Category Archives: Stats Geek!

Defense is getting buttah and buttah.

Giving the devil his due, it’s fair to say that Todd Grantham is having a helluva year as Louisville’s defensive coordinator.  Just because I’m surprised doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve credit.  (In fact, you could make a good case that he’s earned his million dollar paycheck more than his boss has.)

But as a Georgia fan, that’s not very important to me.  What is important is how the job Jeremy Pruitt is doing this year compares to what Grantham turned in on that front last season.  And from that perspective, it’s no contest.  Pruitt is crushing Grantham.

… Below are the major defensive categories with their averages as well as their national ranking. The first number is the 2013 Grantham defense and the second is the 2014 Pruitt Defense. I have placed the better statistic in bold.

  • Points Per Game: 29 (79th) / 20 (19th)

  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 375 (45th) / 320 (16th)

  • Rush Yards Allowed Per Game: 148 (43rd) / 105 (16th)

  • Pass Yards Allowed Per Game: 227 (59th) / 215 (46th)

  • Interceptions: 7 ALL YEAR (109th) / 10 THROUGH 7 GAMES (13th)

  • Fumbles Forced: 10 ALL YEAR (75th) / 6 THOUGH 7 GAMES (52nd)

  • Turnover Margin: -7 (101st) / +13 (1st)

  • Tackles for Loss: 81 ALL YEAR (45th) / 45 THROUGH 7 GAMES (45th)

  • Sacks: 33 ALL YEAR (29th) / 18 THROUGH 7 GAMES (33rd)

  • Passes Broken Up: 55 ALL YEAR (62nd) / 32 THROUGH 7 GAMES (60th) 

  • 3rd Down Conversion %: 39.49% (64th) / 30.61% (18th)

The first item on that list is the most important, of course.  And that nine-point difference is huge.  How huge?  This huge:

Georgia is 9 points better on defense than it was in 2013. If you take 9 points off of all 5 Georgia losses in 2013, Georgia wins against Clemson, Vandy, Auburn, and Nebraska. That is pretty significant when you look at it from that perspective. What that really means is that Georgia is 2 scoring possessions better than 2013 and that is pretty impressive.

Again, to be fair, I don’t think you can chalk all of that up to a change in defensive coordinators.  Shoring up special teams play has also contributed to that swing in defensive scoring.  But in any event, I think it’s okay to be happy with the switch from Grantham to Pruitt now.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Bill Connelly’s updated conference projections

As you can imagine, they’re a lot more fun to read after the Arkansas game.

  • Georgia is the only team in the East with better than a 50% chance to go 7-1 in the conference.
  • Bill now has Georgia listed as a favorite in all of its remaining SEC matches, including Auburn.  (He assigns Florida a 2.6% chance of winning in Jax.)

The number that really jumps out at me is that he projects Ole Miss to have better than a 50% chance to run the table.  Out of the SEC West.  Wow.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Wednesday morning buffet

It’s a Gurley-free buffet, if that helps.

  • This is awkward.
  • Steve Hummer’s assessment of the psyche of Georgia’s fan base is pretty good:  “Georgia people habitually expect the worst. They can never relax. They can never wander the sunflower fields of blind optimism. They just know deep down that around every corner awaits a kick to a most sensitive area.”
  • The advanced box score of the Florida-Missouri game is as amazing to see as the game was.
  • And the advanced box score of the Arkansas-Georgia game is just what you’d expect.
  • Devin Gardner’s comment about the number of racist fans he’s encountered this season puts me in mind of Randy Newman’s “Rednecks”.  Hang in there, Devin.  You’re a classy kid.
  • “We found out that ball is an incredibly important part of the game of football and we didn’t secure it the way we needed to on offense and it paid off for them,” Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney said.  Better late than never, I guess.
  • When it comes to scoring this season, Georgia is a damned efficient team.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Big 12 Football, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Stats Geek!

The conversion of Jeff Sagarin

Remember when everybody used to complain that Sagarin was biased in favor of the Pac-12?  Not anymore.

College Football 2014 through games of October 18 Saturday                                                                          
                                RATING    W   L  SCHEDL(RANK) VS top 10 | VS top 30 | GOLDEN_MEAN  | PREDICTOR    | ELO_SCORE  
                HOME ADVANTAGE=[  3.23]                                               [  3.16]       [  3.39]       [  3.13]
   1  Mississippi          A  =  97.20    7   0   74.95(  13)    1   0  |    3   0  |   95.44    3 |   96.08    1 |   97.30    1
   2  Alabama              A  =  96.91    6   1   77.11(   9)    0   1  |    3   1  |   96.42    1 |   95.68    2 |   95.62    4
   3  Auburn               A  =  96.55    5   1   79.22(   3)    0   1  |    2   1  |   95.93    2 |   94.43    3 |   96.74    2
   4  Mississippi State    A  =  93.52    6   0   73.84(  20)    1   0  |    3   0  |   93.64    5 |   89.83    7 |   96.26    3
   5  Georgia              A  =  92.44    6   1   74.64(  14)    0   0  |    3   0  |   92.46    6 |   92.60    4 |   89.74    7

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Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Eye of the beholder, baby.

Saturday looks like a tough game for Georgia.  Don’t take my word for that.

There’s no way Arkansas can get a “moral victory” out of Saturday. Win or it’s a disappointment, especially if Gurley doesn’t play.

Funny thing about that is Mr. S&P+, Bill Connelly, rates Georgia’s chance of success Saturday at 80.4%.  (His cohort with the F/+ ratings has Georgia seventh nationally and Arkansas outside the top 25.)

Now I’m not trying to dismiss the game, as I, too, think it’s gonna be a battle.  In fact, I like the keys to the game set up in that post.

Keys to the Game

  1. Break even or win the turnover battle. A win would be really nice, but it’s not completely necessary unless Arkansas fails in other areas. Losing could be disastrous. Georgia hasn’t lost it yet, and has lost a game in which it went +2 (South Carolina).
  2. Record fewer than 15 yards per point. Same as last week, Arkansas needs to maximize its yards. The Hogs are 0-3 when recording more than 15 yards per point, so this is kind of necessary. Holding Georgia above 15 yards per point would almost guarantee a victory, but it’s not completely necessary.
  3. Win the spike rate. Arkansas lost it badly last week (44.1 percent to 28.3 percent). That means 44.1 percent of Arkansas’ offensive snaps went for no gain, lost yardage, or a turnover. Against a team running a similar offense, Arkansas needs to win it this week.
  4. Win the field position battle. Arkansas also lost the field position battle badly last week, averaging 12 yards worse per possession (37 to 25) in starting field position. Alabama has a great punter, but Arkansas is not interesting in letting D.J. Dean actually field punts. Sam Irwin-Hill didn’t have a great game punting the ball, either. Georgia’s offense sans Todd Gurley lacks explosiveness, so forcing the Dawgs to drive the length of the field for every point is essential.
  5. Hold Georgia below 33 percent success rate rushing, and under 9.5 isoYPP rushing. Arkansas held Alabama to 24 percent and 7.83 isoYPP rushing, so this should not be a tall order. Against Alabama, Arkansas loaded up the box, shut down the run, and forced Blake Sims to win the game with his arm, which he was barely able to do. Hutson Mason doesn’t have the benefit of a dominant defense or ultra-talented receivers, so if Arkansas can shut down Georgia’s run game, the Hogs should win, perhaps by a large margin.

Don’t let Georgia get on the plus side of turnover margin, don’t let Georgia control field position, shut down Georgia’s running game… yeah, I think any team that can do all that beats this Dawgs team.  The thing is, doing those things has been Georgia’s modus operandi all season, and the team has been pretty good at them.

Stats can be useful, and I do think it’s clear from the stats that this year’s Arkansas team is a better squad than last year’s.  But learning how to win isn’t a stat, it’s a state of mind.  And it’s something that a team on a long conference losing streak still hasn’t got figured out, kind of like Tennessee.

And to illustrate that with a stat I heard today on Seth’s and Gentry’s podcast, in Arkansas’ last five SEC losses, it’s been outscored 48-0 in the fourth quarter.  Think Georgia’s conditioning may be a factor?

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Sometimes you gotta go where the stats take you.

Bill Connelly’s way to nice a guy for me to drop a load of schadenfreude on, so let me just say I probably felt as bad looking at last year’s Georgia-Missouri box score as he did compiling this one.  That being said, you don’t have to delve too deeply into Bill’s effort to see the rout.  Just take it from the beginning:

BASICS GEORGIA MISSOURI NAT’L AVG
Total Plays 87 43
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 80.8%
Avg Starting FP 41.9 22.3 29.8
Possessions 12 12
Scoring Opportunities* 8 0

In the same number of possessions, Georgia ran twice the plays, had dramatically better starting field position and never let Mizzou get close to having a chance to score.  As the wise Talmudic scholar once said, the rest is commentary.

As a bonus, if you’re interested, here’s the advanced box score from the Alabama-Arkansas.  Both teams were more proficient turning the ball over than running it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Tuesday morning buffet

Hungry?

  • Arkansas threw the ball 40 times in the Alabama game.
  • Speaking of throwing, broke down Hutson Mason’s game against Mizzou.  (Hint:  he likee.)
  • Jimbo Fisher goes all in on Jameis Winston“. . . There is not a victim because there was no crime. . .”
  • And speaking of Winston, hoo boy.
  • Coach Richt, on his evolution at head coach:  “I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t do as much hands-on coaching as I used to. Mike Bobo and Pruitt are doing most of that now. I deal with more things during the game and in the week preceding the game.”
  • Jerry Palm notes that the selection committee will continue the tradition of not taking margin of victory into account.  Idiots.
  • The descent of Jeff Driskel is a thing:  “Right now, Jeff would probably start, but both will play.”  The “probably” is an especially nice touch.
  • Speaking of Boom, this is still a thing, too.
  • Georgia moves up a whopping twelve spots, to ninth, in the latest F/+ rankings.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!