The d-line’s shining moment

Over at Football Study Hall, Bill Connelly uses something called line yards to measure how much push an offensive line gets against an opponent’s defense:

Adjusted Line Yards (ALY) “differentiate[s] between the contribution of the running back and the contribution of the offensive line.” ALY attempts to “separate the effect that the running back has on a particular play from the effect of the offensive line (and other offensive blockers) and the effect of the defense. … Yardage ends up falling into roughly the following combinations: Losses, 0-4 yards, 5-10 yards, and 11+ yards. In general, the offensive line is 20% more responsible for lost yardage than it is for yardage gained up to four yards, but 50% less responsible for yardage gained from 5-10 yards, and not responsible for yardage past that. Thus, the creation of Adjusted Line Yards.”

In a post about last week’s Michigan-Nebraska game, Bill put together something you might find of interest.

Worst single-game Line Yardage average in 2013:
1. Michigan (vs. Michigan State): -0.53
2. Oregon State (vs. SDSU): 0.11
3. Michigan (vs. Nebraska): 0.47
4. Miami (vs. Va. Tech): 0.57
5. North Texas (vs. Georgia): 0.58

That’s right.  The poor ol’, maligned Dawg defense did the fifth-best job of controlling the line of scrimmage on running plays in a game this season.  And before you can say “it was North Texas”, let me paraphrase Bill by noting that Georgia State got a better push against Alabama than North Texas got against Georgia.  That ain’t nothin’.

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44 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

44 responses to “The d-line’s shining moment

  1. adam

    Chris Wilson was a stellar hire.

    If we had a DB coach on his level, the defense would probably look better. I really hope that Florida cans their whole staff and we replace Lakatos with Travaris Robinson (great DB coach and one of the best recruiters in the country).

    • William

      $h!t like this bothers me. Lakatos doesn’t strike me as the porblem. An over complicated defensive strategy hoisted upon freshman, with poor ILB play made for some ugly games. How is that Lakatos responsibility? And if you’re going to go after him for every ill the defense shows, you might as well give him credit for Wiggins maturation.

      • Ginny

        Agreed. I’m fairly positive we had one of the best if not the best passing defenses in the SEC last year when we had Bacarri and company.

        • Bulldawg165

          Yeah… The only thing Lakatos is responsible for is the youth and lack of depth at this point. Losing Nick Marshall two years ago shouldn’t be rearing such an ugly head this season.

          Last year in the SECCG game, except for the play action bomb that we all knew was coming, it felt like Bama was doing us a favor every time they passed instead of ran the ball.

          • adam

            He hasn’t been a very good DB recruiter overall, though Tray Matthews and Shaq Wiggins are pretty good exceptions to that.

            And the coverage scheme is not impossibly difficult to learn. It is a pattern-matching scheme. It’s the same thing Bama and Florida runs. Geno Smith played well as a freshman. Vernon Hargreaves looks very good as a freshman (though he got dominated by Michael Bennett).

            Swann should look better than he does as a junior. We should be able to put him in man and not worry about him. That hasn’t been the case.The biggest problem has been at safety. Corey Moore is still generally bad and Quincy Mauger is clearly not ready for prime time quite yet.

            And I didn’t say that Lakatos was a huge problem. Just that Chris Wilson is a better DL coach than Lakatos is a DB coach and that Travaris Robinson is better. I also want Bob Bostad instead of Will Friend and I hope that Tampa fires their whole staff as well. Though I realize that Richt would never actually make those moves. I’m just imagining how our team would look if we had stellar position coaches all around.

            • Ginny

              “I’m just imagining how our team would look if we had stellar position coaches all around.” I’m guessing more like Alabama.

            • William

              Then why all of the fuss over the hand signals earlier in the year? It seems that, initially, they had too much thrust on them from the jump. They had to know more than just their assignment. Granted Lakatos can bring it up, but it’s ultimately Grantham’s scheme, is it not?

              • adam

                Scheme is not the issue. And with a pattern-matching defense you can’t really do anything but throw it all at them. The only other option is to play a different coverage scheme (like spot zone) and then lose a year of DB development.

                The problem is that our older DBs weren’t playing well, the coverage is hard to learn (but is arguably the best coverage scheme and it’s what our coaches like). The best passing defenses all use a pattern-matching scheme (Florida and Bama, for example). To me, the biggest problem has been DB recruiting.

                This year we have Malkom Parrish committed (a 4-star CB) and a 3-star corner (Kendall Gant) and a 3-star JUCO corner (Shattle Fenteng). And Bobo was Parrish’s primary recruiter and BMac was Gant’s primary recruiter.

                Lakatos might lose Wesley Green (from Lithonia) to South Carolina, Nick Ruffin (from Atlanta) is committed to Auburn, and Kendarius Webster (from Stockbridge) is committed to Ole Miss.

                Robinson at UF has 3 4-star corners, a 4-star safety, a 5 star WR, a 5-star RB, and a 4-star DT committed. Compare that to Lakatos having 1 committ as the primary recruiter, a 3-star JUCO CB whose next best offer is Ole Miss or Kansas State. And even then McClendon as the secondary recruiter. So, while Lakatos may be an ok DB coach, he has been a pretty mediocre recruiter. You have to have talent at DB to have a good defense.

                Last year we got the following DB’s:
                * Tray Matthews (Primary recruiter was John Lilly, secondary was Grantham)
                * Shaq Wiggins (Primary: Lakatos, Secondary: Lilly)
                * Brendan Langley (Primary: Will Friend, Secondary: Grantham)
                * Shaq Fluker (Primary: Friend, Secondary: Lakatos)
                * JJ Green (Primary: Tony Ball, Secondary: Lakatos) – he was considered a CB/WR prospect mainly
                * Paris Bostick (Primary: Grantham, Secondary: McClendon)
                * Kennar Johnson (Primary: Lakatos, Secondary: Friend)
                * Quincy Mauger (Primary: Lakatos, Secondary: Friend)

                So Lakatos has signed Shaq Wiggins and no other elite players in his 3 years here and looks to make it 4 years in a row with 1 elite DB. That’s rough. I think Georgia not only can do better than that, we NEED to do better than that to be competitive.

          • Ginny

            Chris Sanders was also a defensive back that was dismissed along with Marshall.

    • sniffer

      Robinson is an Auburn alum currently coaching at Florida.

      He played for a cheatin program and is now coaching players to eye-gouge.

      That is all.

      • adam

        I don’t believe the DBs were doing any eye-gouging. And I’m positive nothing like that would happen under Richt. And I don’t think Robinson going to Auburn means he is a dirty recruiter. Unless you thought Garner and Dooley were also dirty.

    • Derek

      Yeah and Bryan McClendon is the best running backs coach in the country when Todd Gurley is in the game. Coaches get WAY to much credit and WAY too much blame. There is not a damn thing wrong with the defense that won’t be fixed with time. The DB’s are young and dumb. They are undisciplined with their eyes and take horrible angles. At times they haven’t been interested in tackling.

      Certain positions are easier to handle when you are young: RB, DT, WR. Others not so much: C, LT, QB, FS, SS. The fact that the DL is playing well is a product of depth and talent. Give him three skinny freshman and all of a sudden he’ll be the worse coach since that Bill Belichick idiot that got run out of Cleveland.

      • adam

        McClendon has recruited Crowell, Gurley, and Marshall with commitments from
        Chubb and Michel this year. If you can recruit like a monster at your position, you will look better.

        I would say that is probably a big reason why Robinson looks so much better than Lakatos. But recruiting is part of the job.

        • Derek

          Again, they are coaching different positions. Tray Matthews may end up at the same level as those Running Back recruits, but you’ll never see it that early at those DB positions. It isn’t clear at all clear that Lakatos is not recruiting well. Also, you can’t give McClendon all the credit for recruiting backs. We’ve ALWAYS recruited good backs. If there have been positions that our recruiting is questionable I’d put O-line (especially Tackle) and ILB well ahead of the the defensive backfield as concerns.

          • adam

            I think OL (especially tackle), ILB (lack of elite players outside of Tree and virtually no depth), and DB have been our obvious deficiencies recently.

            I wrote a lot up there about Lakatos’s recruiting. It has not been good. Shaq Wiggins is the only good CB he has recruited during his time here. The best safeties are JHC (recruited by Grantham as an OLB) and Tray Matthews (recruited by Grantham and Lilly). Those are pretty much the only good DBs we have recruited in 3 years and it will have been true for 4 years after this class signs. So, I respectively disagree that you can’t see he has been poor at recruiting. This is the first year without DB starters recruited by Martinez (Shawn Williams, Rambo, Sanders Commings, Branden Smith, and Brandon Boykin were all left around for Lakatos to coach when he was hired). Tray has been hurt most of the year but Lakatos wasn’t even his lead recruiter. And we almost lost Wiggins during recruiting season. So, I’m basing this off of 3 years of results.

            McClendon is our best recruiter and was the primary recruiter for all of those RBs I mentioned. He recruits the RBs. He deserves credit for getting that kind of talent here.

  2. William

    Senator, I have no argument to brook here. I just ask that UGA bring that same intensity and D-Line to Auburn to stuff them as well.

  3. Dolly Llama

    Senator, could you maybe start a Clemson/GT thread for this evening? Or would that be too much like Stingtalk?

    Speaking of which, I feel like even if you turned this asylum over to us lunatics, we could do better than the likes of this: http://www.stingtalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75400

  4. Biggus Rickus

    I guess it’s SOMETHING, but I don’t think it tells us anything meaningful. Because it IS North Texas.

  5. Russ

    Glad I’m not a Michigan fan.

  6. The one (well really not *one*) thing that worries me is that AU will be expecting UGA to load the box and so they come out passing like banshees. God and everyone else knows the secondary is just not good and they will try to expose it early and often.

    I really hope the UGA D linemen line can handle the run without them having to bring in multiple LB to pick up the slack.

    • Cojones

      If Nick could pass we probably would worry big. His trap is waiting for Herrera or Wilson to drop back and spring.

      The play is to stopping the rush. Their RB will probably get his yds, but the rest of that backfield can’t do much for him. He is in Gurly’s shoes except for another power gear.

  7. Ben

    Is this where we say, “I knew it would be okay for Rodney Garner to leave”? Because, you know, dline hasn’t seemed strong in a long time, has it?

  8. Ubiquitous Ga Alum

    So we buy tougher cupcakes than Bammer?

  9. SouthGaDawg

    Our run D hasn’t been the major issue. Between the tackles, I think we are a top 10 DL. I worry about AU and their spread run creating problems in space. We don’t seem to play the run or pass very well in space.

    • Bulldawg165

      Someone posted a chart a few days ago showing that our run defense between the tackles was the best in the SEC, and our run defense outside the tackles was the worst. It sure didn’t make me feel good about this weekend.

      • adam

        I can buy that. Because safeties have to make plays when you run outside and so do OLBs. Floyd hasn’t been great in stopping the run outside.

  10. Tom

    stats and more stats. When I see stats, I am reminded of what an accountant friend once said, “Figures lie and liars figure.”

    • So, who do you figure is lying here?

      • Tom

        Guess I’m just tired of stats and people determining new ways to measure ALY or QBR or ad nauseam. My passion is watching the game.

      • This daily almost Orwellian spin of our defensive performance and Todd Grantham is not fooling anyone who actually has eyesight and has watched us play every week, except for those completely delusional like Adam (whom I can’t even read without risk of a blood vessel bursting).

        Please stop these bull-sh_t stats. Yards per game as a measure of defense performance is a joke. We torched GT last season and didn’t crack 300 yards offensively. Meanwhile GT had close to 400 yards. Was GT better offensively?. If other teams are not getting lots of yards, its probably because our offense is staying on the field or they have shorter fields. And what is this crap about using our slowed offensive as somehow being an explanation for our defensive failings? If I recall, we sucked against Clemson and SC and that was before all of the injuries.

        Here is all you need to know: We are always going to fall short with Grantham as DC. He is going to get torched 4 or 5 times a year (like he has done every single year) and Bobo won’t be able to bail him out continually. He has already cost us a national title and probably 2 SEC titles. The sooner UGA moves on from him the better.

        • Wait… the guy who wrote “Here’s what I think about Grantham: I honestly feel our defense would be better if Willie Martinez was DC, Kevin Ramsey was Secondary Coach, Marion Campbell coached Dline and Richard Bell linebackers” is complaining about bullshit?

          Man, you’re too much.

        • Yards per game is not THE measure of defensive performance, but it is A measure of defensive performance. I’m not sure I get the joke. Statistical analysis is a tool. It is not meant to replace what your eyes see, but it can be used to confirm or refute what you see. Objectivity is taking in all possible data before coming to a conclusion. You take what you see, you take your gut instinct, and you take what the stats say and you come to a defensible (if I may borrow the term) conclusion.

          You’ll have to pardon those of us that think there is some utility in statistical analysis. We do not accept the opinions formed solely by what your eyes see as gospel because we do not know a) what agenda you may have, b) your football IQ, c) how much football you watch on a regular basis, d) your ability to compare like things, or e) any number of other reasons why your opinion without substantiation means a damn hill of beans.

          I, too, watch the games. (I watch a lot of games featuring a lot of teams… often at the same time.) I have seen inadequacies in UGA’s defense. The stats have backed that up. I still see inadequacies compared to what I would like to see, and the stats continue to back that up. But… I do see improvement, and the stats back that up.

          If you still are not convinced that Grantham can hold so-and-so’s jock, fine. Since you are all-knowing, and your eyes tell you everything you need to know, sign off on all your posts with your top five candidates to replace Grantham so we can all see how smart you are and can pat you on the back when one of them is hired. Will you do this for the good of the commentariat?

    • sniffer

      We are what our record says we are.

    • Stat_gal

      Hey… watch it! Now you’re getting personal. ;-)

  11. We should immediately name Grantham “Head-Coach in Waiting” to ensure we can have him coaching the defense for years to come. At the very least we should double his salary for the incredible job he has done the past two seasons. Who would have expected such corrections and improvement beginning eight games into the season !! If we give him all the support he deserves, and if we are able to once again stock the defense with NFL talent, I bet we might even see corrections about week 6 or 7 next season. We’ve seen how he can hold good teams to mid-30’s when he has experienced NFL-laden talent.

    • Cosmic Dawg

      I am not a fan of CTG…but this is for you:

      • Thanks, I actually listened to that. I’d rather have a shot of something though.

      • Cojones

        “Sunshine” made me high also, but you can’t get it anymore. “Maui-Wowwy” ain’t what it used to be either. Got a cross coming for next year that I’m dubbing “Moonbeams” because the bud is smooth and can be shoved up one’s arse. Always wanted to go back to Aztec (or was it Olmec?) good ole days.

  12. Bulldog Joe

    Man, we’ve got some angry fans.