Category Archives: Stats Geek!

It’s not just how you play. It’s who you play, too.

I can’t take credit for the work – I found it at the Dawg Post message board – but I thought it was worth passing on in a post here.  It’s a list ranking Georgia’s SEC opponents’ offensive yards per game over the last ten seasons:

1. 2013 – 409.7  (Grantham year 4)
2. 2010 – 402.1  (Grantham year 1)
3. 2007 – 394.5  (Martinez year 3)
4. 2004 – 391.0  (Van Gorder final year)
5. 2012 – 378.9  (Grantham year 3)
6. 2009 – 373.9  (Martinez year 5)
7. 2005 – 366.1  (Martinez year 1)
8. 2006 – 359  (Martinez year 2)
9. 2011 – 329.5  (Grantham year 2)
10. 2008 – 326.6  (Martinez year 4)

Couple of things about that list.  First of all, whatever else you might say about him, Grantham’s been dealt a tougher hand than either of his predecessors.  Second, it’s weird, but for the most part you’d have to say that Martinez’ defenses got worse in the face of weaker opponents’ offenses.  That’s generally not going to be a good combination.

How ’bout that VanGorder outlier, though?  Georgia finished an impressive eighth nationally in total defense in 2004.  The sick thing is that was only good for fourth-best in the conference.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Math? Nobody said there’d be math!

The AJ-C surveys the stats for Georgia and Georgia Tech and concludes that the “numbers suggest close game”.  Eh, maybe.

The paper is hanging a lot on the fact that Tech sits at a lofty 16th nationally in total defense – hey, Ted Roof’s on the Broyles watch list! – but that ranking is a trifle misleading in that the Jackets have faced not one, but two 1-AA offenses this season.  Now that’s not totally their fault, as they had to deal with a last-minute scheduling hole created by conference expansion, but it’s still the hand they’ve played this season.

So guess what happens when you look at the total defense rankings against only D-1 opponents?  Georgia Tech drops to a still solid, but less impressive 29th.

But even that doesn’t tell the real story.  The real story is that Tech’s defense has been on the field for fewer plays than all but one team in the country.  That’s because Georgia Tech’s offense does a very good job keeping the defense on the sidelines.  This brings me to something that drives me crazy, people who argue that time of possession is a meaningless stat.  It’s not meaningless if dominating it is part of a team’s philosophy, which is clearly the case with the Jackets.

And it’s a big deal when you look at how defenses rank in the context of yards per play.  Georgia Tech is decidedly mediocre by the standards of that metric, at 5.81, which ranks 77th nationally.  How do I know that’s mediocre?  Because Georgia is 66th, at 5.55 ypp.

The offensive story is a little more lopsided, perhaps surprisingly.  Despite all the injuries which have plagued them, the Dawgs still rank 14th nationally in total offense against D-1 teams; generating about seventy yards less per game, Georgia Tech ranks 56th.  It’s not explained by the number of plays each offense has run – Georgia is 68th and Tech is 105th, but GT has played one less game against FBS teams than Georgia, so when you average it out, the Jackets have run about one play per game more than Georgia.  It’s chalked up to offensive yards per play, as the 10th-ranked Dawgs average an entire yard per play more than Georgia Tech.

All of which suggests rather loudly to me that the biggest key to Saturday’s game is Georgia Tech keeping Georgia’s offense off the field as much as possible.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!

Is defense as important as we think it is?

Before you jump my arse or give me the “one word:  Alabama” treatment, keep in mind that I’m asking you to consider this as a matter of degree, not dismissing the concept in its entirety.

With that in mind, take a look at Bill Connelly’s thoughts on tweaking the relative weights of offensive and defensive stats.  Also note a point that Bernie’s made this morning, that Georgia’s beaten the SEC’s second, third and fourth ranked teams in total defense.

I don’t think anybody would argue that it hasn’t been a strange season.  Maybe that makes this the best time to question conventional wisdom.  Or maybe it’s the college football equivalent of counting the number of angels dancing on the head of a pin.  Hell, I don’t know.  Did I mention it’s been a weird year?


Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!

Wednesday morning buffet

Kibbles and bits from around college football:


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

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’.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Friday morning buffet

Grab that knife and fork and go, folks.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Life After Football, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Tuesday morning buffet

Dig in, peeps.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, The Body Is A Temple

Plenty of blame to go around

I see from the comments here that plenty of you have your minds made up about Grantham and I don’t expect that’ll likely change.  But I do think the statistical story is more complicated than some of you are willing to acknowledge.  This, for example, is pretty staggering:

Georgia has allowed 33 touchdowns this season. About a third (10) came either against Georgia’s offense/special-teams units or on drives that covered 40 yards or less. Nearly a quarter of those 33 touchdowns (eight) came against the offense/special teams or on drives that covered 20 yards or less.

TDs vs. UGA offense/special teams: 4
TD drives of 20 yards or less: 4
TD drives of 40 yards or less: 6
TD drives of 50 yards or less: 7

That doesn’t include the occasional short drive that ended in a field goal, or, for that matter, Saturday’s safety.  But that’s how you get to this:

Georgia ranks 112th nationally and last in the SEC in opponent yards per point — a statistic that divides the number of points a team allows by the yardage its opponent covered to score. The five teams that rank immediately behind Georgia’s average (12.1) on that list have a combined 7-35 record this season: Cal (1-8), Colorado (3-5), Idaho (1-8), UTEP (1-7) and Iowa State (1-7).

(The complete rankings in opp ypp are here, if you’re interested.)

Now, Ching is right to note that even if the defense has been handed more than its fair share of tough spots, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have stepped up at a better rate.

“…Georgia’s defense could always have made more stops after being placed in those bad positions. And the Bulldogs certainly could stand to become more effective on third down (they’re 12th in the SEC, allowing opponents to convert 42.5 percent of the time).”

The Dawgs are 110th in opponents’ red zone touchdown percentage.

In other words, the 92nd ranking in defensive scoring has truly been a team effort.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Things you may have missed from the weekend, part two.

Don’t look now, but Georgia is seventh in the conference in total defense.


UPDATE:  This, too.

Believe it or not — and the fourth-year coordinator’s detractors within Georgia’s fan base will likely be stunned by this revelation — Georgia has held all but one opponent (Tennessee) below its season average for total offense. And after yielding 400-plus yards in four of the first five games, the Bulldogs have held their last three opponents below the 400-yard mark and to an average of 68.5 yards per game below their season averages.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Bad defense? It’s all relative.

Interesting chart from John Pennington, comparing SEC defensive yards per play from the 2012 season with this year’s stats (against BCS opposition only):

School   2013 Yds/All/Play   2012 Yds All/Play   Change
  Florida   4.77   4.33   0.44 worse
  Alabama   4.99   4.38   0.61 worse
  Missouri   5.31   5.78   0.47 better
  S. Carolina   5.47   4.63   0.84 worse
  LSU   5.66   4.64   1.02 worse
  Ole Miss   5.87   5.79   0.08 worse
  Georgia   5.88   5.27   0.61 worse
  Auburn   6.11   6.48   0.37 better
  Vanderbilt   6.19   5.00   1.19 worse
  Miss. State   6.22   5.67   0.55 worse
  Arkansas   6.41   6.18   0.23 worse
  Texas A&M   6.42   5.45   0.97 worse
  Tennessee   6.70   6.49   0.21 worse
  Kentucky   6.97   6.01   0.96 worse

Bitch about Grantham all you like – and much of it’s deserved, no doubt – but he’s got plenty of company this year.  Just for yucks, I checked Georgia’s offensive ypp for the same periods.  It’s declined from 6.7 to 6.29.  As TAMU, Alabama, Missouri, LSU and South Carolina have all improved in that department in 2013, I’d say that’s a bigger deal.  Toss in the craptastic special teams play, and you can see the path to 4-3.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!