Checking out the “double positives” in Georgia’s season

At the risk of incurring further gentle chiding from Michael Elkon, I wanted to take one more look at a subject I explored last week in this post about what Iowa State’s offensive coordinator calls the “double positive” – winning the turnover margin and explosive plays stats – and how that might relate to Georgia’s current surge/streak/extended period of loss-avoidance (feel free to insert your preferred euphemism here).

Here’s what I noted about turnover margin:

Turnover margin was the easy part to run down.  This season, the Dawgs are undefeated in the six games in which they have a positive turnover margin and they’ve lost the only game with a negative one (which leaves them 2-1 in games with a balanced margin).

To update that, Georgia’s turnover margin against Kentucky was zero, so the Dawgs are now 3-1 in games with a balanced margin.

The reason I’m back so quickly to continue the discussion is because Marty at cfbstats.com, being the mensch that he is, forwarded me a game-by-game breakdown of explosive plays for all of this season’s D-1 games.  I’ve taken his data and compiled a spreadsheet of Georgia’s season to date:

EXPLOSIVE PLAYS CHART
GAME OREP OPEP TOEP DREP DPEP TDEP NET EP
BSU 3 3 6 4 1 5 1
SC 8 4 12 7 3 10 2
CC 5 4 9 1 0 1 8
MISS 8 3 11 2 2 4 7
MSU 5 1 6 4 0 4 2
UT 5 2 7 1 1 2 5
VANDY 5 4 9 10 3 13 -4
UF 5 1 6 1 4 5 1
NMSU 7 4 11 3 4 7 4
AUB 12 5 17 2 2 4 13
KENT 4 1 5 2 1 3 2

[KEY:  OREP = offense run explosive plays (+10 yards); OPEP = offense pass explosive plays (+20 yards); TOEP = total offense explosive plays; DREP = defense run explosive plays (+10); DPEP = defense pass explosive plays (+20); TDEP = total defense explosive plays; NET EP = net explosive plays]

The first thing to note from the chart is that Georgia won the explosive plays battle in every game this season except against Vanderbilt.  The Dawgs’ saving grace in that game was that they turned in their best turnover margin number of the season (that, and a certain tackle by Drew Butler).  Conversely, while Georgia’s net in explosive plays against South Carolina was positive, that was Georgia’s only game of the season in which it lost the turnover margin fight.

The anomaly, then, if you want to call it that, was the opener against Boise State.  The Dawgs were +1 in explosive plays and even on turnovers, yet lost convincingly.  (I’d say that’s another reason to acknowledge Boise State played a dominant game that night.)

But the rest of the data indicates, at least with regard to Georgia’s season, that Tom Herman’s on to something.  After the opener, Georgia hasn’t lost a game in which it’s come out ahead in explosive plays and not finished behind in turnovers.  Given Georgia Tech’s undeniable prowess in explosive plays (now there’s something for you to fixate on, Yellow Jacket stat freaks), focusing on those may very well be job one for Bobo and Grantham.

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32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

32 responses to “Checking out the “double positives” in Georgia’s season

  1. Erskine

    Great stat work.
    As an old timer, what is considered a defensive run explosive play? Is a QB sack a run or pass defensive explosive play? Who orginated the definition of an offensive run explosive play as 10+ yards. That seems a little light.

  2. Dboy

    “extended period of loss-avoidance”

    That is the most accurate description. See Vandy and UK.

    • Matt

      As a proud graduate of Terry’s Risk Management & Insurance program, I love this term.

      “extended period of loss-avoidance” – gold Jerry!

  3. Puffdawg

    Bluto, just curious how you would account for misc. explosive plays. For example, the pick six for USCe was 10+ yards. Is it included on the explosive play side of the equation? How about the fake punt? That might better explain how that loss fits into the double positive (for USCe) theory.

  4. BMan

    Hate to see a STEP (Special Teams Explosive Plays) breakdown.

  5. ScooBoo

    I know there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, but we had better find a way to win Saturday with “double negatives”. We may very well be in that position against Tech.

  6. HVL Dawg

    So what would you call the most important single play of the season thus far?

    Drew Butler’s tackle against Vandy?

    RS IV’s first down cary setting up his touchdownin Jax?

    Unknown defensive player’s helmet hittling Tyler Bray’s hand?

    SC fake punt for a TD?

  7. Keese

    Does the same explosive play standard for traditional offenses hold the same for a team like GT? GT is all about ball control, wearing down defenses with a heavy run game

    • Well, I’ve never seen Johnson order Roddy White to take a knee instead of a 70-yard run, so I’m guessing it’s all the same. ;)

      • Keese

        You know what I’m saying. GT would be an interesting team to analyze using this method. I’d be willing to guess GT loses the explosive play category in many games it wins when there is not a huge deviation in turnover margin

  8. Guest

    Georgia ranks 49th in the nation in explosive offensive plays according to this: http://www.cfbstats.com/2011/leader/national/team/offense/split01/category30/sort02.html.

    Our D must be near No. 1 nationally if we have a net 41 positive explosive plays differential (the sum of the NET EP from the table above) when our offense is only 49th best at producing explosive offensive plays.

    That Georgia’s offense is so ranked is probably mostly a result of the lack of long runs by our running backs. None of them have broken a really long one this season.

  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Nice stats. But I don’t believe ‘em. The D is the reason Dawgs have won this season.

    • Brandon

      I agree the defense is the reason we have won this year, because it is the reason we have lost more games than we should have since 2005, it has improved and so has our record. None of that means the offense isn’t explosive (or hasn’t been, hell we finished first in points in SEC games when we had Joe Cox, having this defense that year would have probably made a lot of difference that year also).

  10. Puffdawg

    “The real test will be the final three games.”

    We’ve heard this repeated every week this season, only each week the number shrinked by one. Prepare to hear about Georgia Tech’s dawgrading on Sunday.

  11. RedD

    Maybe it’s just because we played 2 tough teams in first 2 games, then 9 easy ones?

  12. Scott

    One stat that jumps out for UGA is offensive long rushing plays.

    We have only had 2 runs of 30+ yards all year! Only 7 teams (out of 120) have fewer. We are 27th and 25th ranked respectively in runs of 10+ and runs of 20+ yards, so its strange that we can turn more of these into even bigger plays.

  13. Scott

    Big 12 Rankings in Total Defense:

    10 Texas
    62 Oklahoma
    76 Texas A& M
    77 Kansas
    80 Missouri
    99 Iowa State
    105 Oklahoma State
    114 Baylor
    115 Texas Tech
    120 Kansas

    Question: This is basically the schedules of Ok.State, Oklahoma, and Kansas minus their cupcakes. When K-State finally faced a defense (Texas) it gained only 121 total yards on 69 offensive plays. Yet the Senator is so enamored with these all these Big 12 teams as compared to South Carolina, UGA….

    SEC rankings in Total Defense

    1 Alabama
    2 LSU
    4 Georgia
    5 South Carolina
    18 Florida
    20 Vanderbilt
    35 Tennessee
    43 Arkansas
    51 MSU
    63 Kentucky
    81 Auburn
    93 Ole Miss

  14. Mayor of Dawgtown

    All this stuff has nothing to do with cause. It’s all effect. The Titanic sank because it had a big hole in its hull. Striking the iceberg is what produced the hole. It does no good to focus on the hole. How about not running into the iceberg? Like Tom Cruise said in a movie after he shot a guy who then fell through a window several stories down and landed on a car: ” I didn’t kill him. All I did was pull the trigger. The bullets and the fall killed him.” This is like documenting how far and fast the guy fell. It’s baloney.