Category Archives: Stats Geek!

This one’s for the optimists.

Brian Fremeau pegs Georgia’s chance to win today at 97.1%, calls for a final score of 36-12.

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Mastering the art of field position

Bill Connelly unearths a stat that makes me happy and probably would make Mark Richt ecstatic.

First, field position. My work at Football Study Hall basically boiled the field position battle down to turnovers, team efficiency, kicks, and punts. Turnovers tend to flip field position, sometimes drastically; efficiency tells us how far teams advance the ball before giving it to opponents; and kicks and punts obviously finish the field position job. And as was the case last year, Stanford is once again mastering the art of field position in 2014.

The reason I’m happy?  Check out who’s second.

Team Avg. Starting FP (Off.) Rk Avg. Starting FP (Def.) Rk FP Margin Rk
Stanford 41.6 1 18.9 1 22.7 1
Georgia 38.1 3 22.6 4 15.5 2
Memphis 36.7 8 21.3 2 15.4 3
Temple 37.7 4 23.9 9 13.8 4
Ohio State 36.2 11 23.4 6 12.8 5
TCU 36.9 6 24.2 11 12.7 6
Duke 35.3 17 22.7 5 12.6 7
Baylor 39.8 2 28.0 51 11.8 8
Michigan State 37.6 5 26.2 31 11.4 9
Utah 33.7 29 22.5 3 11.2 10

I can’t even begin to guess the last time Georgia would have dominated a statistical category like that.  It takes a combination of so many things – favorable turnover margin, solid third-down work on defense and competent special teams play, for starters – that the Dawgs have come up short in one way or another over the past few seasons.

Yes, the small sample size warning certainly applies here.  But keep in mind that Georgia’s played two ranked football teams over that period, so it’s a stat with some traction to it.

As Bill puts it, “You don’t see many bad teams near the top of this list or good teams near the bottom.”  Me happy.

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UPDATE:  ESPN has some stats of interest here.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Fun with Week 4 numbers

Sure, the sample size could be bigger, but there’s still interesting stuff to glean out there.

Also interesting is that the power rating stats in several different places seem to put a higher value on Georgia than the pollsters do right now.

The computers don’t matter any more, of course, so you have to wonder how much the selection committee is going to rely on the human polls in making its calls.

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Bill Connelly’s measuring hell raisin’.

This is a pretty cool concept.

Havoc rate is a pretty simple method for looking at how much hell a defense is raising. Add up tackles for loss (which includes sacks), forced fumbles, and defensed passes (picks and break-ups), divide it by total plays, and voila: havoc rate. The national havoc average in 2013 was 15.9 percent.

The school currently last in havoc rate?  That would be South Carolina.  Nevertheless,

Against Georgia, South Carolina’s was a paltry 11.7: four tackles for loss (two sacks) and three pass break-ups in 60 snaps. Not very good. However…

A) It represented significant improvement from South Carolina’s first two games, in which the Gamecocks averaged a woeful 6 percent against Texas A&M and East Carolina: five tackles for loss, five passes defensed in 166 snaps. (Further frame of reference: Navy was dead last in havoc last year at 9.3 percent.)

B) South Carolina’s second “sack” saved the game. Georgia trailed 38-35 with 5:24 left, and Damian Swann had just picked off S.C. quarterback Dylan Thompson and returned the ball to the Gamecocks’ 4. Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had called seven consecutive run plays (three for Todd Gurley, one for Sony Michel, three for fullback Quayvon Hicks) to finish Georgia’s last scoring drive, and he decided it was time for the play-action bootleg that tends to work pretty easily in those situations. Only, when [quarterback Hutson] Mason turned to run to his right after faking the handoff, [Gerald] Dixon was charging at him. Mason attempted to throw the ball at a back’s feet (a “grounding” that doesn’t tend to draw a penalty), but the ball deflected off of Dixon, and Mason was penalized.

It was a pretty tenuous call, and if the ball doesn’t hit Dixon, it doesn’t get called at all — but it set into motion the chain of events that won South Carolina the game. Facing second-and-goal from the 14, Georgia quickly went three-and-out (thanks in part to a pass broken up by J.T. Surratt), and previously automatic place-kicker Marshall Morgan missed a 28-yard field goal off of the right hash. South Carolina moved the chains a couple of times, converted a fourth-and-1 by a literal millimeter, and ran out the clock for the win.

So while South Carolina didn’t generate much havoc, it generated clutch havoc. That’s something.

Maybe it’s not so much that Georgia coaches are intimidated by Spurrier as it is they refuse to accept the simple premise that they’re always going to get his best shot.  But they always will.  No matter how you measure it.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, The Evil Genius

Thursday morning buffet

Dig in.

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Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Political Wankery, Recruiting, Stats Geek!

Just when I thought I was out, Brian Fremeau pulls me back in.

If you’ve had enough of Georgia’s final offensive possession in Columbia, I would suggest you skip this post.

I’m an avid reader of Football Outsiders, so when I saw that Brian had posted something about the game, I couldn’t resist checking it out.  I wish I hadn’t.  It’s just one depressing stat after another:

  1. “But an interception that sets up the offense on the doorstep of the end zone is significant. Swann’s play added 4.9 points of scoring value for Georgia. Had the Bulldogs been able to capitalize with a touchdown, most of the value gained would have belonged to Swann and the defense.In terms of possession value, Georgia had already “taken the lead” on the play. To fail to score a touchdown, or to fail to score at all would be equivalent to taking points off the board.”
  2. “On non-garbage possessions since 2007, offenses have scored points on 92.6 percent of drives that began inside the opponent’s 5-yard line. Offenses scored touchdowns on 60.1 percent of drives started at or inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. In the same span leading up to the South Carolina game, Georgia started 20 drives in the red zone and scored a touchdown on 16 of them (80 percent). They scored a touchdown on all six of their non-garbage drives started at or inside the opponent’s 5-yard line from 2007 to 2013.”  [Emphasis added.]
  3. “How much is a field-goal attempt worth from the opponent’s 11-yard line? College kickers are successful on approximately 85 percent of attempts from that distance since 2007. A successful kick puts three points on the scoreboard, but only 0.5 of those points are earned by the kicker from that yard line. The other 2.5 points were earned by the units that set up the kick. In this case, Swann’s interception set up 5.8 points of scoring value, and the offense lost 3.3 points. A successful kick would tie the game. An unsuccessful kick would blow the remaining 2.5 points of value the defense had generated.”
  4. “Georgia’s net field position-value advantage for the game was 9.4 points. Their net turnover value generated for the game was 8.7 points. Only four teams last season had advantages at least that large in field position and turnovers and still lost the game.”

Soooooo… to sum things up, the defense delivers a play that should have given Georgia the lead, the offense squanders that by doing something a Bobo-coached offense had never done before and Morgan wraps it up.  Now that’s teamwork.

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It’s not just how much you run…

in the Georgia-South Carolina series.  It’s how well you run, too.

In the last nine meetings, Georgia averages 4.3 yards per carry in wins against South Carolina and just 3.8 yards per carry in losses. The Gamecocks, meanwhile, average 4.6 yards per carry in wins; 3.4 in losses. The team that cracks 4.0 yards per carry wins.

It’s worth noting that last year South Carolina averaged 6.3 yards per rush, but still lost.  (Georgia averaged 4.3 ypc.)  So it’s better just to say that the winning team averages over four yards a pop on the ground.

In any event, Georgia needs to run the ball well.

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Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!