Most teams that want to pass the ball like Missouri understand that they have to get the run game going first. The Tigers go into their regular season finale with a mixed bag of run game results that led in part to a 5-6 record. There are backtracking changes, bad rushed production, fumbles, and more.
For this exercise, we’re just looking at Brady CooksCody Schraders and Nathaniel Turf‘s hasty totals as they account for 80% of carries going into Week 13.
Rushing production into wins
Louisiana Technology: This would be the only time the trio had 60 or more yards and a touchdown apiece in a game this season.
Abilene Christian: Cook would pass for 292 yards and three touchdowns on the day, so that was the focus of this game, but the trio still averaged 6.13 yards per carry.
Vanderbilt: This would be the last game where Schrader and Peat would have a similar number of touches. Turf again felt in the red zone in this game and Drinkwitz would consider Schrader to be the backbone of the team going forward.
South Carolina: This was Missouri’s most balanced game on offense and defense and would be Schrader’s first time in charge. He didn’t have a spectacular day, but he was efficient and kept the chains moving for the Tigers.
State of New Mexico: Drinkwitz would call this Schrader’s best game of the season after finding the end zone on a few occasions. This would be Cook’s second game in a row with a rushing total north of 70 yards. Turf gained three yards on one occasion and lost three yards on the other.
Rushed production with losses
State of Kansas: The attack didn’t get off to a great start and declined by double digits relatively quickly and had to return to passing the ball. It would be one of two games Schrader and Peat combined for under 50 rushing yards.
maroon: Peat led the offense in this game and at the time it was Peat’s career-high in rushing yards and his second career 100-yard rushing game. Ironically, this day would be remembered more for what he did on the final play of the game, which was a fumble in the endzone resulting in a touchback and a 17-14 victory for Auburn.
Georgia: This was more of a game about the Missouri defense with a top 15 offense to 12 points through three and a half quarters and Mizzou kicker Harrison Mevis making all five of his field goal attempts, including three from 49 yards or more away. Schrader had a 62-yard rush that put the Tigers on UGA’s one-yard line.
Florida: Another good game from Peat in which he grounded a career-high. This loss is not due to the run game, but more to the passing game and Cook’s two costly interceptions.
Kentucky: This was a game in which the Tigers rallied to take a 17-14 lead sometime in the fourth inning after Cook’s two rushing scores. This was also a Missouri game head coach Eli Drinkwitz said he believes the team overworked Schrader.
Tennessee: This was Cook’s best game of the season in both the passing and rushing games. He led the Mizzou to a season-high (24) against a Power 5 team and his 106 rushing yards were a career high. This is the second game that Schrader and Peat failed to rush over 50 yards. When you add Elijah Youngwho had three carries for 21 yards and a fumble, Missouri running backs accounted for 16 carries for 58 yards and a fumble.
The Tigers are 4-2 in games when Schrader was the leading rusher. Six times, Peat has finished as the worst rusher of the three and the Tigers are 3-3 in those games, but they go to 3-4 if you remember Peat’s fumble at Auburn. Turf has two of three fumbles among the trio, with Cook’s fumble against Kentucky in contention. The Tigers are 1-2 in games as they fumble a rushing effort.
Cook did fumble against Abilene Christian and Vanderbilt, but they were both comic sacks on plays he didn’t try to scramble for. Missouri, however, won both games.
In wins, the trio has averaged 30 carries, 143.6 yards (4.78 yards per carry), and 1.6 touchdowns per game.
On losses, they average 32 carries, 120 yards (3.75 yards per carry), and a touchdown.
One of Missouri’s bigger problems this season has been tackles for loss. Much of it has to do with that position group’s line of attack and combat, but not all of it. Schrader has played in all 11 games and has lost just 22 yards on tackles for a loss. Peat has played in nine games and has lost 54 yards on tackles for loss. He lost 20 yards alone against Kansas State. Schrader had three games where he didn’t lose a yard, while Peat has only done so once.
The league average in the Southeastern Conference is 176 yards per game and Missouri averages 152.3 yards per game. In games where the Tigers rushed for less than 176 yards, they are 4-6. They only crossed that line once and that was the win over Louisiana Tech.
In games where they rush for 152 yards or less, they are 4-5 and are 1-1 when they run over that target.
Currently, Schrader ranks 14th in the SEC with 604 yards and seven touchdowns with an average of 54 yards per game. In games where he runs for 54 yards or more, Mizzou is 5-2. In games where he doesn’t, the Tigers are 0-4.
Cook has the seventh most rushing yards for an SEC quarterback and is the 29th ranked rusher in the conference with 409 yards and five touchdowns averaging about 34 yards per game. In games where he runs for 34 yards or more, the Tigers are 4-2. In games when he doesn’t, they are 1-4.
Peat ranks 30th in rushing in the SEC with 399 yards and two touchdowns with an average of 39 yards per game in nine games. The Tigers are 2-3 in games he rushes for 39 or more yards. In games when he doesn’t, it’s 2-2 (not including the games he wasn’t in a rush to).
The main problem is that the Tigers are not rushing enough for the SEC average and that can hinder passing play, as the Tigers have shown for most of the season.
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