A last (statistical) peek back at Georgia-SC

Bill Connelly’s chart holds few surprises.  Georgia lost, despite being the superior offensive team, because of brutal turnovers, Marcus Lattimore and an inability to cash in on a dominant first quarter beyond two field goals.  If there’s an unexpected positive to take away from his post, it’s that the offensive line managed to get a decent push in the running game.

And one other note, courtesy of Matt Hinton:

… the offense itself hasn’t suffered at all in Richt’s absence — in fact, scoring, total offense and pass efficiency averages from 2008-10 were slightly better than the averages in the salad days, and are already on a similar pace through the first two games this year. Saturday’s 436-yard, 42-point outburst against South Carolina was UGA’s sixth 40-point effort in its last eight games.

It’s frustrating.  You get the sense that in some ways the team is very close to success, but there’s no denying that it continues to suffer from an inability to close the deal.

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64 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

64 responses to “A last (statistical) peek back at Georgia-SC

  1. JG Shellnutt

    “It’s frustrating…very close to success, but…continues to suffer from an inability to close the deal” that pretty much sums up my college days in Athens pretty well, too.

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  2. zdub

    Finish the Drill. Shouldn’t just be a motto, but with this team the last 2 years it has been only that.

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  3. Sick but Still Faithful

    It’s always something. Thank God we have good field goal kickers!

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  4. Ginny

    The enigma that is Georgia football. Sigh.

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  5. Keese

    I believe this team will once again be one of those statistical head scratchers at the end of the season

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    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I certainly hope not. The real reason behind our team’s underachievement is turnovers. In 2009 UGA virtually lead the nation in turnovers margin–the bad way. It really is sort of amazing that a team could win 8 games with that many turnovers. In ’10 the raw numbers of turnovers and the turnover margin improved greatly but the situational turnovers were in large part the cause of UGA’s losses. A perfect example would be the UGA-Colorado game where the Dawgs were just positioning the ball for a game-winning field goal and a fumble occurred. This season the Dawgs would have beaten South Carolina by at least 3 TDs if not for turnovers. The Senator and I disagree and have had debates on this blog about the cause of turnovers. He believes turnovers, particularly fumbles, are random events. I believe they relate to 2 things that are to some degree controllable: (1) Ball security, and (2) Hustle. I noticed that even during the Boise game and at times during the USCe-UGA game Murray was carrying the ball like a loaf of bread. That is a disaster waiting to happen. Likewise it does not appear (certainly in the past 2 years with Ealey and King) that our backs carry the ball snugly against their chests except when running through the line. Likewise that is a formula for disaster. When the ball is out (again during the last 2 years) it did not appear to me that the UGA players recognized it or hustled to the balls as quickly as the other teams’ players. See the 2010 UGA- Miss State game as an example. Bottom line: Turnovers are what have been killing us and the root causes behind them are coachable. We need to fix the turnover problem. When that happens the team will start winning again. Saying turnovers are just random is a cop-out and self-defeating because it suggests that the problem cannot be fixed.

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      • ZDawg

        That and consistent breakdowns on Defense. I think the game in Jacksonville is a microcosm of the year. At times kids show heart, make big plays, then the inevitable turnovers and defensive breakdowns.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        My post above was only about OUR turnovers and how to control them. There is also another aspect regarding turnovers that is, in my mind, totally controllable by us. That is the OTHER team’s turnovers which are caused by a very physical defense that really hits. Remember during the Dooley years when UGA almost always won the turnover battle? UGA routinely would do to opponents what USCe did to us last Saturday. That was the reason. We haven’t had that in years.

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  6. Starbreaker

    Is it that the offense is that much more prolific or the fact that we have to keep scoring to keep up with the points the offense/special teams/defense allows? How many “shoot outs” do you remember pre-2006? It just wasn’t necessary to score 40+ points to win.

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    • Starbreaker

      And I put “offense” in there because they are usually good for a turnover or two that results in a score at least once a game (or so it seems).

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      • gastr1

        Yeah, and when is our red-zone defense going to return even to mid-SEC levels? Seems as though we have been awful defending the red zone for years now.

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    • D.N. Nation

      I remember the 2005 Auburn and 2004 Florida games as *feeling* like shootouts, though they both seem pretty quaint these days.

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  7. JaxDawg

    “You get the sense that in some ways the team is very close to success, but there’s no denying that it continues to suffer from an inability to close the deal.”

    And who do you believe should be held responsible for that?

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    • Derek

      The coaches of course. The coaches are always responsible for everything. So while many people credit Herschel for our run from 1980-1982 that was clearly all Dooley’s doing. Sure Herschel was good but that was because of Dooley. Had goff recruited Herschel he would have sucked. This is why I call what most people refer to as belue to Scott as Dooley to Dooley. I even over dubbed munsons call so it now says “Vince Dooley!” over and over. The players are mere irrelevant pawns in a chess match of coaches. Their success or failure linked inextricably with the head coach.

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      • JaxDawg

        So what’s your recommendation other than to offer pitifully sarcastic solutions?

        Better yet, when DO you start holding the coaches responsible for the results?

        And by the way, do you hold the officers of corporations responsible for the company’s results? And do you hold managers accountable for their employee’s performance?

        If the answer is “no”, then I bet you are one helluva an investor.

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        • Derek

          I hold them responsible for what they can control. Sometimes what they can control effects the results sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the results are impacted by what the players control.

          As far as our current situation I blame CMR for getting lazy. Especially in recruiting and preparation. The issue now is are we coaching at level consistent with the beginning of his tenure and just waiting on the results or are the results we are seeing a reflection on the fact that the changes havent been the correct ones. That analysis has to be coupled with the prospect of hiring a new coach. I don’t know of a coach out there that I believe would give us immediate results. Moreover, CMR is hugely popular with recruits so I want to look very closely before we leap. Checking out the standings is in my view an insufficient quantum of analysis.

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          • gastr1

            College coaches can control everything, Derek. Perhaps not game-to-game, but certainly over a period of years their imprint is firmly on every part of the team. No free agency, no general managers, no Al Davis-like owner to get in the way. The coach can get rid of players he doesn’t like at any time and can recruit better players to fit his system. The coach can hire and fire assistants at his say. The4 coach can change the defense to a 3-4 or the offense to a spread any ol’ time he wants.

            College sports are pretty unique in this way, but make no mistake–getting Herschel Walker and handling the right way was absolutely part of the plan. You’ve heard of this Cam Newton fellow, yes? You recall why we had no shot at getting him? They control 100% of the input. The output is then held to the standard of that input.

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            • Derek

              So you would have done what to get cam? Pay the father off?

              As far as control over time you are correct. The issue is not who is accountable the question is do we make a change now or more to point do we make a change because Murray didn’t take the sack instead of trying to make a play? I think that the ship went off course in a highly competitive environment where minor error is made to appear dramatic. I think the ship is being righted but it may take time. To overlook the progress of 2011 in order to punish for the mistakes of 2008 is unwise. This team will be good at some point. Adding some pieces, like keith marshal for example may make us deadly. But that’s not going to happen if we trying to run this guy out on a rail unnecessarily.

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              • gastr1

                “So you would have done what to get cam? Pay the father off?”
                Not my point at all, of course. I’m not in favor of illegal recruiting by any measure. We wanted to take someone who’s obviously slightly good at QB and make him a TE instead and thus lost any chance at recruiting him above board or otherwise.

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                • Pat Dye

                  Zzzzzz…..zzzzzz….(Sleeping then waking suddenly)…..Whaa…? Pay players? Who said that? How much? Oh, I thought I heard somebody calling me…..(Falls back to sleep.) Zzzzzzzzz….zzzzzzz…..zzzzzzz…….zzzzzzzzzzzz……….

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                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  Well, a tight end isn’t worth what a QB is. To get the amount Cecil wanted his kid had to play QB. Simple economics really.

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          • JaxDawg

            Rarely does the manager/coach that got you in a mess get you out. This isn’t a shot at our HC but is a historical fact of organizational mgmt. And I honestly don’t believe that our fanbase or administration wants immediate results – that would be asinine – but we DO want the program headed in the right direction, which means not losing to lesser programs like UCF or losing to FL more than we should. We do want a coach whose teams produce an on-field product that equals or exceeds the excellent resources the program has at its disposal. And while we’re on resources, I’ll stand by my opinion that UGA football close to if not the best in the country – so for us to trend down in the manner in which we have over the past several years is not acceptable. Don’t think for one minute that Greg McGarity doesn’t clearly understand this and will not tolerate anything less.

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            • Derek

              I just hope Greg doesn’t listen to the same retards that were overjoyed at losing stafford and Moreno to the NFL. I tend to think these mental defectives are the same ones who think change for changes sake solves the problem. My biggest issues with the folks with pitchforks is that they no nothing of football and they can’t tell me the can’t miss replacement. I would have taken harbaugh last year although he’s a Yankee asshole, but he plays a good brand if ball. Besides him, and that’s not and probably never was an option, in don’t see the guy out there that I know will do better in 2012 and beyond than the guy we have. Frankly, if CMR can survive by getting on a win streak here soon my guess is that this Subject will be a distant memory in a few years.

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              • Mayor of Dawgtown

                There were some “Dump Dooley” stickers on people’s bumpers in 1970 after a 5-5 and a 5-5-1 season in ’69 and ’70 as I recall. However we didn’t have the ‘net back then when every retard and mental defective (your terms) could vent their collective spleen and have other people see it. Plus all the retards and mental defectives now can band together as a group–but not back then. If the net existed back then Dooley would have been canned after the ’70 season, Herschel would have gone to Clemson and UGA never would have won the MNC in 1980.

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          • Will (The Other One)

            How are you defining “immediate” results though? With the right hire there’s no drop-off and in many cases there’s improvement (see also: UGA in 2001, Ole Miss in Nutt’s 1st year, LSU in Miles’ first year, Florida in Meyers’ first year, and even Auburn in year one under Malzahn/Chizick). The idea that if we make a coaching change 2012 is instantly a transition year with zero shot at competing for the SEC is bunk, IMO.

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  8. BulldogBen

    So do these stats on Bobo not put the blame squarely on the Defense?

    I realize there are LOTS of factors into all of this including turnovers, injuries, schedule, etc. but the fact is, in the last 3 seasons plus these last 2 games we’ve given up 30 or more 18 out of 38 games (yes I’m including the 29 against Colorado debacle). If you take out 2 cupcakes a year, it’s roughly 56% of the time against D1 opponents. I’m sure some of those details are little off but I think you “get the picture”.

    Tough to win giving up that many points that often.

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    • Derek

      The crazy thing is that while the stats would suggest that the offense is better, I’d say they are at least equally responsible for the losses. For example, we’ve had several games (the first 2 this year and several Florida games) where the defense played lights out long enough for the offense to have gotten a sizeable lead yet the offense just showed up flat. Then they fall behind open things up and pad the stats. I’d say when it comes to Georgia stats are very misleading.

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    • Brandon

      Amen BulldogBen, I have said here and elsewhere many times before that Bobo is a better OC than Richt was. Our main problem the last half decade has been the defense, not the offense.

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  9. BuzMan

    Sometimes I think having that quick scoring offense adds some issues for the defense. Less time off of the field mean fatigue and less time to make adjustments. Also if you look back to the 3 yards and a cloud of dust days, the offense might hold the ball for half the game on 3 drives. Long drives take away time from the opposing offense. I think that is what you are seeing in the SEC this year. Less ball control so everyone gets more turns on offense.

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  10. Hogbody Spradlin

    Settling for field goals has always been our bugaboo against South Carolina. Other than 2009 I can’t remember a game against them, back to 2003, where we scored with ease. Even in 2002 we only won because of David Pollack. No matter what they say around their program, South Carolina, not to mention Spurrier, has a chip on it’s shoulder for Georgia.

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  11. Nick

    It’s simple. Murray’s pick 7 interception, Murray’s fumble for 7 points, and the Murray-Crowell fumble exchange for 7 points, and the fake punt td. No more analysis needed.

    All those were 14 points swings.

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  12. Will Trane

    I thought about these guys this morning in the pickup while driving in south Georgia. There was a legendary coach down here that had a saying and had a way with young boys who thought they had arrived when they had not.

    Coach Bazemore never said “finish the drill”. What he did say was “always play to win”. Somewhere that mentality left or has never been installed. Of the SEC team that come under that banner is now Auburn.

    When I watch Carolina screw around with a very good coaching staff, I kept asking what coach ought to be on the hot seat. Carolina has more stud players than any team in the conference. At times they showed up, especially, when it came time to play.

    So much for the philosophy of this situation. I have thought our issues are more on D than O. I do not see the mindset on D that we are going to make the stop here, you sure as hell ain’t going to run the ball to this side today, tonight, or any other freaking damn time, or bring that pass and route in here let me blow it up for you. We just do not have a D that is a little crazy and for sure with an attitude. They play like they are on their way to Sunday School class. I had trouble listening to CMR say that after hits yardage by Lattimore would be an issue. Guess what, it still his. I don’t think that is what Stoopes told Greg Reid from Lowndes County last year where he sent Lattimore out of the game. Our D never makes the opposing QB uncomfortable under center or in the pocket. Or for a RB to sit out a series or two due to hits on their ribs. They do not hit! In fact I never hear CMR talk about a mean as hell, kick ass, low down dirty Defense.
    Frankly I think most of us alum would like to see that Junkyard Dog come back if any history is to be repeated.
    Plus I’d like to see CMR get with his QB more rather than the press conferences. And say look, let’s sit down and find out how you manage to throw interceptions in the middle of the tight coverage…like UF and USC. Because when you do, you keep us from winning.

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  13. W Cobb Dawg

    Right now, I don’t give a ship about how many points we did or didn’t score in ‘salad years’ like 2003. We’re fricking 0-2 coming off 6-7 and 8-5 seasons! I don’t see how comparing CMB’s offense to CMR’s offense (or BVG’s defense to CTG’s defense) changes the fact we can’t beat top 40 teams in 2011.

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    • JaxDawg

      And it’s really that simple West Cobb. Some fans love the Dogs so much they just can’t admit or for that matter realize (which is worse) that a certain head coach is (here’s the dirty little word) responsible.

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      • Ginny

        I don’t think there’s anyone denying that Coach Richt is responsible for our current failures. The question is how long he gets to fix them.

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        • JaxDawg

          I don’t know Ginny, there appears to be some fans intent on NOT holding him accountable.

          In terms of a timeframe, that is up to McGarity and I believe that he is not patient with this sleeping giant being irrelevant. So probably less time than more.

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          • OKDawg

            Jax, I think many on this blog are intent on holding CMR accountable for the things that we expect a HBC to be accountable for. I think the great debate from the USC game is whether or not those costly turnovers ultimately fall on CMR. The marked improvement from Game 1 to Game 2 was encouraging to say the least. The turnovers were brutal. (In fact, I can’t remember a single game in the last 20 years where turnovers were more costly against us.)

            It sounds like there are some in here and across Bulldawg Nation who are encouraged by the recent overall team improvement and chalk up the turnovers in the last game to simple human error by the players (see Aaron Murray’s own comments on his turnovers). And for these folks the jury is largely still out for CMR. They continue to watch and see how the team performs going forward. Encouraged…but reserving judgment.

            It also sounds like there are some in here and across Bulldawg Nation who have already delivered a verdict on CMR. The turnovers in the USC game, regardless of whether they represent a singular moment of human error on the part of the players or a recurring trend/tendency for this team over the years, are a moot issue. The bottom line is all the blame falls at the feet of CMR (and it will until he is no longer our HBC).

            Sadly, I don’t see these 2 sides agreeing much at all on game analysis for a long time comin’.

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      • NC Dawg

        So… you’d take an Urban Meyer type, or a Saban, if it meant a national championship? Sorry, but I think a coach is more than just a guy who wins. Sure, I’m sick about 0-2, and I’d like to win another national title, but if that alone is the measure of uga athletics, we’re really lost sight of something here.

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        • No One Knows You're a Dawg

          What’s so awful about Urban Myer or Nick Saban?

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          • NC Dawg

            Well, everyone’s got one.

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            • NC Dawg

              Sorry for the flippant reply. Your question about what’s wrong with meyer and saban appears to be serious, so I’ll try to give a serious answer. Perhaps I’m wearing my red-and-black-colored glasses, but both of them, especially Saban come across as guys who set the jerk-meter clanging. Maybe I shouldn’t have lumped Meyer in the same rank as Saban; Meyer seems to be still and arrogant; Saban seems to be insufferable in his ego and self-focus. I should say, I’m old school. I remember riding the shuttle buses across the UGA campus in the 70s, when you would run into Vince Dooley outside the coliseum and he would greet students like the gentleman he was. I don’t remember many of the football season records from my college years, when 7-3 was still considered a very good year. But I do remember Dooley’s class.

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        • JaxDawg

          Winning big and being a gentleman are not mutually exclusive, but if I had to pick, now, I want a winner. You have to remember that most of the time, people label the winner an asshole b/c the ahole is whipping everyone’s elses ass.

          Do you think that Bear Bryant received “much love” from his peers? Hell no, but he did have their respect b/c he won. And we all know he bent the rules to his advantage every chance he got, but the record books don’t mention that shit do they?

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          • HahiraDawg

            If I had to pick I want Mark Richt, and I want him to win and win NOW. I want to see us run the table, win the East and redeem the dome.

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            • Kirstie Alley

              I’d like tits that don’t sag but as long as I keep gaining and losing 100 pounds every six months it ain’t gonna happen.

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  14. Scott W.

    Well one thing’s for sure, no one knows what the hell the problem is. There are a myriad of theories and each is equally valid but none capture the zeitgeist of the Richt era. I know that if UGA was 2-0 no one would care.

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    • ZDawg

      Critical turnovers, missed assignments, defensive breakdowns, horribly timed penalties and questionable game strategies.That’s what I’ve seen the past 3 years. Just put them in a cup, shake it up, spill out 2-3 of the above, and we lose again. If it were one or two things, I think the coaches could get on top of it. But it isn’t.

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  15. uga

    uga moto needs to change from finish the drill to please win a game

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    • Derek

      After Saturday’s game I think we need an old priest and a young priest.

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    • Brian

      I have a question I always ask my employees when it seems like they don’t have a clue: “Are you helping us or hurting us?” Maybe ALL of the UGA football players as well as coaches need to reflect upon that one.

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      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        You make a very cogent point Brian. What is the first thing a team has to have in order to be successful? Answer: A QB that won’t get you beat himself. That is what was wrong with Quincy Carter. He did a lot of really good things and looked good doing them. TD passes, QB keeper runs for TDs, even would catch a pass now and again. Then he would throw a pick-6. Then he would fumble the snap and the other team would recover. Then he would back-pedal into his own endzone to buy time to pass and would get tackled for a safety. And when the game was over–the Dawgs would lose by 1. I am afraid I am beginning to see a little bit of Quincy in Aaron.

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