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Ole Miss vs. LSU: Box score rundown

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Tigers 40, Rebels 24

LSU v Mississippi Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Following each game, I’ll be posting numbers that tell a broader story than what a traditional box score may offer. Looking at Bill C.’s stat profiles is a great way to quickly identify a team’s strengths and weaknesses. If you’re curious, here’s a glossary with detailed definitions, but I’ll include some of the more pertinent stuff here to provide some context.

  • A successful play occurs when you gain: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down.
  • Explosive/big plays are defined here as runs of 12+ yards or passes of 16+ yards.
  • A scoring opportunity is a first down inside the opponent’s 40-yard line.
  • Passing downs are defined as second down with at least eight yards to go or third/fourth with at least five to go. All other situations are standard downs.

Five Factors

Ole Miss LSU
Ole Miss LSU
Efficiency (Success Rate) 42% 56%
Big Plays 9 10
Average Starting Field Position Own 32 Own 24
Finishing Drives (Points per Scoring Opportunity) 3.8 4.4
Turnovers 3 0
The Five Factors were developed by Bill Connelly.

The table above indicates that despite the fact that LSU was more consistent moving the ball (success rate), Ole Miss kept themselves in it for much of the game through big plays and field position/special teams. It’s tempting to think that had the Rebels connected on a few long passes, avoided turnovers, and not settled for field goals on three different occasions inside the Tigers’ 23, this could have had a different outcome. That’s...one way of looking at it.

The Big Picture

Team Drives Plays Yards Scoring Opportunities Yards per Play
Team Drives Plays Yards Scoring Opportunities Yards per Play
Ole Miss 12 62 347 6 5.6
LSU 12 68 593 9 8.7

Looking at the actual yardage tells a vastly different story, suggesting that LSU probably should have had this game wrapped up earlier than they did. The way we define big plays here, Ole Miss technically kept up in that department, but LSU did a lot more with those chances in the open field.

They picked up a first down inside the Rebels’ 40 on nine of their 12 possessions, but only reached the end zone on four of those opportunities. Ole Miss certainly had some chances to make things interesting, but it never should have been all that close.

Perhaps the most telling part of the graphs is in the play calling tab, which shows the offense’s stubborn commitment to the pass despite the surprising success they were finding on the ground. There actually was a window in the first half in which they ran more than they passed, but once their run rate dipped below 50 percent in the third, it stayed there.

Following Wilkins’ 28-yard touchdown run to make it 16-23, they ran the ball just five more times in the game. A lot of that obviously had to do with the Tigers finally widening the gap, but Ole Miss put themselves in some third down holes down the stretch when passing on early downs didn’t work out.

Efficiency by Quarter

Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Overall
Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Overall
Ole Miss 32% 54% 35% 54% 42%
LSU 50% 50% 74% 47% 56%
National Average 40%

To be fair, Phil Longo did leverage the run game in a unique way when it came to getting out of passing downs. Heading into Saturday, Ole Miss ranked 126th in terms of how often they ran in these situations (17.8 percent). Against LSU, they ran on 11 of those 22 plays, which helped make their intentions less obvious when they fell behind the chains. The Tigers have allowed opponents to convert passing downs less than 26 percent of the time, so that mark of 41 percent for Ole Miss isn’t something to shrug off.

Efficiency by Play and Down Type

Team Passing Rushing Standard Downs Passing Downs
Team Passing Rushing Standard Downs Passing Downs
Ole Miss 35% 52% 43% 41%
LSU 50% 58% 63% 11%
National Average 40% 41% 45% 31%

Explosive Plays

Team Running Passing Resulting Yards Yards per Successful Play Yards per Explosive Play
Team Running Passing Resulting Yards Yards per Successful Play Yards per Explosive Play
Ole Miss 7 2 167 12.3 18.6
LSU 7 3 351 14.4 35.1

I briefly mentioned before that LSU’s explosiveness was a bit understated by saying they only had 10 big plays, and it shows here, as over half of their 593 total yards came on those snaps. They gained 26 or more yards on six different plays, with four of those coming from Derrius Guice on the ground.

It’s not a shock that outside of a 40-yard gain for Dawson Knox and that 28-yard run for Wilkins, the Rebels’ next biggest play went for just 17. Dave Aranda’s defense ranks 19th in IsoPPP (measures the magnitude of plays), so Ole Miss wasn’t going to have many more chances downfield after those early drops.

Ole Miss Passing and Receiving

Name Down Type Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion.Percentage TD Int
Name Down Type Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion.Percentage TD Int
Patterson Total 10 26 97 3.7 38% 0 3
Standard 5 17 60 3.5 29% 0 2
Passing 5 9 37 4.1 56% 0 1
Ta'amu Total 7 11 78 7.1 64% 0 0
Standard 5 9 56 6.2 56% 0 0
Passing 2 2 22 11.0 100% 0 0
Sacks count as passing attempts.

Given his season-ending injury, it wouldn’t be fair or even prudent to lay much criticism down on Shea Patterson. His ugly stat line came from some atypical struggles on standard downs, and it didn’t help that he played on a bad knee for most of the game.

We still don’t have a great idea of where to set expectations for Ta’amu, but the early results are somewhat promising. If he turns out to be no more than a solid runner and dink-and-dunk passer, that could limit the offense, but the scariest defensive matchups may be past this group.

Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Brown 10 4 39 40% 30% 9.8 3.9
Lodge 7 2 18 29% 29% 9.0 2.6
Knox 5 5 72 100% 60% 14.4 14.4
Metcalf 3 1 15 33% 33% 15.0 5.0
Jefferson 2 2 23 100% 100% 11.5 11.5
Sanders 2 2 25 100% 100% 12.5 12.5
Pennamon 1 1 2 100% 0% 2.0 2.0
Swinney 1 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0

LSU Passing and Receiving

Name Down Type Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion.Percentage TD Int
Name Down Type Completions Attempts Yards Yds/Attempt Completion.Percentage TD Int
Etling Total 9 16 178 11.1 56% 2 0
Standard 9 12 200 16.7 75% 2 0
Passing 0 4 -22 -5.5 0% 0 0

One of the low-key tragic nuggets from the game was how ineffective Matt Cannada’s offense was when Ole Miss actually forced them into obvious passing situations. Etling got sacked on three of those four dropbacks, but given how well LSU maintained leverage most of the time, that deficiency had no say on the outcome of the game.

Last night’s game made me really wish stats that tracked how far passes traveled through the air were readily available in college football. That’s because it felt like a good chunk of Etling’s passes were at or behind the line of scrimmage, made most evident here by the fact that their leading receiver was a running back. Against the Rebel defense, that obviously didn’t matter, but it’s not gonna work to nearly the same degree against....say...Alabama.

Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Name Targets Catches Yards Catch Rate Success Rate Yards per Catch Yards per Target
Williams 4 4 105 100% 100% 26.3 26.3
Moore 3 3 26 100% 67% 8.7 8.7
Gage 2 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0
Chark 1 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0
Guice 1 1 9 100% 100% 9.0 9.0
Moreau 1 1 60 100% 100% 60.0 60.0
Sullivan 1 0 0 0% 0% 0.0 0.0
  • Opportunity Rate is the percentage of carries that gain 5+ yards.
  • Stuff Rate is the percentage of runs that are stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.
  • Highlight Yards per Opportunity measures how much you’re able to do after getting to the second level of the defense.
  • QB runs don’t include sacks.

Ole Miss Running

Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Total 25 172 6.9 52% 20% 5.1
Wilkins 13 86 6.6 54% 23% 4.9
Pennamon 4 9 2.3 0% 25% 0.0
Swinney 3 40 13.3 100% 0% 5.8
Ta'amu 3 20 6.7 67% 33% 4.3
Patterson 2 17 8.5 50% 0% 5.5
National Average 5.1 38% 20% 5.2

Jordan Wilkins was one of the only bright spots in last night’s defeat, and we’re watching him evolve as a runner. He used to struggle at finding the hole and getting to the second level, but his opportunity rate has taken a jump over the last four games, after showing some hesitation out of the backfield to start the year.

LSU Running

Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Name Runs Yards Yards per Carry Opportunity Rate Stuff Rate Highlight Yards per Opportunity
Total 52 415 8.0 56% 6% 6.2
Guice 22 276 12.5 64% 0% 11.5
Williams 22 103 4.7 41% 9% 2.0
Etling 4 23 5.8 100% 0% 0.4
Gage 2 8 4.0 50% 0% 0.0
Dillon 1 6 6.0 100% 0% 0.5

Guice’s gaudy yardage numbers speak for themselves, but it’s also remarkable that the Rebels couldn’t pin him at or behind the line of scrimmage on any of his 22 carries. Stats like yards after contact could also be useful here, because he definitely had tacklers around him in the backfield more than once.

Ole Miss Defense

Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Breeland Speaks 13 2 2 0 0 2
DeMarquis Gates 10 1 0 0 0 1
Zedrick Woods 8 0 0 0 0 0
Jaylon Jones 6 0 0 0 0 0
Josiah Coatney 5 0 0 0 0 0
Tayler Polk 5 0 0 0 0 0
A.J. Moore 4 0 0 1 0 1
Ken Webster 4 0 0 1 0 1
Marquis Haynes 4 1 1 0 0 1
C.J. Hampton 3 0 0 0 0 0
Donta Evans 3 0 0 0 0 0
Javien Hamilton 3 0 0 0 0 0
Austrian Robinson 2 0 0 0 0 0
Benito Jones 2 0 0 0 0 0
Jalen Julius 2 0 0 0 0 0
Myles Hartsfield 2 0 0 0 0 0
D.D. Bowie 1 0 0 0 0 0
Markel Winters 1 0 0 0 0 0
Montrell Custis 1 0 0 0 0 0
Ross Donelly 1 0 0 0 0 0

Hi Breeland!

LSU Defense

Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Name Tackles TFL Sacks PD FF Havoc
Grant Delpit 9 1 0 2 0 3
John Battle 7 0 0 1 0 1
Arden Key 6 2 2 0 1 3
Jacob Phillips 6 0.5 0 0 0 0.5
Donte Jackson 5 0 0 0 0 0
Christian LaCouture 4 1.5 1 0 0 1.5
Tyler Taylor 4 0 0 0 0 0
Andraez Williams 3 0 0 1 0 1
Devin White 3 0 0 1 0 1
Frank Herron 3 0 0 0 0 0
Eric Monroe 2 0 0 0 0 0
Rashard Lawrence 2 0 0 0 0 0
Cameron Gamble 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jontre Kirklin 1 0 0 0 0 0
Layton Garnett 1 0 0 0 0 0

Havoc plays are tackles for loss + passes defensed + forced fumbles.