Under The Hood: A Light Statistical Comparison for Nebraska vs Missouri

I turned my Macbook Pro into Apple today for repair. I hate it when I do that, it's like.... well.... it's like missing an appendage to be honest. You have to make due with what you got until you get through it. So... if formatting looks a little weird it's because I'm missing my regular tool set and I'm typing on a clacky Thinkpad replacement laptop. Argh! 

A couple of years ago we used a statistical format that was completely stolen from Peter Bean at Burnt Orange Nation. At the time, we called it "Under the Hood". We used it throughout most of 2007 (as I recall, I try not to think about that year much lest I wake the children with yet another nightmare), but I don't think we used it last season. 

I'm going to resurrect it this year if for no other reason that it's a quick and easy look at some statistics. It's not heavy lifting (although it takes a while to properly format), and there isn't that much magic to it. All statistics came from cfbstats.com

Think of it as a nice wheat Belgium beer. If you're into the Guinness of statistics, Rock M Nation does this "BTBS" series you might be interested in. There's a part of me that would love to get more geeky on this, but I'm not sure how well they apply to the college game. They make sense for the NFL because the structure is such that the teams are equal. No one can say that about NCAA football - it's the essence of inequality and it creates the chaos, mayhem and anarchy that we love every weekend. Do you really want to under that, to control it, or just experience it as it happens? 

Plus, there's another part of me that says I'd better spend more time with my kids before they grow up and leave home. They already have hit me with the nickname "information nerd". 

First, we'll take a look at how the two teams compare offensively and defensively with one third of the season already complete. I did not include national rankings on these because.... well, because I think they're a distraction right now. It does not matter that Nebraska is

Offensive Comparisons

Nebraska   Missouri
Rush YPG 183.75   143
Rush YPC 5.65   3.79
Rush TDs 10   4
 
Pass YPG 256.3   310
Pass YPA 8.4   8.7
Pass TDs 8   12
 
QB Rating 152.87   166.26
Total Offense 440   453
Scoring Offense 39.3   36.8

Defensive Comparisons

Nebraska   Missouri
Rush YPG 113.25   133.75
Rush YPC 3.08   3.74
Rush TDs 2   5
       
Pass YPG 169.8   218
Pass YPA 5.9   5.7
Pass TDs 1   3
       
Total Defense 283   351.8
Scoring Defense 7   15.5

Nebraska vs Missouri Positional Ranks

Total Offense Rank Nebraska Opponent Total Defense Rank   Total Offense Rank Missouri Opponent Total Defense Rank
49 Florida Atlantic 111   81 Illinois 90
72 Arkansas State 68   82 Bowling Green 88
77 Virginia Tech 38   xx Furman xx
91 Louisiana-Lafayette 84   66 Nevada 111
72.25 Average 75.25   76.33 Average 96.3

*Furman is not included because they are not a FBS team. 

- There's a number of things that should jump out immediately - the first of which is the fact that Nebraska has given up only three TD's through four games. Of course, if it were two TD's, the Huskers would be 4-0 and probably in the Top 10, given that TD wasn't given up at the right time.

- On offense, look at the rushing game for both teams. Missouri's run game has been fairly anemic even against lousy competition. A 3.79 yard per carry average sucks, especially when it was expected that this would be a strong point for them entering the season. 

- I'm purposefully not going to say much more than this so as to open it up for discussion. 

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