Going back to something Grantham said the other night…
“We actually created six turnovers and we were plus-3 for the game,” Grantham said. “In this league, when you turn the ball over you’re going to have a hard time winning. The last two years we’ve had 62 (takeaways), which is second only to LSU. If we’re plus-1 since I’ve been here we’re right around 92 percent win. It’s a critical point, we emphasize it and we work it every day. It’s a part of the game. You have to protect the football.” [Emphasis added.]
… you might find this analysis about SEC turnover margin at MrSEC.com of interest. Over the last six seasons, here’s what a team’s chances of winning a conference game look like if it wins the turnover battle:
Turnover Margin Wins Losses Winning % Plus 1 74 29 71.8 Plus 2 52 13 80.0 Plus 3 or more 55 7 88.7
Grantham’s percentage, you may note, is considerably higher than that, which makes sense if you think about it. Positive territory for turnovers is an equalizer for the weaker teams, and an added boost for stronger ones. (Of course, there will always be some teams for which you just have to toss the stats out the window. But I digress.)
Georgia’s been second, third and fifth in the conference in turnover margin during Grantham’s time. It’s been anywhere from plus-seven to plus-eleven in that period. Given our expectations for the offense and defense in 2013, maintaining that consistency is likely to be a big deal. Two keys to that: on the offensive side, Aaron Murray needs to cut down on the picks, and on the defensive side, somebody needs to step up and assume the mantle from Justin Houston and Jarvis Jones of putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks/backfields.