PFF Insights: New Mexico State at Mizzou

Another season of college football means another season of Rivals teaming up with PFF College to do a deep dive on player analytics. After every Missouri football game, we will use PFF College’s numbers to break down the Tigers’ performance as a unit and as individuals. Here is a breakdown of how the team performed in week two as well as how they did individually. For those unfamiliar with how PFF calculates its grades, an explanation can be found here.

Overall grades

Pro Football Focus grades offenses based on five categories: passing, rushing, receiving, pass blocking and run blocking. It grades defenses based on four: run defense, tackling, pass rush and coverage. Here’s how Missouri fared in each category Saturday.

Offense vs. New Mexico State

Takeaways: The only grade that didn’t improve from last week is the rushing grade. Last week, it was a 70.7 and that grade was inflated because of quarterback Brady Cook’s career-high 106 rushing yards. Cook had seven carries for 71 yards on Saturday. The running backs combined for 16 carries for 58 yards last week and this week they combined for 26 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns. The grade should be better this week than it was last week.

Although the stat sheet says Mizzou allowed two tackles for loss, running back Nathaniel Peat was almost single-handedly the reason for one of them by trying to juke defenders out behind the line of scrimmage. So, Mizzou’s offensive line allowed no sacks and one tackle for loss and had one illegal man downfield penalty. The run-blocking and pass-blocking grades are the best grades of the season. The pass-blocking grade hadn’t been over 70 once this season and the run-blocking grade had never even reached 66 this season.

This was the second time the passing grade has been north of 80 (80.7 in week three), but this was by far the best passing grade of the season. It was one of Cook’s three best games this season (more on Cook later).

The receiving grade is a little less than three points higher than last week, but the wide receiving core looked much better in week 11. Dominic Lovett, Barrett Banister and Tauskie Dove had four receptions for at least 47 yards with Dove and Lovett scoring touchdowns. On Saturday, only Banister and Luther Burden III had three or more catches.

Defense vs. New Mexico State

Takeaways: This was one of Missouri’s more complete performances of the season. The Tigers did commit six penalties for 38 yards, but they also won the turnover battle, held New Mexico State five points below its season average in points and nearly 30 yards below their season average in total yards. Mizzou had 15 pressures, six tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

Mizzou’s pass rush and tackling grades were worst than last week’s grades with the pass rush grade being separated by a couple of points and the tackling grade being separated by 12 points. The latter grade is probably because the Tigers missed 11 tackles on Saturday.

The coverage couldn’t have been too much worse versus Tennessee in week 11, so understandably after allowing over 460 passing yards the coverage grade (53.2) last week was the Tigers’ worst coverage grade of the season. This week, it was significantly better with the secondary getting five pass deflections and two interceptions with one of them being returned for a touchdown.

Offensive Top Performers vs. New Mexico State

Note: Players qualify for top performers if they record 15 or more snaps.

Other notables: Banister had a career-high in receptions and receiving yards last week with seven receptions for 74 yards and on Senior Night on Saturday he had seven catches for a new career-high 91 receiving yards. Last week was Banister’s first time having a grade north of 70 (70.6) this season and now he has his first grade north of 80.

This was Cook’s third game with a grade above 80 this season and this is the second time he had a game with a total offensive and passing grade (84.3) north of 80 in the same game. The passing grade was also his best passing grade of the season.

Hoerstkamp had the best game of any tight end this season with two receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown. Hoerstkamp’s first target was a 32-yard receiving touchdown with him getting about 30 yards after the catch. It marked Hoerstkamp’s first career touchdown. He got his first start of the season and played a season-high 32 snaps.

Xavier Delgado had not had a total offensive grade of 63 or higher all season. In fact, six of Delgado’s 10 games (he missed a game) have graded out lower than 60. He received his best run-blocking grade of the season at 75.4 which is almost 14 percentage points higher than his second-best run-blocking grade. His run-blocking grade paced the team.

Javon Foster’s total offensive grade is a little below his season average, but he had a solid outing nonetheless. He did have his eighth game with a pass-blocking grade above 75 at 75.8.

Armand Membou got his second straight start at right tackle and had his most complete game of the season. He had a run-blocking grade of 67.7 and a pass-blocking grade of 71.8.

Center Connor Tollison had the best pass-blocking grade at 76.5. His season average in pass-blocking is 52.8.

Running back Cody Schrader had 18 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns and finished the game with a total offensive grade of 70.0.

*PFF College has a few errors with its stats. Some of the stats may be off slightly, but hopefully, you get the idea of how we break down his day.

Last week, Cook had his best game of the season when he went 19 of 32 for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 16 carries for 106 yards. In week 12, he had a performance that rivaled that, by completing 19 of 27 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Cook added 71 rushing yards on seven attempts.

Cook was 15 of 18 for 163 yards and three touchdowns on passes 10 yards or shorter.

He was 4 of 6 for 78 yards on passes further than 10 yards. It is important to note Cook missed a number of wide-open deep shots that would’ve gone for touchdowns most likely. At least three. One of Cook’s incomplete deep shots was to Lovett who had to slow up and try and make a play in double coverage. Cook has struggled to throw the deep ball all season, but Saturday was more about the deep shots Cook didn’t take instead of about the inaccuracy issues he’s had on those passes. He finished the game with a passing grade of 58.3 on passes that traveled over 20 yards.

He was at his best when he wasn’t under pressure completing 17 of 23 passes for over 200 yards, three touchdowns and a grade of 85.1. He was almost just as good when he was not being blitzed by completing 17 of 25 passes for three touchdowns and a grade of 83.1.

Cook was at his worst when he was under pressure completing 2 of 4 passes for nine yards for a grade of 58.0. He had a grade of 62.9 after completing both passes for seven yards when being blitzed.

Cook completed 4 of 4 passes on medium passes (10-19 yards) for a passing grade of 93.6.

Defensive Top Performers vs. New Mexico State

Daylan Carnell had an interception returned for 40 yards and a touchdown and a pass deflection. That was the first interception returned for a touchdown by the Tigers since week one. Carnell also had a pass coverage grade of 95.9.

Realus George Jr. had a tackle and a quarterback hit and it resulted in his highest total defensive, run defense (77.0) and pass defensive (79.2) grades. His pass rush grade was the highest on the team.

Jalani Williams had his first career interception and a coverage grade of 88.6 which is second behind Carnell.

Chad Bailey had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss he finished the day with the highest run-defensive grade on the team at 87.0 and the highest tackling grade at 82.4.

Jayden Jernigan had a couple of tackles and finished with his best total defensive grade of the season. Last week, he had a total defensive grade of 69.7 which was his season high.

Darius Robinson had four tackles and a tackle for loss. He has 4.5 tackles for loss in his last four games.

Defensive end DJ Coleman had four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. This was his sixth straight game with at least 0.5 sacks and his seventh straight game with at least 0.5 tackles for loss. He finished the game with a total defensive grade of 67.9.

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