SEC Championship 2014: Taking A Look At The Stats


It’s finally here. The SEC Championship 2014. We are only just a day away from the game between the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide and the number 16 Missouri Tigers. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 3 p.m. CT on CBS. The Tide is currently a 14,5-point favorite against the Tigers. Let’s take a look at the units on both sides of the ball to see how they match-up.

When the Tide wants to run the ball on offense, it may be tough going to begin the game. Alabama ranks in the middle of the pack at running the ball, averaging 174 yards per game. On the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, the Tigers are ranked at the top at stopping the run and only allowing 115 yards per game. The Tide can use play action passes as well as some screens to soften up a fast and physical line to get some holes and room to run.  You also have to remember the ease that Arkansas had running on the Tigers last weekend, tallying up 185 yards. Some of the runs were big runs too. If we can get a few good runs in, the defense should soften up enough to give Blake Sims some time to operate.

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Through the air, the Tide is averaging 270 yards per game. However on the other hand, the Tigers can stop the pass well, only allowing 185 yards per game. As we all know, Kiffin will move folks around to create mismatches while the Tide is on offense. Just like every other game, if they don’t have an answer for Amari Cooper, they probably don’t win this game. You have to think that Auburn runs the same type of offense with, in my opinion, better athletes.

Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to year’s past, this one could be won when the Tide is on defense. The Tigers are ranked seventh in conference for rushing the ball while the Tide ranks third and only allowing 122 yards per game. So far this season, the Tigers are only averaging 162 passing yards per game with a quarterback ranked number 10 in passing efficiency. Alabama is giving up 219 yards per game in the air.

On scoring offense, the Tide is scoring an average of 33 points per game while the Tigers only allow 19. When the Tigers have the ball, they are only scoring 23 points per game while Alabama holds opponents to 19.

The other big thing everyone is talking about is the Missouri defense’s ability to get sacks. What most don’t tell you is that Alabama only has five less in conference play to their 26. It’s just the opposite on the other side. The Tide has only given up 9 sacks in conference play while Missouri has 15.

One thing I think needs to be taken into consideration is Missouri’s opponents in the east. The strength of schedule isn’t too much different (Alabama-4, Missouri-18) but the east has been the weaker of the two divisions this season. Missouri’s stats could be a bit skewed, although not too much, with the SEC opponents that they have faced.

Another thing to think about you won’t find on any website. I’ve heard it talked about and the word has been said for a few weeks now and I think it wins the game: resiliency. This team will not be denied. I’ve seen it time and time again. It was in the Iron Bowl. It was in Death Valley against LSU and it was in a slug-fest with Arkansas in Fayetteville. Something about this team makes them think they are never out of it and they usually never are. Saban is the best motivator a team can have and I think he will have the boys ready to play.

Final Prediction:

Alabama 31, Missouri 17