Category Archives: 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!

If you want to appreciate how good Georgia’s running backs have been…

… check out Bill Connelly’s post about offensive lines.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Third down and whoa

From Pete Roussel, a handy chart of SEC quarterbacks performances on third down:

Two things stand out there that may have some bearing on this Saturday: as long as he’s not throwing for the end zone, getting Mauk in third down situations is a win for the defense and getting Mason in third down situations is not easy.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

“The East is wide open this year!”

Bill Connelly’s updated conference projections are here, and, yeah, Saturday’s game in Columbia looks like it’s kind of a big deal.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Wednesday morning buffet

Another day, another buffet.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, College Football, Crime and Punishment, ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!