Box score stories

Anybody curious as to which box score stats from last season most closely correlated to Georgia’s wins and losses? (Bueller? Bueller?)

Well, the heck with it, I went and looked anyway. I matched up the Dawgs’ performance in nine categories – 1st downs; 3rd down efficiency; total yards; yards per pass; yards per rush; fewest penalties; turnover margin; time of possession; first to score – against their 11-2 record to see which of them most closely tracked the game results.

The closest correlation between stat and record was yards per rush, which inaccurately matched the result in one game (Alabama) and was a wash in one other (South Carolina). Almost as close was yards per pass, at two misses and one wash.

Here’s the complete breakdown:

1. Yards per run: 11-1-1.
2. Yards per pass: 10-2-1.
3. 3rd down efficiency: 10-3.
3. Total yards: 10-3.
3. Turnover margin: 10-3.
3. Score first: 10-3.
7. 1st Downs: 8-4-1.
8. Time of possession: 8-5.
9. Fewest penalties: 3-5-5.

Interestingly enough, the game in which the statistical story was most consistent with the outcome was the first one of the year, against Oklahoma State. Georgia led in every category except penalties, which were a wash. The Tennessee game was almost the same story, unfortunately: Georgia lost every statistical battle in that game except for penalties.

The game with the least degree of correlation between stats and outcome? Troy. Georgia won the battles for yards per rush and turnover margin, but came up short in the other seven. Call it the Trojans’ moral victory against the Dawgs’ third string defense.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

7 responses to “Box score stories

  1. kckd

    Penalties is quite frankly the most overrated stat out there. Rarely does the total correlate to the game. Usually in football games you point to one specific penalty and not the whole bag.


  2. kckd

    I think what would be interesting about the penalties is to look at offensive or defensive penalties. I usually think of defensive penalties as more of a positive than offensive ones.

    Most defensive penalties tend to be due to aggresion and wanting to get after the offense’s ass (late hits, face masks, off sides, etc.) While offensive ones are more of getting your arse kicked or just being stupid (holding, false starts, illegal procedure, clipping, etc.)

    It’d be interesting to see if the better teams commit more offensive or defensive penalties. I would bet the latter.


  3. Tenn_Dawg

    That would be something interesting to look at KCKD.


  4. Another problem in quantifying penalties is that you can’t always tell what sort of play may be nullified.

    For example, I think it was the LSU-Arky game last year when a long TD pass was voided by an illegal shift penalty.


  5. Tenn_Dawg

    How bout UT getting to rekick a FG that they missed against SC because of penatly against them. They had the Gods on their side last year in terms of late game breaks.


  6. dean

    Offensive penalties are drive killers while defense penalties are drive extenders. Nothing is more frustrating than an false start on 2nd & 3 or those damn “illegal formations”. While on the other hand a pass interference can be relieving after an incomplete pass on 3rd & 10. I know penalties was not the subject of this post but just following the flow.
    What about Time of Possession? It’d be interesting to see what bearing that has on the outcome of games. CMR has always said that is the most overrated statistic. Just curious as to what the data would say.


  7. As for time of possession, let’s put it this way: last season, of the top ten teams in TOP, nine had winning records and of the bottom ten teams, nine had losing records (the tenth, Hawai’i, ran a freakish offensive scheme that didn’t lend itself to controlling the clock).