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.