Again, I’m tracking seven SEC statistical categories that have in common that Georgia excelled in each of them in ’02, ’03 and ’05, the three years that the Dawgs have made it to Atlanta under Richt (you can read the background on my analysis here). They are
- Hold opponents under 17 points per game.
- Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.
- Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.
- Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.
- Finish in the top three in first downs.
- Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.
- Finish no worse than third in sacks.
After the Mississippi game, here’s where the Dawgs rank in each category:
- Points allowed per game: 17.2
- Turnover margin: 0
- Total offense per game: 385.6 yards
- Total defense per game: 303.2 yards, 3rd in the conference
- First downs: 106, 6th in the conference
- Passing yardage per game: 207.4, 8th in the conference
- Sacks: 9, 5th in the conference
Really, given how things went against Ole Miss, there are no real surprises in the stats this week. I’m not too concerned about the drop in the standings for sacks, per se, as there are three teams bunched right in front of Georgia statistically speaking, but of course it was a concern that the defensive line got very little pressure on Adams in the game itself.
The Dawgs are starting to make a move in first downs and could rise considerably there with a good offensive showing against Tennessee. However, passing yardage is looking more and more like a lost cause, as Florida, currently the third ranked team in the SEC, averages almost 60 yards per game more than Georgia.
The +8 goal for turnover margin will be tough to achieve as well, as Georgia would have to average better than +1 per game for the rest of the year to make that figure. Of course, if Georgia were able to accomplish that, you’d have to like its chances in every game left on the schedule.