In fashioning a response to Matt Hayes’ ignorant shot at Georgia’s defense, I took a look at the Dawgs’ defensive stats for the past three seasons – VanGorder’s final year and Martinez’s first two years as defensive coordinators.
First, check out average yards per carry (ypc) rushing from month to month.
In 2004, it goes like this: 3.45; 3.19; 2.78; 1.71.
In 2005, it goes like this: 2.86; 3.75; 4.37; 4.61.
In 2006, it goes like this: 2.87; 3.33; 4.21; 1.62.
There’s a disturbing trend there. In ’04, the average ypc improved from month to month. With the exception of last year’s bowl game, the direction under Martinez has been the opposite.
Now look at the season rushing totals. [Totalled by games, attempts, yards, ypc and TDs.]
While the defense certainly made strides in 2006 in reducing average ypc, the number of rushing touchdowns remains significantly higher than it was under BVG. And don’t forget that the 2006 schedule was far softer than the ’04 and ’05 slates were (no LSU, no SECCG, for example).
Here are the passing defense stats for the same three seasons [totalled by games, attempts, completions, yardage, interceptions, TDs and passer rating]:
Not surprisingly, given Martinez’s prowess as a secondary coach, these numbers have improved noticeably over the past three years, particularly interceptions.
What this tells me roughly a hundred days out from the season opener is that Georgia fans should be much more concerned about the ability of the front seven to shut down the run in 2007 than about Bryan Evans’ inexperience.