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.