Mr. Speaker, I’d like to revise and extend my remarks.

In a post yesterday, I made the comment that Mike Bobo had slowed the Georgia offense down last season, based on a noticeable drop in the number of offensive plays run.  Several of you jumped on my observation for confusing efficiency with speed – based on this John Pennington post, rightly it seems.

He tracked the total number of seconds per offensive snap in SEC games over the past four seasons.  So you don’t have to pick your way through the chart for the Georgia data, I’ve done it for you:

  • 2009:  28.79 sec.
  • 2010:  30.10 sec.
  • 2011:  28.44 sec.
  • 2012:  26.25 sec.

The reality is that, relatively speaking (seven SEC offenses were faster), Georgia’s offense blazed its way through last season.  So mea culpa on that front.

And while I’m on the subject of his chart, Pennington comes up with an interesting correlation.

Teams snapping the ball faster than every 27 seconds on offense allowed an average of 389.3 yards and 27.7 points per SEC contest on defense.

Teams snapping the ball slower than every 27 seconds on offense allowed an average of 325.6 yards and 21.4 points per SEC contest on offense.

Last season was the first time Georgia’s offense fell under that 27-second mark.  And while Georgia allowed fewer points per conference game in 2012 than it did in 2011, it allowed much more yardage on average last season (350.8 vs. 247.9) in them.   Some of the discrepancy is likely a factor of scheduling and some of it can be chalked up to a much improved turnover margin (the Dawgs went from +2 to +9).  But should any of the defensive yardage increase be attributed to a faster paced offense?  Speed does kill, after all.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

16 responses to “Mr. Speaker, I’d like to revise and extend my remarks.

  1. NRBQ

    Yes. As noted yesterday, scoring on long plays reduces possession time and number of plays run, putting the D on the field more.


    • NRBQ

      Case in point: Gurley’s debut game. 10yd TD run. 100yd KO return. 55yd TD run.

      Gurley and Marshall each had 3 TDs of 50 or more yards (incl. a 75yd run by Marshall).


      • SCDawg

        Do we regress to the mean this year, or will we continue these types of scoring drives?


        • Biggity Ben

          I might think this if we didn’t return pretty much every starter from last year. Maybe I shouldn’t, but I think 2014 is the year we regress to the mean. The only reason we wouldn’t eclipse those states in 2013, imo, is mostly due to our increase in strength of schedule….or injury of course.


  2. DawgPhan

    must say I am not really loving the saber style analysis of college football and I am data guy, professionally.


  3. Cojones

    Hopefully, D players will be in shape to last longer out there this year. The other alternative would entail not scoring or taking longer to march upfield/downfield. Who in hell can control that? If we are good enough to time our scoring trips, we would easily have the best O ever on earth.

    The antithesis to this conundrum would be for the length of time our D remains on the field to be taken as O gain since it keeps the clock tickin’ while we lead. Come on, D. Man up!

    We are beginning to step in our own Dawg-do.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    You can thank the yards per play for the higher scoring on less plays.


  5. mdcgtp

    “faster offenses often result in weaker SEC defenses”

    there are many many flaws in this analysis i don’t know where to begin. first of all, the measure of defensive effectiveness and efficiency is NOT total yards allowed. Its the yards allowed per play. Second, and MUCH MUCH more importantly, there is a causation/correlation question. Faster offenses don’t cause worse defenses. Rather, they are correlated to them

    Even by his own flawed measure, how do we know that the teams that played up tempo offense did not have flawed defenses to begin with and vice versa? We don’t Copy paste the same data into excel and sort by program. If yo

    My guess is that more often than not you find programs that are willing to push pace are often doing so in either a run based spread or a version of the mumme air raid. why do they do that? Generally speaking, it is to equalize talent. My sense is the teams that have adopted pace on offense simply have worse athletes on defense to start with and it does not matter much whether the offense goes fast or slow. Further, the biggest impacts on one’s own defense by an offense is not how fast it runs plays. Rather, it is more relevant how LONG they possess the ball, how many times they turn it over, and how many points they score (i.e., if an offense is putting a ton of points on the board to build a lead, eventually the opposing offense has to adandon its running game).


    • harry balzack

      Good post…It’s what the nerds do, except they’re 180degrees opposite. They run the gimmick TO to equalize talent instead of the HUNH but the desired results are the same….The HUNH type teame try to outscore you (last possession) & the GT’s of the world try to eat clock, score on long drives & limit your “O” possessions… Both offenses tend to be talent equalizers if ran right. Seems we have more trouble with the HUNH than the TO tho… 😉


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      If you’re confused about the difference between causation and correlation, remember that beating drums during an eclipse will always bring the sun back. Clear?


  6. Rebar

    It is as simple as this; our defense needs to be as dominant as our offense.


  7. 69Dawg

    As Coach Richt has pointed out a number of times if the D wants off the field then made the other teams O go 3 & out.


    • JG Shellnutt

      All we’ll need is for the D to get one stop per game and we’ll win because our O is going to score on every possession, right?


  8. David K

    Buffalo ran for 199 yards on us last year on 45 attempts. The defense couldn’t get off the field in the 1st half. We were down some suspended starters but that shouldn’t make a difference against Buffalo. We just weren’t very good stopping teams at times last year. I don’t think the speed of the offense had much to do with it.


  9. fetch

    I think Bobo did a good job of using tempo, both fast and slow, to our advantage the past few years. And we were able to sustain some clock eating, long drives at times and step on their throat with the hurry up at others. But when the O gashes the other teams D for a 40-50 yard play every drive, it’s hard win the time of possession battle.