Sometimes the stats don’t lie.

At its website, the NCAA has a handy snapshot of a team’s national rankings in seventeen statistical categories.  If you take a look at Georgia’s, you’ll see that it ranked in the bottom half of all schools in only three of those:  net punting (79th), kickoff returns (65th, even with Boykin) and sacks allowed (85th).

Throw in two others which aren’t included there – kickoff return yardage defense (88th) and punt return yardage defense (116th) – and I think you’ve compiled Mark Richt’s “honey-do” list for this offseason.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

17 responses to “Sometimes the stats don’t lie.

  1. SouthGa Dawg

    Seems like in the early Richt years, there was more fire and excitement on ST. They had that Florida State mentality like blocking punts and running reverses and such on kickoffs. Recently, they seemed to have adopted a more “Pro” approach. I think this is just more of the evolution of recent college football. Heck, look “Beamer Ball” isn’t what it used to be either. I would like to see UGA get more aggressive with their special teams approach.


  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    Wuh! Even I can figure out what’s wrong from those numbers.


  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Special teams are not so hot. Plus, the O-line wasn’t very good at pass blocking. Gee, what a surprise.


  4. timphd

    Just hoping that all the talk of focus on special teams results in some real improvement. Would like to see the idea that being on special teams isn’t just for walk ons or kids who aren’t starting. Should be seen as an honor to play on them, like some teams do. Imagine how the SEC championship might have gone without the punt returns.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      In defense of the special teams play on the punt returns in question from the SECCG, the fix was in on that. On Mathieu’s return for the TD there were at least 2 blocks in the back that were uncalled with refs staring at them when they were made–no calls. Not to mention the pre-touchdown flip of the ball to the ref before crossing the goal line. Guess the ref couldn’t see that either. Somebody from the SEC office (Slive?) must have made a call to the head referee at halftime. A UGA win might have messed up the conference getting both ends of the BCSNC money.


  5. Gravidy

    You can count me in with Hogbody and the Mayor. I’m absolutely astonished that special teams and the offensive line turned out to be weak points for this team. Honestly…who could possibly have predicted that?


  6. Cojones

    Old news shared in it’s sense by us all. We don’t have to look on an NCAA site to already have memorized those stats. We have gotten through the egregious comments hurled at our coaches and have fixated on the friggin’ problem. Now we have to wait a little over 3 months to watch it take place. God help us if some fans decide to become the World’s Best ST gurus in the land during that period because all we will get is the late House of Cards game built on each repetition of STs play after each football game. And how Murray and Bobo were behind all the bad ST plays.

    Please tell me you are not setting up this scenario for the fall in the Fall, Senator.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Well, STs could use improvement. I think fans are justified in their concern about the 2011 STs when we had a kicker & punter who were among the top returning players at their postions, not to mention a returner like Boykin.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        What concerned me more than anything was WTF happened to our AA punter and placekicker? Those guys were the best at their positions when they were sophs. I now think that there was basically no supervision for them, just turn ’em loose at the other end of the field and “see ya when practice is over.”


  7. Bobby

    It appears that special teams were not really an area of emphasis this past season, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, even if it’s not good. Rather than special teams, the emphasis appeared to be on conditioning and becoming more fundamentally sound in the other phases of the game. Last season, though, this is exactly what the team needed at that point in time.

    Recall that in 2010, when we went 6-7, our special teams play was actually quite fundamentally sound–if not good. On KOR, Boykin had (I think) 3 TDs, and return yardage was substantially better. Statistically, we were among top in the nation in KO coverage. Walsh was a clutch kicker, and Butler was arguably the top punter in the country; his net punting yards were great.

    Last season, for whatever reason, Walsh sucked. Butler was simply an above average punter. Who knows the reason for that? But as for the other phases of special teams (PR, KOR, and KO), we didnt’ look as well-polished. I think this is the result of a triage approach to fixing our problems. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to place such a heavy emphasis on having spectacular special teams when you are constantly susceptible to giving up the big play on defense.

    The poor o-line play can be chalked up to lackluster recruiting over yrs, coupled w/ transfers, ineligibility issues, and injuries.

    Either way, I’ll take 10-4 over 6-7. Now that we appear to have a good foundation on defense, I would expect our fundamentals on special teams to rise to normal standards.


  8. Bobby

    While our o-line situation remains precarious, I think we’re headed in the right direction. In the dream team class, we certainly whiffed on some major in-state o-line prospects, but we did sign a handful of big players who could develop into great lineman. This season, we’ll have the benefit of John Theus. It’s very encouraging to hear such rave reviews of K. Gates. W/ continued development of other players (Austin Long, David Andrews, and Watts Dantzler, for example), as well as the return of Dallas Lee and Kholton Houston, I think we might be on our way to having a credible 2-deep rotation.

    LT — K. Gates, J. Theus
    LG — Dallas Lee, Mark Beard
    C — David Andrews, Burnette
    RG — Chris Burnette, Kholton Houston, Greg Pyke
    RT — John Theus, Austin Long, Dantzler

    Who knows where Debell, Ward, and Hunter Long might fit in.


  9. Will Trane

    No wonder Alabama was ranked number 1.
    No wonder Dawgs were 10-4. Two of those wins were struggles against UT and Vandy.
    The stats tell me this. We have coaches on the defensive side of the ball, but nowhere else. On offense we have no coaches. We have Bobo. Somewhere, someday, somehow, CMR will wise up about his puny offense and get one that can put the points on the board and be an offense no defense wants to see come on the field.
    For special teams…well there are no coahces there…we have a committee….and wait for CMR’s comments post game how the play hurt the team. Nothing has changed recently. Remember that LSU game when Green makes that catch in the endzone to put the Dawgs up. Yes remember the kickoff return by LSU to beyond midfield. Rememer the SEC title game where LSU had a punt return for TD by honey badger to turn momentum and the game. Yeah I no he did not cross the goalline with the ball.
    It is all about coaching…If you think otherwise look at the men’s big three records the past few years. Hell Vandy is better than we most years in basketball and baseball. And now Florida and South Carolina are the best in the SEC East and nation in baseball.
    But Adams and McGarity they are tight with the good old boy routine. Always…they are young and will get better, the schedule will favor us (like playing Boise State in the freaking Dome in Atlanta rather than Athens and Sanford Stadium…yeah it is for photos ops and above your diploma). McGarity he has fired what one coach and nobody can even remember what it was. But everybody knows our men’s big three is by no means on fire and is going nowhere.


  10. Cojones

    Damn, Will. You just make me want to go treat my glaucoma.

    Didn’t you at least like yesterday’s game?


  11. Keese

    Doesn’t it feel like the coaches are playing wack a mole every year with our problems?


    • Skeptic Dawg

      B-I-N-G-O!!! That is exactly it. It differs from season to season, sometimes from game to game. Perfect!


  12. Ed Kilgore

    As a fundamental matter, I don’t think stats ever “lie”–some are just more meaningful than others; and many are misleading if not viewed in the context of a more complete statistical picture.

    Where college football fans (and occasionally even analysts like Phil Steele, may his name be praised!) go wrong is in assuming that even the most complete statistical picture of a team playing 13 or 14 games is going to tell you how they’ll perform in the next 13 or 14 games, with all the variables of player turnover, injuries-and-suspensions, and the uneven development of near-children, not to mention the interaction of all these factors across multiple teams.

    What makes it so much fun to be a Dawg fan is that even if you sort through all that, we seem to have an unusually large number of extreme optimists and pessimists among us, and that puts a big thumb on the scale in our various expectations, and even how we read the stats from previous seasons. So we tend to view our statistical weaknesses as either areas for improvement the staff is working on, or as signs of eternal damnation.


  13. Fro a more whimsical view of all of these. It is all because of BOBO. LOL