Georgia and non-offensive touchdowns

In his SEC preview, Matt Melton puts up a fascinating chart that perhaps sheds some light on why Georgia seems to get close but never quite there lately.

He goes on to break those totals down as follows:

That’s some clear separation there between Georgia and the elite teams in the conference.  Much of it can be pinned on defenses that have done a subpar job of converting turnovers into touchdowns.  The question is how much of the disparity can be attributed to luck and how much to design.  (If it’s mainly the former, you’d have to say Richt is due.)

Off the top of my head, I can’t say with any certainty how much that’s cost the Dawgs over those six seasons.  But it’s not hard to come up with one game where it sure as hell did.


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

28 responses to “Georgia and non-offensive touchdowns

  1. uglydawg

    Looking at those charts and seeing the company Georgia is in (in the bottom half) is very telling. I would have thought it was a matter of luck or “how the ball bounces”, but this clearly shows there’s more to it. It could be attributed to speed on defense or lack of hustle. It could also be attributed to a defense that is on the field more (weak offense) or a high scoring offense that causes the opposition to gamble to try to get back in a game. Interesting to be sure.

    • Biggus Rickus

      I think you’d need a larger sample than that, but I suspect that defensive touchdowns are partially based on luck and partially based on talent. Georgia’s defenses from 2008 to 2010 were crappy, so it isn’t surprising that they would show up poorly on a list where those three years comprise half the sample.

      • Biggus Dickus

        Over the long haul, and 6 seasons of stats certainly qualifies, there is no such thing as luck in football. This is the result of (1) fair-catching almost all punts; (2) taking a knee in the endzone on KOs whenever possible; (3) defensive players not securing fumbles but rather batting the ball around until the other team falls on it; (4) shitty DB play while Willie was here in ’07-’09. We’ve cured 4 but the first 3 remain.

        • Biggus Rickus

          Only three teams on the list have more than Georgia’s 4 return TDs, so Georgia’s defensive TDs are the issue. And I think luck does play a factor in those, possibly a very large one. As someone pointed out further down the thread, there were two turnovers in the Missouri game alone that were nearly defensive TDs.

  2. /LoganGrayfaircatchsignal

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    My 2 cents is that it shows we’ve lacked aggressiveness. We simply don’t go after opponents with a take-no-prisoners attitude. Now we can win a lot of games getting by on shear talent. But I’d agree this statistic explains our coming up short. I imagine you can extend that timeframe back before 2007 and I don’t know that it would be significantly different.

  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    Be interesting to see that metric back in Vince days.

  5. @gatriguy

    From 01-04, Richt’s teams were very aggressive on special teams. But the eruption of fake punts that we fell for coupled with the run of horrible kickoff returns, starting in Jax. that year made him incredibly gunshy.

    I also think Florida’s numbers on those int. returns were aided by the Meyer days when their DBs were allowed to maim receivers and never get called for it. The lack of PI called in that 2008 cocktail party still galls me.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1. There was an official STARING at the DB when he grabbed jersey and he did not throw a flag. That was definitely some sort of payback by the crew for the end zone stomp of the previous season–and it went on for years.

  6. Special teams will get the blame, but Florida, which led the league, scored 11 of 18 on defense. Bama, 10/14 on defense. SoCar, 12/13 on defense. While we all like to pick at Richt’s penchant for being conservative on PR, the real issue is UGA has only 4 defensive touchdowns in 5 years.

  7. Brian

    I watched the Missouri game on YouTube the other night and there were two touchdowns that should be in this category that would go under offensive touchdowns. Jarvis’ int where it was ruled that he did not score. And the fumble Jarvis caused that jenkins picked up at about the 5. The offense scored on both of those turnovers within a play or 2. That’s two examples in one game. Stats are just stats.

    • mdcgtp

      i thought the same thing minus the stats are just stats. Good stats are informative. Misleading stats are misleading. the real analysis would be to look at what percent of offensive drives begin in FG range (defining FG range as say 50 yards and in and yes i recognize guys won’t make all their 45-50 yarders but should be able to make half of them and most everything from 45 and in). Also it is important to note what the net of PR/KR situation was. Interesting half of our TDs were kickoffs and PRs. btw, those numbers seem low for us…is prince miller’s punt return against Bama our only punt return TD in five years of SEC play?

    • D.N. Nation

      Additionally, we recovered a Florida fumble in the red zone last year and scored a play later.

  8. ctfain

    No place for blocked kicks on that list. May not change things much, but it’s a hole worth asking after.

  9. uglydawg

    I think this is some of it…..when your playing from behind, you throw the ball more and thus suffer more interceptions. When your killing people with high scores as Florida did for many years, teams get demoralized late in the game and the offense may not make the greatest effort to tackle an interceptor or fumble recoverer who is running for a score. Scoring a lot of points makes the defense better.

  10. PTC DAWG

    Every year, more stats to analyze…..

  11. RocketDawg

    I think it definitely goes back to the Willie Two Thumbs Method of “Wave your hands in the receivers face, then miss the tackle and watch as he runs for 20 more yards”. Rambo had 7 or 8 picks in ’11, before that who was the last DB or LB to have a big year with interceptions? Tony Taylor in ’06?

  12. Carlton Thomas

    On the one hand we were one of the only teams to force an interception from McCarron last year (Sanders, corner of the end zone to end the half). On the other hand, our Int –> TDs are:

    Gamble, LSU 2008 x2
    Rambo, Tenn 2009 (having… trouble… breathing)
    Rambo, Auburn 2011

    Demarcus Dobbs also had an INT TD against C. Mich in 2008 and Rambo housed an INT against Idaho State in 2010.

  13. DeputyDawg

    We’ve had at least 9 non-offensive touchdowns since 2007. The study shows no TD’s from fumble recoveries, but I remember this one pretty well:

  14. Hobnail_Boot

    That’s what happens when Tony Taylor and Tra Battle graduate.

  15. Tsdawg

    I can remember 6 or 7 dropped picks that were sure td,s during that time frame.