If considering how Georgia will defend Florida’s offense is a little depressing (what’s the over/under on Aaron Hernandez receptions?), the matchup of Florida’s defense against Georgia’s offense is flat-out daunting.
Mergz makes a compelling case that the Gator defense is among the best ever – if not the best.
What about the statistics that really matter to BCS champions?
To reiterate, the most important statistics (in ascending order of importance) are –
Pass Efficiency Defense
Where would the current Florida team rank among BCS winners statistically in these categories at the present time?
Only the best team ever.
Here are the average rankings and stats for past champions –
Passing Efficiency 12.3 (150)
Pass Efficiency Defense 6.7 (95.33)
Total Defense 8 (281.6)
Scoring Defense 5.4 (13.9)
And Florida’s current stats in these categories –
Passing Efficiency 12th (156.07)
Pass Efficiency Defense 1st (86.83)
Total Defense 1st (229.6)
Scoring Defense 2nd (10.14)
(That last category is made all the worse by the two pick-sixes Tebow threw last game, which count against this stat. In reality our defense gave up 6 points Saturday.)
The only BCS Champions who are close to these rankings are the 2001 Miami team, who was 1st in Scoring and Pass Efficiency Defense, 6th in Total Defense, and 15th in Passing Efficiency, and the 2003 LSU team, which was 1st in Scoring and Total Defense, 2nd in Pass Efficiency Defense, and 11th in Passing Efficiency. Yet in both cases their highly ranked Total Defense was worse than Florida currently – 270.9 yards per game for Miami and 252 ypg for LSU, to 229.6 for UF right now.
That’s impressive. And scary. Here are a few bullet points for your consideration:
- If you look at cfbstats.com’s Georgia game log, you’ll see that in 2009, the Dawgs don’t win when they generate less than five yards per play. Unfortunately, the Gator defense has played only one game this year when it gave up more than that amount.
- If there’s one constant in this series, it’s this: Georgia has never lost to Florida when it’s scored more than 26 points. How they get there this year is the rub, of course.
- Georgia’s situational passing stats are more than a bit strange. Cox has by far his highest passer rating in third down, medium yardage situations and is horrible in third down short yardage situations.
- As for Georgia’s situational rushing stats, the average yards per carry figure is pretty consistent until it gets into the red zone, when it plummets to an anemic 1.10. Some of that is no doubt due to short yardage goal line runs, but some of it has to be attributed to a less than stellar power running game (check out the rushing yardage averages on third and fourth downs).
So it’s simple, then, right? All Bobo has to do is come up with a game plan that allows the offense to move the ball at more than five yards a crack, stays out of third down situations a fair amount of the time and helps to contribute more than 26 points on the scoreboard. Suggestions, anyone?