Dawg stat watch, Week 7

Again, I’m dispensing with the usual exercise, because my heart’s not in it.  Instead, this week’s substitute is a post from David Ching about the big problem on defense – lack of pressure up front.  Skip all the excuses about rust and communication there.  The real story is black and white, in the stats:

Georgia’s defense ranks ninth in the SEC in turnovers gained after tying for first in the league last season. The Bulldogs have not been as effective at rushing the passer this season — a factor that helped create many of those takeaways last season. Here is a recap of Georgia’s turnover and sack numbers and national ranking in each area since switching to a 3-4 defense in 2010:

2012: T66 (10)
2011: T7 (32)
2010: T30 (26)

2012: T60 (0.0)
2011: T26 (+0.5)
2010: 19 (+0.77)

2012: T78 (10 — 1.67 per game)
2011: 24 (35 — 2.5 pg)
2010: T71 (24 — 1.85 pg)

One of those years is not like the others.  Sadly, it’s the good year.

True, Jarvis being nicked up has had an impact.  But nobody has stepped up to take up the slack.  And that’s got to be a major concern going forward.

Take a look at Matt Melton’s mid-season SDPI numbers for the SEC.

The offense is doing enough for the team to succeed. It’s the defense that’s holding things back so far.

Grantham says he’s seen enough improvement during the bye week to make him optimistic they’ve got things turning around, but they’re running out of time to prove that if they want to have any chance of remaining relevant in the SEC East race this season.  It would be nice to see signs of life in the pass rush this Saturday night.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

41 responses to “Dawg stat watch, Week 7

  1. reipar

    It’s the defense that is holding us back. Think back 8 weeks and imagine somebody saying that. I cannot.

    • Macallanlover

      I couldn’t either, and it seemed so logical given the number of players back from last year’s defense which could be a “steel curtain” for at least two quarters. Ten back from that defense and it is our weak point? No, I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

      I beleieve our offense can light anyone up if we could just get the penetration stopped/stymied and allow them to get the play underway. No one is effective if they have a defender in their grill by the time they get the ball, not Peyton, not Herschel. The OL was always a concern but only SC was physical and quick enough to expose it. The offense will be fine, but the concerns about the defense have been here since Buffalo. Very hard to explain the fall off. I see the confusion and players late into position and that is a big problem but what I don’t see is a front seven that plays in the other team’s backfield, ever, and I don’t see red jerseys in the camera shots when a receiver is making the catch. If these two area improve, we can win out. But six games in we have only seen a stout defense in one game, and that was against a team with limited offensive skills. We shall see if they have improved during the bye week, but this week is justa warm-up for when they really need to show up. If they do, they can handle Florida’s offense.

    • Bevo

      Well, I think the statement “the defense is holding us back” is a little bit deceiving actually. What is the defense holding us back from? Wins? Or is the defense lagging the offense in season-wide stats?

      Huge difference.

      “The offense is doing enough for the team to succeed. It’s the defense that’s holding things back so far.”

      Really? What is success?

      I don’t define success as being at the top of Matt Melton’s mid-season SDPI numbers. I define success in terms of wins and losses.

      Was the defense at fault in the loss to South Carolina? Yes. But was the defense our biggest fault? I’m not so sure.

      Take a closer look at Tennessee when the defense gave up big numbers overall but we also had a pick 6 and the rash of turnovers in our own territory at the end of the 2nd quarter.

      I understand that the offensive numbers are spectacular so far this season. But a lot of that damage was done against sub-par defenses. In our most meaningful game — the blowout loss — how did our offense perform?

      So is it true that the defense is “holding us back” from better SDPI numbers? Yes. From wins? Not so clear.

  2. HahiraDawg

    Wasn’t the o-line our supposed best unit going into last year?

    • Bevo

      I can’t remember the last time our o-line was supposed to be the best unit on the football team going into a season.

  3. Go Dawgs!

    “I’m dispensing with the usual exercise, because my heart’s not in it.” – Any UGA player shortly before running onto the field at Williams-Brice Stadium October 6th.

  4. The other Doug

    “It would be nice to see signs of life in the pass rush this Saturday night.”

    Signs of life against UK needs to be domination if we have any hope against UF.

  5. Aligator

    Just remember, it was having the extra dudes back the last two weeks that brought a few wrinkles into things. I think the bye week came at a great time and the D will play much better.

    • Sanford222View

      Getting two of your better players back is one of the worst excuses ever. I understand a little rust but they haven’t been hurt. They had been practicing leading up to the game they returned from suspension so it wasn’t like they had been sitting on the sidelines since August with no preparation.

      Tree has been good from what I have noticed and all over the field making tackles. Rambo on the other hand has been off his game misjudging balls and missing some assignments. The communication in the secondary has been bad in general with blown assignments all year so I am not just placing blame here in Rambo.

      I hope the D gets it together soon.

      • NC Dawg

        Rambo has been very disappointing. Twice in two games, he went for big interceptions, failed, and helped open the flood gates. I don’t really know what he’s thinking back there.

  6. Keese

    I just don’t get it. It’s like we’re all left scratching our heads on defense….similar to Bobo/Richt…., always searching for plausible reasons as to why there are failures

  7. Sanford222View

    It is funny to me how the fan base seems to be giving Grantham a pass in general. The D hasn’t looked good all year yet Bobo gets thrown in the mud constantly for an offense that is one of the best we have seen at UGA. The one weakness we were concerned with during the off season was exposed big time against USCjr and obviously the adjustments the staff tried to make to help the O-line back fired terribly but other than that the offense has been pretty stellar all year.

    Why doesn’t Grantham get called to task more? The Georgia D has had one good year in three under his watch. Granted he has time to salvage things this year but to me it is curious and unfair that Grantham feels little heat and Bobo catches hell at seemingly every turn when his unit has far outperformed Grantham’s.

    • It is likely because the defense is seen not as catastrophic compared to that preceding him.

    • Hackerdog

      Grantham, IMO, gets a pass for his first year. He was playing a 3-4 with personnel recruited for the 4-3 and used to that system. It’s a big adjustment that takes time. You can’t really use the first year with much weight in evaluating his tenure.

      Grantham’s second year was well ahead of expectations. I was expecting an improvement, but his unit was fifth in the nation in total defense. That’s good coaching.

      His third year has been subpar, without question. We’ve given up 20+ in both cupcake games. Yeah, maybe we were working on things and didn’t want to give away anything. But, a good defense should be able to shut down Buffalo and FAU without giving up any tricks that need to stay in the playbook for Florida.

      The SC game was both good and bad. They got torched early and gave up a lead. But, they gained some momentum in the second quarter. Of course, much of that has to do with the fact that SC doesn’t have a good offense, and they were content to trade punts with UGA for the rest of the game.

      I don’t know if Grantham got lucky last year, if he has been unlucky this year, or something in between. I do think he’s still an improvement over Martinez. Not that that’s a high bar to clear. I think we just have to wait and see if he can turn things around.

      • Sanford222View

        I agree you have to throw out Grantham’s first season as it was a transition year from the 4-3.

        It is still funny to me that you rarely see any fans bitching about Grantham when his side of the ball has been sub par this season thus far. It is always the “blame Bobo” meme and Richt doesn’t have enough fire. Excuse me? Isn’t Grantham one of the fieriest of the fiery? It doesn’t seem to be helping much on that side of the ball.

        BTW, those comments in the second paragraph aren’t directed at you directly or a rebuttal to anything you said. Just to the masses at large.

        • Cosmic Dawg

          It’s because Grantham is “firery” – I still like the guy, but he gets more of a pass because he’s seen as a tough guy. It’s funny, people seem to have lost the ability to detect the disconnect between what people say / their personas vs what people do / their actions – our political parties both come to mind – talk one way and do another…repeatedly.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            fiery. have had too much of Cojos’ backyard today, apparently.

          • Macallanlover

            So right Cosmic, a huge percentage of our fans think yiuy have to yell, scream, and go ballistic to be a “worthy” coach. Guess they were born before the days of John Wooden and Tom Landry. There are several personality types that succeed in leaderhip positions in business and sports.

    • ugalestat1

      This is just a little nit picky but until we beat USC lets leave off the jr part. They deserve respect for the level of play over the past few years, plus they are an SEC team and when USC is used on an SEC site we know who it is if only by context alone. When we beat them again you can get your digs in I guess. Just my 2 cents. Otherwise I agree with everything you have said. Go Dawgs!!!

    • Bevo

      See my comments above. We can’t take these numbers at face value and simply conclude that “the defense is holding us back.”

      I wish it were that easy, but it’s not. The defense is indeed holding us back from better stats but in terms of wins and losses, it’s not so simple.

      Take a look at our most meaningful game this season (our only loss):

      What cost us the win? Was it the “defense holding us back”? Maybe to an extent.

      My point is that drawing broad conclusions based on these numbers after a quick glance is not always a sound analysis.

  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    We are still 5-1 halfway through the season. We are in a better situation than we were when we finished #2 in 2007. UGA can still have an outstanding season. Beat Kentucky Saturday, beat Florida, win the rest and we will still be right at the top in college football and maybe even SEC champion.

    • Russ

      I hear ya, Mayor. I’m sipping the koolade again. I think UF beats Sackerlina, we win out, and Spurrier’s head explodes again as the team they beat by 28 points passes them by and goes to the SECCG.

    • AusDawg85

      “beat Florida”

      It’s just not going to be that simple. Gators are going to follow the USCe game plan. They are going to come out fired-up in their “home” stadium (gotta believe Dawg fans just won’t be as “UP” given our general nature, fretting, and the FIREMARKRICHT!!1! group just waiting and watching) with the SEC east possibly on the line. Their D is going to smash our OL in the mouth to see if anything’s improved (it won’t be) and they have stamina to last all 4Q’s. Their offense will run right at us, and probably limit passes as well except for a few shots downfield to catch our D backfield napping. Driskell is likely a better Conner Shaw at running and controlling this type of approach.

      In these 3 weeks, we’ll have to find a D line with a heart, OL support, and an OC who can make adjustments when his balanced attack is failing. Let’s not even discuss special teams.

      Only way we win is on turnovers (how’s that working-out so far?) and if we can get the ground game going, chewing-up yardage and clock. We all know how fond Bobo is of staying with what works, right?

      Gators up 17 by halftime…(sighhhh)

      • Cosmic Dawg

        I think our boys wake up and our D holds Florida.
        Cosmic Dawg peers into his crystal football and predicts…
        Dawgs 30 Gators 17

    • Skeptic Dawg

      The problem is not the record. The problem is yet another season with an unprepared team in a big game. The problem is yet another season with an underachieving O-line. The problem is yet another season with a train wreck of a ST’s unit. The problem is yet another season where an expected strenght turns out to be an actual weakness (see the defense). As for 2007, that is yet another example of the shortcomings Richt brings to the table. A loss to a middling Carolina team. Then you have the Tennessee loss. Yet another stunningly unprepared team under Richt. While your average fan may look at the Dawg’s current 5-1 record and think this squad is dangerous, you and I both know their record is merely a facade. In short, the problem is not the record.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Thank goodness the fans aren’t the ones playing the game. What a defeatist attitude! You, too Aussie.

        • AusDawg85

          We even have a festival celebrating this guy in Austin. Of course, it’s not exactly what you think. Cojones would probably love it.

      • Cosmic Dawg

        I think you’re going a bit far calling SC “middling”. They destroyed the #5 team in the country and played last year’s SEC champs to a standstill last weekend.

  9. Will Trane

    Todd Grantham and Rodney Gardner. Half way in they are perhaps realizing they are not up to speed and not where they should be. Time to “man up some coaches”.
    I would agree with those stats. When you watch Alabama, Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss, and Florida you wonder how the Dawgs are ranked where they are. Think all of those teams can beat the Dawgs. Why? The coaches on those teams are doing a very good job of coaching…game plans, personnel usage, development of players and depth, understanding it is a LOS conference…for once I think those numbers related to what is happening on the field.
    Some where the “culture” in Athens comes revisiting each season. They start getting it right the coaches can have a team win a game they should not and perform like a legit SEC team.

    • Go Dawgs!

      Ole Miss? Seriously? I also disagree that Mississippi State could beat Georgia. Just who has Mississippi State beaten this year that impresses you?

  10. 81Dog

    I guess it’s easier to just blame Bobo for the offense and Richt’s sideline demeanor than it is to look at the numbers and figure out where the problem has been. On the other hand, it’s a team. They, and we who follow them, are all in this together, right? You have to understand where things are going sideways to fix them, but at the end of the day, nobody’s walking away from the plane crash if the guys in the cockpit dont all get it figured out and fix it.

    Less finger pointing and more ass kicking would be a grand improvement, if you ask me.

  11. DAWGS never get to the QB, because we never blitz, the best pass defense is a good pass rush!

  12. This DAWG team has no heart, they have taken on the personality of CMR!

  13. Mayor, you’re dreaming again! Just remember one thing, CMR is still coaching the DAWGS!