Daily Archives: September 6, 2007

Dawg stat watch: what it takes to win, week 1.

I did a post a couple of months ago on what SEC statistical categories Georgia excelled at under Mark Richt in the years the program went to the SECCG. I found seven of them that were common factors in 2002, 2003 and 2005. In no particular order of importance, they are:

  1. Hold opponents under 17 points per game.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.
  7. Finish at least third in sacks.

I thought I’d keep track of how the Dawgs perform with regard each of these criteria over the course of the season. So we’ll start with the first week, with the obvious caveat that the early stats are likely to be skewed by the number of powderpuff games that contribute to the data.

Also, the SEC hasn’t put up its stats for the 2007 season yet, so I’ve had to use the data from the NCAA site. Unfortunately, the NCAA doesn’t track the exact same data that the SEC does, so there’s one hole in the info this week.

  1. Points allowed: 14.
  2. Turnover margin: +1
  3. Total offense: 376 yards
  4. Total defense: 266 yards, 5th in the conference
  5. First downs: 18, unknown ranking in the conference
  6. Passing yardage: 234, 7th in the conference
  7. Sacks: 5, 1st in the conference

All in all, a good start. It’s pretty obvious that the SEC rankings for total defense and passing yardage can be discounted this early – after all, I doubt Kentucky finishes ahead of Georgia in total defense this season.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

‘Cocky talk: First thoughts on UGA-USC

  • Skip all the blather about the game being important because Spurrier needs to have the program make a statement and step up to join the big kids on the block in the East, or because Georgia fans loathe Spurrier. This is a big game for one reason: the loser – as Georgia won’t likely win in J’ville and S. Carolina has a very tough road schedule – will be effectively eliminated from the SEC East race early on.
  • Remembering how poor Georgia’s run defense looked against Georgia Southern’s triple option attack a couple of years ago does, at least on the surface, make me want to discount the fact that ULL gashed SC’s run defense last week to the tune of 252 yards (and a 5.36 yards per run average). And it’s true that Georgia won’t be running an option attack against the ‘Cocks on Saturday. But I suspect that Brown and Moreno are more talented than the backs ULL threw out. And I anticipate that Georgia’s passing game will pose a far more credible threat than ULL’s did – surely Stafford will be able to throw for more than the 63 passing yards that SC allowed. It also sounds as if SC’s run defense came up somewhat short fundamentally last Saturday in terms of poor tackling and missed assignments (sound familiar?). Dawg fans will be the first to tell you that that’s not something likely to be cleaned up in a week’s worth of practices.
  • In 2006, South Carolina was a blocked kick away from going 5-0 on the road in the regular season.
  • In 2006, South Carolina played six teams ranked in the top 12. The Gamecocks lost all six games.
  • I’m not sure what to take from all the personnel shuffling the Ol’ Ball Coach has engaged in this week. He’s already had to change course once, as Kevin Young was injured after being named the starter at offensive guard. And this attempt to be sly about waiting to name the starting QB until today seems about as clever as Charlie Weis’ lame exercise last week. After all, it’s not like Georgia hasn’t seen Blake Mitchell play before.
  • I’ve never been too impressed with South Carolina’s special teams on coverage, so the fact that Ryan Succop put 4 of his 5 kickoffs in the endzone last week could be big for them in limiting Georgia’s field position in the game. On the other hand, they’ll still have to come up with something to account for Mikey Henderson.
  • Sidney Rice, arguably South Carolina’s best receiver ever, is gone, so USC spread the wealth last week: eight different players caught 21 passes, including six to running backs and 6 to tight ends.
  • There’s no question that coming into the season, SC wins the experience battle. The Gamecocks returned their two leading rushers, three of their top four receivers, their starting QB (at least if he goes to class) and fourteen of their top fifteen (including the top six) tacklers on defense.
  • For what it’s worth, Phil Steele picks South Carolina to finish with the same conference record as Georgia this season – and to tie for the lead in the SEC East.

Comments Off on ‘Cocky talk: First thoughts on UGA-USC

Filed under Georgia Football, The Evil Genius