Ole Miss Rebels vs. Missouri Tigers - A Statistical Preview

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

A top-25 showdown in Oxford features talent all over the field.

Hotty Toddy and happy game day, Rebel fans. It's Senior Day in Oxford, and the final home game of the year welcomes a top-10 Mizzou team to take on the No. 24 Rebels.

Back when this season's schedule was finalized, I'm sure that many of us, based upon last years Missouri team's performance, counted this game as a win. "Good thing we dropped Georgia for Mizzou, right guys?" Well, no, not right. Very, very wrong.

Mizzou's a good team, and that's very different than what most of us expected. Just a few months ago, many were even thinking that Gary Pinkel's job would be in jeopardy by December if not sooner. But the 2013 version of the Missouri Tigers have been much improved. We worry a bit that they aren't getting enough recognition at the national level (and certainly not in the SEC, where fans seem unwilling to accept that Mizzou's a talented, capapble team - must I offer HATE WEEK as prima facie evidence of this?).

Here's what Missouri will put on the field tonight.

Mizzou Passing

Name

Comp/Att

Yards

Int

TDs

Comp %

Effeciency

James Franklin

132/195

1577

3

14

67.7

156.24

Maty Mauk

62/120

951

2

10

51.7

142.4


Mizzou Rushing

Name

Attempts

Yards

TDs

Average/Game

Long

Henry Josey

125

794

10

76

86

Russell Hansbrough

83

565

4

54.4

51

Marcus Murphy

63

491

7

48.5

42

James Franklin

65

368

3

41.4

26

Mizzou Receiving

Name

Receptions

Yards

TDs

Average/Game

Long

Marcus Lucas

46

531

2

53.1

40

Dorial Green Beckham

40

579

9

57.9

68

L'Damian Washington

36

680

9

68

96

Jimmie Hunt

18

223

1

22.3

52

As you can see by the statistics that are listed here, they have plenty of offensive firepower and play some balanced football. Pundits and fans of other schools alike predicted that Missouri would drop a few games after losing Senior QB James Franklin to a shoulder injury in the second half of the Georgia game.  Freshman QB Maty Mauk took over the reigns and, short of a spectacular comeback by South Carolina, the Tigers would have remained unbeaten since Franklin went down (and would be a top-5 team). The rushing attack is led by Henry Josey and the receiving corps has a former #1 WR recruit in Dorial Green-Beckham. Beckham is tied for the team lead with 9 TD receptions.

Many that are not familiar with the Missouri Tigers may think this team is all offense, but the thing that has this Missouri team so dangerous this season is a defense that can match their offense's contribution. The Tigers have excelled this season at getting pressure on the QB, generating sacks and turnovers. The Tigers do a great job of creating this pressure with just their front four, and if the Rebels are not sound in protecting off the edge it could turn into a long day for the Rebels and Bo Wallace. Consider this damn scary fact: the combination of Michael Sam and Kony Ealy have more sacks this year the entire Rebel defense combined.

Missouri Defensive Leaders

Name

Tackles (Total)

TFL

Turnover Plays

Sacks

PBU's

Andrew Wilson

74

3

1

0

2

Braylon Webb

67

1

2

0

5

EJ Gaines

46

3

4

0

2

Kentrell Brothers

45

4

3

1

3

Donavan Bonner

44

3

0

1

0

Matt White

43

0

2

0

2

Markus Golden

39

10

3

4.5

0

* Michael Sam and Kony Ealy are the team sack leaders with 10 and 6.5 respectively.

Here is a closer look at the comparisons between the Rebels and Tigers both offensively and defensively this season.

Missouri Offense

Missouri Defense

Scoring

413

202

First Downs

245

202

Rushing Yardage

2358

1119

Passing Yardage

2568

1421

Total Offense

4926

3868

Avg Per Game

492.6

386.8

Average Per Play

6.8

5.1

Total Plays

729

757

OM Offense

OM Defense

Scoring

345

250

First Downs

251

200

Rushing Yardage

2006

1504

Passing Yardage

2974

2233

Total Offense

4980

3737

Total Plays

784

692

Average Per Play

6.4

5.4

Avg Per Game

498

373.3

OM

Missouri

Turnovers

15

11

Punting

34 for 37.6 yd net

46 for 35.8 yd net

Time of Possession

29:58:00

29:45:00

3rd Conversion %

67/146 (46%)

64/136 (47%)

4th Conversion %

13/25 (52%)

6/8 (75%)

Sacks For

14 for 100 yds

34 for 197 yds

FG

13 for 16

13 for 19

Red Zone Scoring

29/35 (83%)

43/50 (86%)

Penalties

57 for 441 yds

50 for 386 yds

Team Stats

OM (FBS Rank)

Missouri (FBS Rank)

Total Yards

498 (15th)

492.6 (17th)

Passing Yards

297.4 (19th)

256.8 (39th)

Rushing Yards

200.6 (31st)

235.8 (18th)

Scoring Offense

34.5 (38th)

41.3 (12th)

Points Against

25 (49th)

20.2 (20th)

Rushing Defense

150.4 (43rd)

111.9 (14th)

Passing Defense

223.2 (47th)

274.9 (112th)

Total Defense

373.7 (42nd)

386.8 (52nd)

Turnover Margin

plus 2 (t48th)

plus 14 (tied 2nd)

Pass Defense Efficiency

125.63 (64th)

120.22 (38th)

First Downs Offense

22nd

25th

3rd Down Conversions

30th

34th

Yes, this is raw data, but even when adjusted for strength of schedule Mizzou proves to be a hell of a challenge.

If there's something that we can pull out of this, it's that the Tigers are vulnerable to the pass. Yes, even though opponents are playing from behind and forced to throw a lot, it's still remarkable that Mizzou gives up 274.9 yards per game (and still wins wins). If the Rebels can protect Bo Wallace - a tall task indeed - they could give the Missouri secondary fits. This also means rushing the ball well enough to prevent third and long passing situations, to ensure that the Rebs can get first downs through short, quick passes that serve to neutralize the Mizzou pass rush.

Keys this week are:

  • Protecting Bo Wallace
  • Effectively running the ball on first and second down
  • When Franklin plays, take a defensive approach to force Franklin out of the pocket and prove his shoulder is healthy. When its Mauk, force him into some tough throws and hopefully some freshman mistakes.

There should be a hell of an atmosphere tonight in Oxford. Hopefully the enthusiasm from the Rebel crowd translates to an Ole Miss win over the No. 9 Tigers.

[ED: Fit4LifeLLC deserves our endless thanks and adulation for pulling all of this together.]

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