Gentry Estes talks to Grantham and Richt about the defense’s Achilles heel, third down conversions.
… No defense in the SEC has been worse on third down this season than the Bulldogs.
Georgia’s opponents are converting 43.4 percent of their third down attempts. That means of 83 third downs faced by UGA’s defense, the Bulldogs have remained on the field a total of 36 times, the most of any SEC team to date.
Richt breaks that down even further.
“We’ve had a bunch of teams in third-and-long, and we’ve had a bunch of teams get a first down,” Richt said. “It’s just so frustrating. A lot of it has been some quarterback runs. You feel like you have the right call, you have everybody covered and they are right there to get him, and he breaks free. … Our third-and-medium has actually been outstanding compared to our third-and-long. We just have got to continue to get our guys in position to make the plays and get them to make it.”
Some of it may have been quarterback runs, but if you look at the rush defense situational stats, they really aren’t that bad on third down and more than six. Those pass defense situational stats, though… man, they tell a different story. The D is doing a sensational job defending third and medium, but when it gets longer than that, opposing offenses have Georgia’s defenders right where they want them. Opponent passer ratings actually improve as the distance to convert increases. That’s third and Willie with a vengeance.