Spreading the blame

In response to yesterday’s post about the defensive numbers in Georgia’s losses last year, more than one commenter noted the frequent holes the defense was tossed in by special teams’ and offensive mistakes.  I thought I’d take a look at the drive charts for the three games in question and see how much validity there was to that.

  • Alabama.  The Tide had seven scoring drives in its 41-30 win.  Three of them started in Georgia territory, at the Dawgs’ 48, 33 and 47 yard lines.  Georgia’s turnover margin was -1.  Penalty differential was a whopping 72 yards in favor of Alabama.
  • Florida.  The big story here was Georgia’s -4 in turnover margin.  Of the Gators’ seven scoring drives, four began on Georgia’s side of the field, including one on the ten and one on the one yard line.  In a 39 point loss, Georgia outgained Florida in total yardage on the day.
  • Georgia Tech.  Only one Tech scoring drive started in Georgia territory.  Tech also had a pick six to its credit, as Georgia wound up -1 in turnover margin in this game.

So, should the defense be cut some slack regarding the outcome of these games?  Certainly for the Florida debacle, not quite so much for the other two.  Yes, ‘Bama had the benefit of some relatively shorter scoring drives than did Georgia (the Dawgs never started a drive on the Alabama side of the field in that game), but it also racked up a 35:46 TOP figure.  It’s much the same story as to Georgia Tech, which held the ball more than 33 minutes in that game.  And don’t forget that you need some field to generate 409 yards of rushing offense.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Spreading the blame

  1. Without looking, I think Florida had the ball about thirty seconds against us total. Never seen a game quite like that one; would rather not again.

    • Ben

      No kidding. That game went from bad to worst (yes, that’s skipping the ‘worse’) in a blink. That Florida DB pick of Stafford’s out pattern to AJ Green on what looked to be a fantastic opening half drive is still seared into my brain. The UF game and the Tech game last season are the only two games in memory that have made me physically ill and that I had to walk away from

      (And yes, I know, put it in perspective; it’s only a game; etc.)

  2. Jim

    Yes, the offense did help to lose games last year. If we had scored touchdowns the first three times we were within the 20 yard line in the gator game we would have won. The wheels fell off in the second half as we turned the ball over and over.

    In the Kentucky game last year we got the ball on around their 36 yard line and four plays later we punted as their defense held us. That is the way an inspired defense (Erk) should play.

    We almost lost the South Carolina game because we could not score.

  3. DigDawg

    You can certainly blame a lot of it on special teams. How many times did we kick the ball off out of bounds… You just can’t do that in football, period. It shouldn’t happen one time per year, let alone the 2 or 3 times per game it happened in these losses.

    You do have to put some blame though on the defense. When is the last time you saw this many missed tackles on a UGA defense? The Georgia Tech game was the most glaring example. Poor Reshad Jones trying to shoulder bump people to the ground on multiple occasions resulted in about 150 yards after contact on the ground and setting up 2 TD’s. That game should not have even been close.

    Obviously the GA/FLA score wasn’t indicative of how the game was played. Can’t really blame the defense on that one. The offense was the culprit there with just incredibly bad red zone play calling and execution.

  4. digidy dawg

    It’s hard to put a finger on last years team. When ever one side of the ball showed up to play the other was no where to be found & then you have special teams that are not special at all. I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one that has Reshad shoulder bumping in the GT game in thier head like a bad rerun. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed how rediculous that was. I can’t get that picture & the one of Brandon Spikes absolutely nailing Knowshon in the backfield out of my head. I believe I’ve subcontiously blocked out the entire Alabama game. It was too tramatic.

  5. Billy Barou

    Special teams was atrocious all year, not just in the losses. The Kentucky and Auburn games would not have been nearly as close if it wasn’t for special teams. THough I blame the DEFENSE mostly for the Tech loss, Samuel’s fumble on that kick return early in the 3rd absolutely killed us

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Senator, I think that your analysis of the Tech game warrants the opposite conclusion. That pick-6 (the O’s fault) was essentially the difference in the game. The D did play like crap in the 2nd half of that game, but it didn’t solely lose us the game, either.

  7. Bishop Pickering

    I’d blame that Bama loss on that frightened, pathetic first half offense. Florida too. gt I’d blame mostly Reshad Jones. I’ve got confidence in him this year though.

  8. MacAttack

    I am not saying that the position of the other team’s O is STRICTLY to blame but it is hard to ignore it as a big factor

    Willie blows but we aren’t helping him with the team starting at the 50

  9. Vinings Dog

    I have never seen a Georgia defense play the way it did against Tech…….in the second half. In the first half, how did we only allow 12 points (really six since one TD was an interception return by Burnett)? The second half was nightmarish, and the thing that got me was the fact we could not stop them running wide, over and over again. I will never be a Reshad Jones fan……..ever

  10. BuLLdawg

    We remain not a very good football team.

    What we did against other than these 3 opponents, doesn’t matter unless we lost, which we did not.

    These 3 games were the only 3 games against teams who ended the season Final AP Poll Top 25 teams who in fact beat another Final AP Poll Top 25 team.

    We were miserable on all 3 parts of our team in all 3 games.

    There is no other way for these teams to score 29, 31 and 46 unanswered points than for us to be bad in all 3 aspects of our game, offense, defense and special teams.

    You cannot lay blame on any 1 play or any 1 part of the team when you give up 29, 31 and 46 consecutive points against the only 3 good teams we played.

    We are not very good. We were not last year and certainly the season two before that, we were not very good either.

    Now.

    Now, this season, we prove we cannot defend the pass.

    We also prove we cannot kick-off, wasting another scholarship (3 now) on kickers alone.

    We also prove we cannot return kick-offs.

    We clearly cannot complete a pass.

    We proved that too.

    And, we cannot run the football. We’ve proved that.

    • DigDawg

      Are you talking about the G Day game when you say this season?

      I can’t tell if you are joking or not. Certainly you aren’t talking about last season when Stafford set records and Knowshon went for 1400 and 18 TD’s.

      If you are talking about the G Day game and saying we can’t return kickoffs? wtf?