Today’s episode of fun with numbers

Three random things I came across on the Intertubes I thought were share-worthy:

  • One of the hardest things about coming up with meaningful football stats is how to measure offensive line play.  So I read this post of Bill C.’s with great interest.  Georgia ranks 92nd in something defined as “Percentage of runs where the running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage.”  Think the offensive line misses Gurley much?
  • Bill’s partner in crime, Brian Fremeau, has his week 8 FEI ratings out and Georgia fares better than you might suspect.  But it’s his unit rankings for the Dawgs that made me nod my head in agreement:  5th in offense, 42nd in defense and 99th in special teams.
  • And this is just mind-blowing:  5 Games with at least 500 yards for total offense for Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel after he compiled 502 against Auburn last week. There have been 14 games in which an SEC player has accounted for at least 500 yards of total offense, and Manziel is the only one to do it more than once. Manziel has played in 20 collegiate games.”
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17 Comments

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17 responses to “Today’s episode of fun with numbers

  1. gastr1

    To complicate matters even more, it was obvious (and noted by you as well, Senator) that the problem in the Vandy game was their safeties and LBs really crashing down on the run in a scheme that saw heavy pressure from the up front with deep containment fin the back–limiting the run and forcing short throws. There’s no way the OL can pick be expected to pick up safeties on run-blitzes, can they? It seems that they miss Gurley but may miss the WRs even more. Perhaps comparing success of the runs in the first and second halves of the Tennessee game are our truest measures.

    • The stats aren’t just from the Vandy game. It’s from the entire season. Gurley and Marshall played in the first four games, so if it were just the RB’s or just the WR’s not opening things up, you would still expect better numbers from the offensive explosion in September (it’s more than half of the games that are counted). That’s not the case. The offensive line is having trouble picking up yards in short yardage situations, and the running backs are getting tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage 21% of the time (on all running plays). That can be overcome with Murray and a full complement of receivers, but it has shown to be a drive killer without those assets.

      They are doing a good job on pass protection, but that is helped by Murray getting rid of the ball timely. I can’t think of a sack this year where I thought Murray held onto the ball too long. When they have a breakdown in pass protection, it is epic (and it has been very costly), but it happens. No offensive line is always perfect, and I get that. But, if the only healthy, experienced unit on the field ranks 81st in the nation in a composite of comparative measurements, there is a problem there. The defense is a popular scapegoat, but they rank 42nd (in opponent-adjusted rankings).

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Well said, and as was pointed out, Gurley/Marshall is easier to block for than Green/Douglas…it is just a matter of practice time…time in grade if you will, plus Gurley’s obvious physical advantages. This is not a great offensive line, but they have had their moments when the need was great.

        Bottom line is, to me, we are getting beat for a lot of reasons, inconsistent play by the O-line, for whatever reason (eight in the box, whatever) is one of them.

        At the risk of sounding like a Georgia fan, they should be really good next year. :(

  2. PatinDC

    Wonder which uni will look better on JM…Jacksonville or Tampa Bay?

  3. Cousin Eddie

    What worries me about Gurley returning is that the OLine thinks they can just roll out there and let Gurley do all the work and not block at all. They tend to be a un-inspiring group at times then play all SEC at times. How much is due to rotating players so much, I have never been in that arena but I have always heard how important it is for the OLinemen to get comfortable with each other now they rotate on a constant basis. I guess when you have four OTs you have none (like in QBs).

    • By Georgia We Did It

      I disagree. Look at Murray’s comments earlier this week. Everyone is happy seeing TG back at practice. It’s a mental thing and will help get everyone playing better, harder, etc. Doesn’t mean we’ll win vs. UF (or anyone else) but when you’re in a good mood and have hope you play better.

  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    I admire Bill’s work, but I wish I had never read the damn list. Bama…to be expected, it’s what they do…but Auburn? Man, Gus Malzahn… And Misery gets sacked like three times more often than doth the Bammers, by everybody, of course, except us.

  5. Slaw Dawg

    I’m going to move past the head-shaking Georgia stuff to simply shake my head in wonderment at Manziel. Not sure it’ll translate to the pros any better than did Tebow’s skill set, and I wouldn’t want my daughter dating him, but he has to be one of the top 5 college football players of all time. And I get a kick out of the fact that he has a blast doing it.

  6. Russ

    I don’t know how Manzeil plays with that horse shoe crammed up his butt. On the other hand, 1 or 2 might be lucky. After 10 or 11, I guess you have to admit he’s good. Just wish he wasn’t such an arrogant ass.

  7. why does everyone buy into the Manzeil is so great BS. He and his style are high risk/ high return in action. If he does not throw 2 (and it should have been 3) interceptions against Bama they probably win. He takes huge risks and when they pay-off great but those very same risks are what have cost his team two loses. Lots of yards with lots of turnovers(several unforced) equals two loses. That spin out of contain against ole Miss was almost as bone headed as the short interception in the endzone against the Satan. In short, he is very good BUT very undisciplined and besides a “Johnny Football” should not have let Vinny Sinceri make him look like a 3rd string punter on his missed tackle on Vinny’s pick-six. He is snake oil and his stts are only being half told.

  8. stats not stts…who turned off my spell check?

  9. Alkaline

    Actually, the 99 rating in FEI is for starting field position, not Special Teams (not that it gets much better in the 50s). There’s your hidden stat for the year: no forced turnovers plus fair-catch everything means your offense always starts on their own 25. Screw up long snaps deep in your own territory and the other guy gets a short field way too often.