I think my favorite national statistic right now is defensive passer rating. Georgia ranks fourth in that.
The Dawgs are also fourth in the SEC in defensive passer rating. That’s right – the four best teams in the country at shutting down opponents’ passing attacks (all four with ratings under 100) all play in the same conference. And you wonder why there aren’t many good quarterbacks in the SEC this season.
Anyway, LSU ranks third. The Tigers are going to be a huge challenge for the second best passing attack in the conference. Can Georgia cope?
The comparison that’s already being made is with the one SEC team ranked higher in passing offense than Georgia.
… The challenge for LSU is a wide array of receivers that are nearly a match for the Arkansas group, plus perhaps the best tight end in the SEC, Orson Charles, who has 40 receptions for 530 yards and five touchdowns.
“They’re very talented and a very fast group,” LSU safety Brandon Taylor said. “A lot of people say Arkansas receivers are the fastest group in the SEC, but Georgia, they are very fast. I know (Tavarres King), I played against him my sophomore year, and he actually kind of got away from me that year, too. They actually have the most talented tight end in the SEC.”
If that’s valid, there’s good reason to hope that the Dawgs can be effective throwing the ball. Arkansas had by far the best showing against LSU’s defense from a passer rating standpoint this season. And somewhat surprisingly, it was only the fifth lowest passer rating the Hogs compiled in 2011.
If there’s something which gives me pause for thought about the comparison, though, it’s that Georgia’s passer rating has fluctuated much more than Arkansas’ has this year. The Hogs’ low point came against Alabama (110.39) and their high against Southwest Missouri State (195.64). Georgia’s passer rating has run from 99.41 (Florida) to an otherworldly 255.64 in the Auburn game. (And, yes, that was by far the worst showing Auburn’s defense had this season.)
So Georgia can throw the ball on LSU. But Aaron Murray and his receivers need to be having one of their “on” days for that to happen. Easier said than done, but it’s something LSU has to be legitimately concerned about.
And while I’m on the subject of pause for thought, I sure hope somebody in the Georgia offensive brain trust is working on a way to give Justin Anderson some help handling Barkevious Mingo. That is one scary match up if you’re trying to keep Aaron Murray upright.