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Behind the Box Score: Missouri

A numerical look at a thorough butt whooping

Missouri v LSU
This is fun!
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Well, that was fun. Slightly less fun is looking over the box score to remind us of every great moment from the game, but it’s still pretty damn fun. Let’s enjoy what an absolute beat down looks like in the numbers.

634. LSU set a school record for yards gained in an SEC game. This has led to talk of how Ed Orgeron opened up the offense, when in fact the opposite happened. LSU ran 82 plays, which in and of itself is pretty amazing for this team, and 52 of them were runs. There was a heavy dose of the backfield. And why not?

8.0. LSU’s rushing average. LSU gained 418 yards on the ground, which is more than LSU has gained in total offense in any game this year. This was good old fashioned run the ball until they show they can stop you. Which, incidentally, Mizzou couldn’t. LSU had two backs clear 100 yards and a third, Nick Brossette, had 73 yards on just 5 carries. Run the damn ball, Bebe.

42:33. Jesus, that’s a ton of time of possession. LSU had over ten minutes of time of possession in every quarter but the fourth, in which they came up a mere two seconds shy. This is what happens when a fast break offense never gets going against an effective ball control offense. This is the platonic ideal of an LSU football game. It’s possible to read too much into TOP, but not when you have the ball for two thirds of the game.

0. LSU turnovers. Not even a fumble that was recovered by the offense. LSU took care of the football, and didn’t allow its drives to stall out. Mizzou couldn’t stop the offense from getting positive plays, and they couldn’t force turnovers. The only way a drive seemed like it could end is by an LSU touchdown.

3. Missouri started the game with three consecutive three and outs. Their fourth drive gained a first down and then resulted in an interception on the fourth play. Mizzou didn’t have a sustained drive until the third quarter, which ended on a failed fourth down conversion. The game wasn’t over at that point, but it was pretty close. The LSU defense put the offense in a head lock early, and kept liberally applying noogies until the fourth quarter.

6/11. LSU’s third down conversion rate was another thing that kept drives going. The offense kept itself in third and manageable, and kept making conversion to keep the ball away from the opposition, as they continued to bleed yards and clock. It was ruthless.

L17. LSU’s average starting field position. About the only thing that didn’t go LSU’s way was the battle of field position. LSU’s average starting field position in the first half was its own 11-yard line, and its best starting field position in the first half was its own 16. LSU didn’t start from outside its own 25 until midway in the third quarter. If there’s one complaint, it is still special teams and the battle of field position.

0.5. Arden Key’s sack total. Less than what he’d like, but every little bit counts.