 75 yards (5.77 avg.)

Sack: 1 for 0

Total: 23 plays, 124 yards (5.39 avg.)

Drives: 5

TD: 0

FG: 0

Points: 0

TOP: 6:08

Avg. Plays: 4.60

Avg. Yards: 24.8

Avg. TOP: 1:14

PPM: 3.75

——

Down 17+ Points

Run: 18 for 83 (4.61 avg.), TD

Pass: 6-of-11, 121 yards (11.0 avg.), 2 TD

Total: 29 plays, 204 yards (7.03 avg.)

Drives: 6

TD: 3

FG: 0

Points: 21

TOP: 8:48

Avg. Plays: 4.83

Avg. Yards: 34.0

Avg. TOP: 1:28

PPM: 3.30