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Missouri-Kentucky Five Factors Review

Sure, why not?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The place I go to in order to find game replays hasn't been uploading many SEC games this week for some reason. It has Florida-Tennessee, which I watched live and reviewed, and it has Alabama-ULM, which I don't care to review. It doesn't have juicier matchups like A&M-Arkansas, Mississippi State-Auburn, or even Vanderbilt-Ole Miss. But it does have Missouri-Kentucky, so... Missouri-Kentucky, everyone!

This is based on the Five Factors of winning. I've left out UK's run-out-the-clock drives at the end of the two halves, and sacks count as pass plays.


Team Runs 10+ Pct. Passes 20+ Pct. Explosive Pct.
Missouri 6 19.4% 4 10.8% 14.7%
Kentucky 5 22.7% 7 25.0% 24.0%

These percentages seem really high, but thinking back over watching the replay, getting yards in big chunks seemed to be the only way either offense was able to keep drives moving.


The main measure here is success rate.

Team Run SR Pass SR Overall SR Red Zone SR
Missouri 32.3% 43.2% 38.2% 42.9%
Kentucky 36.4% 50.0% 44.0% 80.0%

The pass SR for Mizzou feels high, but Maty Mauk did connect on a few of the longer passes when he wasn't completely sailing them high or wide. The pass SR for Kentucky feels low because it seemed like Mizzou was giving the Kentucky receivers high cushions for much of the night. At least I hope for their sake it was a plan to give them cushions. If the pass rush wasn't getting to Patrick Towles, he was casually shopping for open receivers.

Team 1Q SR 2Q SR 3Q SR 4Q SR
Missouri 42.1% 30.8% 26.3% 52.9%
Kentucky 53.8% 40.0% 43.8% 36.4%

Missouri's second-to-last drive illustrates how a team might have a success rate of 50% or more in a quarter and still only come away with three points for the period. The first three plays of the drive were all successes. The second three plays of the drives were all fails and led to a punt. The trick is you gotta mix those up so you don't get three fails in a row.

Efficiency by Player

Player Comp. Pct. Pass Eff. Yards/Att Sacks Pass SR
Maty Mauk 50.0% 111.4 6.0 1 45.2%
Drew Lock 60.0% 139.0 9.4 1 33.3%
Patrick Towles 80.8% 184.3 9.3 2 50.0%

It has to be so frustrating to watch these Tiger quarterbacks every game. Mauk had two beautiful, on-the-money throws that any QB would be proud to have on tape. One was a touchdown. The other was a brutal drop by J'Mon Moore.

Then you have Lock, who only got one series in the game. His first throw was a frozen rope for 28-yards to Wesley Leftwich. His throw throw was to the sideline for 20 yards where only Nate Brown could've caught it. On the next play, he badly underthrew Emanuel Hall at the goal line, but it's a good thing it was underthrown because it would've been picked off otherwise. Two plays after that, he took a bad sack on third down that lost 15 yards and put the team out of field goal range. He's got undeniable talent, but he's definitely still a freshman.

Towles had a great game when he had time to throw. Charles Harris seemed to be in the backfield on every fourth play, so it wasn't every down. And again, Wildcat receivers were frequently wide open. One of Towles's touchdowns was to tight end C.J. Conrad, who ran a simple seam route and never got covered.

Player Targets Catches Yards Yards/Target SR
Wesley Leftwich 7 3 44 6.3 42.9%
J'Mon Moore 5 2 24 4.8 40.0%
Jason Reese 4 3 40 10.0 75.0%
Keyon Dilosa 4 3 24 6.0 50.0%
Nate Brown 3 2 34 11.3 66.7%
Ray Wingo 3 1 13 4.3 33.3%
Tyler Hunt 2 2 37 18.5 100.0%
Russell Hansbrough 2 1 7 3.5 50.0%
Sean Culkin 1 1 4 4.0 0.0%
Emanuel Hall 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
Chase Abbington 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%
Ish Witter 1 0 0 0.0 0.0%

Hunt was a monster on screens. Too bad he only got two thrown his way.

Player Targets Catches Yards Yards/Target SR
Garrett Johnson 8 6 119 14.9 50.0%
Dorian Baker 6 5 51 8.5 83.3%
Stanley Williams 5 4 7 1.4 40.0%
C.J. Conrad 3 3 55 18.3 66.7%
Jeff Badet 1 1 7 7.0 0.0%
Blake Bone 1 1 5 5.0 1.0%
Ryan Timmons 1 1 4 4.0 0.0%
Patrick Towles 1 1 1 1.0 0.0%

Johnson's day catches your eye for over 100 yards receiving, but Baker easily had the best day from a success rate standpoint. That last row isn't an error; Towles caught a ball the Mizzou D-line batted into the air. Towles pass complete to Towles for a one-yard gain.

Player Carries YPC Rushing SR
Ish Witter 11 4.5 36.4%
Maty Mauk 10 5.3 30.0%
Russell Hansbrough 6 1.8 16.7%
Tyler Hunt 2 3.0 50.0%
Drew Lock 1 11.0 100.0%
Chase Abbington 1 -1.0 0.0%

This counts as progress in some ways. The Tigers still really need Hansbrough at 100%, which he wasn't on Saturday.

Player Carries YPC Rushing SR
Jojo Kemp 9 5.1 44.4%
Stanley Williams 6 3.2 33.3%
Patrick Towles 5 5.0 40.0%
Ryan Timmons 1 4.0 0.0%
Mikel Horton 1 -1.0 0.0%

Kemp didn't get his first carry until late in the second quarter, but once the coaches saw how effective he was, he got most of the runs the rest of the way.

Field Position

Team Avg. Starting Position Plays in Opp. Territory Pct. Of Total
Missouri Own 20 25 36.8%
Kentucky Own 22 18 36.0%

This felt pretty even while watching the game, and it was. Both teams did get one drive apiece that began near midfield. UK went three-and-out; Mizzou cashed in with a field goal.

Finishing Drives

Team Drives Trips Inside 40 Points Red Zone Trips Points
Missouri 9 4 13 2 10
Kentucky 8 3 21 2 14

When the teams got scoring opportunities, they were mostly good at getting points. The one miss between the teams was Lock's drive I described above. It's just that neither was good at moving the ball to get into a scoring opportunity, and the generally bad field position both teams had to deal with contributed to that.


Neither team turned it over, though there were several near-interceptions.


This was a largely forgettable football game if you didn't have a dog in the fight. I'm not sure I'll remember much a month from now beyond UK receivers running around wide open, Charles Harris setting up a sofa in the Kentucky backfield, and Mauk winging it wildly off target with one or two gems mixed in.

This definitely is the year where Mizzou takes a few steps back while reloading for another divisional run in a year or two. Its receivers don't create much space for themselves, it can't run the ball much, and its pass defense generally consisted of a "get the D-line to the quarterback or bust" scheme.

Kentucky has progressed some, and it's a positive sign that the team didn't go into a tailspin and let Florida beat them two weeks in a row. Getting refocused on the next game after a disappointing loss is something mature teams do, and UK did it here.

Both of these teams look like lower tier bowl teams to me. They shouldn't contend for the division given what Georgia has. They'll be in plenty of their future games, though, and this outcome gives the 'Cats a leg up in the East standings.