The hit of the night -
Daily Archives: October 9, 2011
Week Six is in the books so the balloting now commences. You can cast your vote here any time between now and Tuesday midnight.
There’s one little wrinkle with the comments I need to mention. You will need to enter another registration to be able to comment at the poll site. (You’ll see the links to do so when you enter the comments section there.) Tide Fan and I invite you to do so; we hope for a lively discussion there.
Once upon a time, I faithfully tracked Georgia’s performance in several statistical categories:
- Hold opponents under 17 points per game.
- Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.
- Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.
- Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.
- Finish in the top three in first downs.
- Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.
- Finish no worse than third in sacks.
Why, because those levels of performance had one thing in common. Correlation: when Georgia had seasons in which it met every one of those goals, it wound up playing in the SECCG.
Needless to say, I haven’t bothered following those in a while. But as Georgia finds itself tied at the top of the SEC East this morning, I thought I’d take a crack at it again. Here’s how the Dawgs stack up today:
- Hold opponents under 17 points per game. Georgia’s defense is yielding 19.17 ppg.
- Finish at least +8 in turnover margin. Georgia’s turnover margin is +2.
- Average better than 380 yards per game on offense. Georgia’s offense is averaging 405.83 ypg.
- Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage. Georgia’s defense ranks third in total yardage.
- Finish in the top three in first downs. Georgia is tied for third in first downs.
- Finish no worse than third in passing yardage. Georgia is third in passing yardage.
- Finish no worse than third in sacks. Georgia is third in sacks.
Not bad, not bad at all. The Dawgs meet five of the seven production goals there and it’s not unreasonable to expect improvement in the other two (Vandy may take care of defensive scoring next week).
I’ll keep an eye on this as long as it’s rational.
Marc Weiszer finds out nobody knows the answer to one of them:
In case you were wondering how Georgia’s fourth-and-forever situation in the fourth quarter may have stacked up all-time, here’s your answer.“We’ve never tracked that,” an NCAA statistics official said via email overnight to my question.Ditto from the Southeastern Conference.Georgia had a fourth-and-56 (according to the official game book) from its own 31 on a drive where the Bulldogs at one point had first down at the Tennessee 23.Three holding penalties and a personal foul put Georgia at second-and-56, then third-and-57 and 4th-and-56.“That’s a first for me,” Richt said. “It’s got to be in the top 10 in the history of college football I would think.”
But here’s my other one: when’s the last time Florida lost back-to-back games by a total of 58 points? Even the Zooker never pulled that off.
And they keep telling us Will Muschamp is a defensive genius.
Florida has played or will play the third, fifth, sixth and ninth ranked teams in total defense.
Ditto for Tennessee, except the Vols have also played number eleven Florida.
The SEC is a rough neighborhood.
It’s fitting that Mark Richt’s 100th win as Georgia’s head coach was, in the end, a tribute to coaching. It was his staff that made the halftime adjustments that led to a dominant third quarter which for all intent and purpose decided the game.
And it was Richt himself who set the tone for his team on the very first drive with the repeated calls to go for it on fourth down. It was clear he was determined not to see a replay of the uninvolved play that marked Georgia’s last two trips to Knoxville and the strategy worked.
This team played hard all night, something that’s getting to be a refreshing habit this season. The defense didn’t allow a third down conversion in the second half to a team that came into the game leading the conference in that category. The offense, led by a Greene-esque performance by Aaron Murray (h/t Barrett Sallee) and a banged up but tough Isaiah Crowell, didn’t turn the ball over and got the job done when it needed to.
In short, this team continues to morph steadily into the Richt squads of his early tenure. Take a look at where Georgia ranks nationally in certain key categories: 47th in scoring offense; 57th in total offense; 20th in scoring defense; 6th in total defense. It’s déjà vu all over again.
It’s especially remarkable considering where this team had to come from.
“After that South Carolina loss, people were throwing us out with the trash,” Georgia senior cornerback Brandon Boykin said.
I’m still not predicting greatness – after watching the ritual disembowelments Florida has suffered through the last two weeks, who could? – but I feel better about this team than I have in a while. And for that, all I can say is thanks, Coach. And congratulations.