KC Joyner labels Missouri the SEC East favorite.
Category Archives: Stats Geek!
Tyler does some more digging at cfbstats.com (I always love it when somebody else does the heavy lifting), and uses stats to paint a pretty accurate portrait of Georgia’s defense five games into the season.
Because when you look at the stats, there is nothing in them, besides the points per game, that make me freak out, and that isn’t terrible. We are thoroughly average.
And even the points per game are an improvement over last season.
… We are bend, but don’t break. Then we run out of field. Throw in the four rushing TDs we’ve given up, opponents are scoring touch downs on about one of every four plays from inside our red zone. This is reflected in our S&P defensive ratings being ranked 52nd.
Basically, this is VanGorder ball, without the All-American players. BVG’s defense worked, like all great defenses do, because it could consistently generate a four-man pass rush. That’s not something the current defense is capable of providing.
One last thing: we are abysmal, last in the nation, defending the pass when teams are 3rd and 4-6 yards. The line: 11-15, 9 of those for first downs, a 243.60 passer rating, and 5 of our 7 passing plays allowing 30+ yards. All other third down situations and we are average or better. Again, not sure what I can take away from that, but it is something to think about going forward when we see 3rd down and 5.
I think everyone can visualize what’s happening in those situations. The rush can’t get to the quarterback and there’s probably an ILB in pass coverage.
I don’t want to make this sound overly bleak. It’s not. In fact, you can make a good argument that the stats show Georgia is making the best it can out of its talent. Pruitt’s philosophy makes sense in context. And that context is (1) Georgia is scoring points at a high clip; (2) Georgia is being extremely careful holding on to the football; and (3) while punting average is mediocre, Georgia’s punt coverage is outstanding.
What that indicates is Mark Richt’s team is doing a fantastic job managing field position. That’s a sign of good coaching.
But it’s also a sign of how narrow the margins are for Georgia. Tennessee was close because the Dawgs didn’t have much of a field position advantage throughout the game (consider what they did when Tennessee was pushed back on its side of the field, though). Georgia enjoyed advantages in field position and turnover margin in Columbia, but inconsistent defensive play, a questionable holding call that reversed a Gurley touchdown and two missed field goals combined for a close loss.
The formula is there for winning ball. It’s just a matter of whether the Dawgs can hold it together enough when it matters.
Seth Emerson thoughtfully saved me the trouble of pouring through cfbstats.com. As you might expect, statistically, Georgia is something of a mixed bag. But there are some numbers that should be grounds for some degree of optimism.
- “On the strength of Gurley’s running, Georgia ranks sixth in the nation in scoring offense, at 45 points per game.” That’s good for second in the conference and less than three points behind Texas A&M.
- “While Hutson Mason’s passing yardage is anemic (he has yet to hit the 200-yard mark), he is 45th nationally, and sixth in the SEC, in pass efficiency rating.” Some of that is a function of Mason not throwing too many interceptions.
- “Georgia has committed the least turnovers in the SEC, with four. Well, that’s tied for the least in the SEC, with Missouri. Something to keep in mind for this weekend.” See above, plus the running backs have been pretty sure handed.
- “Here’s a surprisingly strong stat for Georgia’s defense: It ranks 12th in the nation (tied with Clemson) in third-down defense, stopping opponents 29.3 percent of the time.” That’s a big change from last season.
And, in the first note about this week’s game, here are the key stats for Missouri:
Missouri’s vital numbers: 76th in total offense, at 400 yards per game; 76th in passing offense (222 ypg); 57th in rushing offense (179 ypg); 57th in run defense (144.6 ypg); 66th in pass defense (236.4 ypg).
S&P+ is typically quite volatile at this time of year (my own ratings are why Ole Miss is so damn high, too) and one team benefiting from that is Louisville, which has had, from a raw data standpoint, one of the most successful defenses in the country so far. The Cardinals rank fourth in Defensive S&P+, and while that wouldn’t be the biggest reach in the world — they ranked 10th in Defensive F/+ last year, after all, and new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham did have some success at Georgia before a 2013 fade — they have gotten what are probably a couple of artificial boosts.
First, Louisville has played Wake Forest. As long as raw data plays any role, even a minor one, in the ratings, playing Wake Forest is going to be good for you. The Ville held the Deacs to 100 total yards (1.8 per play) last Saturday, and while that’s certainly not bad … well, UL-Monroe held Wake to 94 yards (1.9 per play) in the season opener.
Maybe that just means Richt should have hired UL-Monroe’s defensive coordinator instead of Pruitt.
David Hale has a few interesting stats about FSU’s defense worth sharing with you.
Now, the ‘Noles lost a goodly chunk of talent to the NFL, so that’s a factor. But they also lost a certain defensive coordinator. I gotta think that’s a factor, too.
Just ask Bill Connelly.
The way things currently stand, we could have an incredible SEC race on our hands.
East F/+ Ranking Proj. conf. wins Missouri (1-0, 4-1) 29 5.17 Georgia (1-1, 3-1) 16 4.66 South Carolina (2-2, 3-2) 26 4.12 Florida (1-1, 2-1) 37 3.86 Tennessee (0-1, 2-2) 47 3.11 Kentucky (1-1, 3-1) 76 2.22 Vanderbilt (0-3, 1-4) 98 0.74 West F/+ Ranking Proj. conf. wins Mississippi State (1-0, 4-0) 7 5.54 Alabama (1-0, 4-0) 1 5.38 Ole Miss (1-0, 4-0) 5 5.23 Texas A&M (2-0, 5-0) 11 4.88 Auburn (1-0, 4-0) 8 4.73 LSU (0-1, 4-1) 10 4.08 Arkansas (0-2, 3-2) 24 2.27
Those are three East teams projected within 1.05 wins of the top spot … and those are five West teams projected within 0.8. That’s incredible. This is something you tend to see when projecting lower-caliber conferences without standout teams. This isn’t what you expect from the best conference in the country (and while the SEC is not the best every year, it absolutely is this year).
That is about as up for grabs as you can get. That’s also why this is a huge, huge weekend in the SEC West.
Yeah, it’s been easy putting my Power Poll ballot together.