The return of Dawg Stat Watch: what it takes to win, Week One

In 2007, I took a look at what Georgia did well in its three seasons under Richt when it traveled to the SECCG.  Here’s my methodology:

I went back and looked at Georgia’s conference stats for the three years it’s won the East under Richt (’02, ’03 and ’05) to see if there were any common strands of at least above-average performance. (For this purpose, I define “above-average” pretty literally – the Dawgs had to rank no worse than fifth in a given statistical category in each of these three years for it to be significant.)

As it turns out, I found seven conference statistical results that correlated with Georgia winning the East.

  1. Hold opponents under 17 points per game.
  2. Finish at least +.67 per game in turnover margin.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.
  7. Finish at least third in sacks.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t track this last season, but I thought I’d take it back up again as long as it’s relevant (or until the god of hubris elects to punish me for doing so).  So, after the first game, here’s where the Dawgs stack up with their conference brethren:

  1. Scoring defense:  7 ppg.
  2. Turnover margin:  +2 ppg.
  3. Total offense:  377 ypg.
  4. Total defense ranking:  first.
  5. First downs ranking:  tenth.
  6. Passing yardage ranking:  tenth.
  7. Sacks ranking:  third.

All in all, not a bad start, although I think it’s going to be tough for this team to finish in the top three in passing yardage, considering that Arkansas and Mississippi State look like they’re both going to throw the ball all over the place (and certainly a lot more than Georgia will).  We’ll see how things progress.

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18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

18 responses to “The return of Dawg Stat Watch: what it takes to win, Week One

  1. GShock

    Not exactly on topic – but did everyone check out the OU box score over the weekend. They got absolutely torched through the air (+340 yards) by Utah State. I’m so happy to be free of that burden and I feel sorry for OU fans that don’t even know what they are getting into.

  2. Eric

    This is off topic too and little dated, but still a hilarious read (esp. for recent alumni) as we enter the football season…

    http://www.gump4heisman.com/my_weblog/2008/08/gump4heismans-10-things-to-look-forward-to-this-college-football-season.html

  3. Erked Russell

    If they hold opponents under 17 points per game every thing else will take care of its self.

  4. PatinDC

    I think those stats would be good for anybody ;-).

    What have past winners looked like.

    The season is fun so far. It was nice to see evything working and coming together.

  5. Russman

    Sooner than later some school/ AD has to just say no to NIKE- I woud be ashamed to have to run out on any field wearing those uniforms!! I can’t believe these schools do not have deeper traditions that would prevent such fashion tragedy.

  6. rbubp

    Very interesting, Senator. A nice rubric for winning. What strikes me is the passing yardage thing; while we all know we strive for a balanced offense and we include the FB and two-back set, our fans’ occasional yelping about sticking to the run game is, it seems to me, a bit misplaced. The bottom line is that we have a former QB head coach and a former QB OC. There’s little chance those two are ever going to collaborate on an offense that does not require a lot of passing; that is what they know and that is what they do well.

    And I’m perfectly fine with that, myself, especially since red zone performance has been markedly improved since Bobo took over the OC.

  7. 69Dawg

    If the O-Line run blocks against SCU like they did against LLU we are in trouble. LLU did not put 8 in the box that much, they just got lower than our O-line guys and piled them in a pile and the LB’s cleaned up. Whether it’s Bobo or CMR our line is a pass protect first line. If as the game goes on we can wear the D-line out then we dominate. Tech we dominated because they were a bunch of midgets. Freshman QB = 8 in the box, book it.

    • rbubp

      I would have thought that Searels would have fixed that, but you’re right, good points raised.

    • LLU did not put 8 in the box that much…

      I’ve watched the replay twice. ULL had eight or nine in the box on almost every play that wasn’t an obvious passing down.

      I don’t know that you can tell much about what the running game will do from last Saturday. They kept things very vanilla. One thing I feel confident in saying is that Thomas and Munzenmaier won’t combine for 20 carries in Columbia.

  8. Xon

    Senator,

    Perhaps there’s a way to tweak the passing yardage rubric to reflect, not our overall ranking in the conference per se, but our performance in terms of what we WANT to be able to do? That’s not a good way of putting it, but it clearly it is arbitrary to focus on passing yardage relative to the rest of the conference, given that there are too many uncontrollable variables there like what the rest of the conference is doing on offense. When pass-happy offenses become the norm (and they are now even moreso than in 02 03 and 05, aren’t they?), then a “balanced” pro-style I-formation system might not place in the top 3 any more, even though it does exactly what it wants to do , moves the ball efficiently, scores lots of points and wins games.

    I mean, if Arky and Miss St throw for 300 + a game but go 7-5 at best (let’s say), then why on earth do we care about them making it harder for us to rank in the top 3 of passing yardage, since our own offense is not normally designed for that kind of passing yardage (unless we’re behind and HAVE to throw the whole second half, or unless the opponent’s DC is an idiot and insists on stacking the box no matter what we do in response). I mean, we wouldn’t actually feel like it was a bad omen for our success if we were doing what we wanted on offense, but technically didn’t rank in the top 3 of passing yardage. Right?

    I have no constructive suggestion for how to fix it, and I realize these are just correlations and mostly just for fun anyway.

  9. Hogbody Spradlin

    Something else caught my eye: 55 points off 377 yards. Pretty efficient.