A brief slog through Georgia’s offensive efficiency numbers

Coachingsearch.com put up this chart of the 2015 national leaders in points per play plays per point:


Pace doesn’t matter for purposes of efficiency, but things like turnover margin, starting field position and special teams play do, of course. (Yeah, so does scoring, smart ass.) Anyway, Georgia doesn’t appear anywhere on that list and I thought it might be interesting to get some perspective on the Dawgs’ offensive efficiency last season.

Start with the SEC.  Here’s how the conference’s fourteen teams ranked last season (all stats via cfbstats.com, natch):

  • Mississippi — 1.79
  • Arkansas — 1.90
  • LSU — 1.99
  • Alabama — 2.07
  • Mississippi State — 2.07
  • Tennessee — 2.16
  • Georgia — 2.38
  • Auburn — 2.50
  • Texas A&M — 2.73
  • Kentucky — 2.76
  • Florida — 2.82
  • South Carolina — 2.94
  • Missouri — 4.72
  • Vanderbilt — 4.79

Okay, Georgia’s seventh place finish wasn’t scintillating, but it wasn’t totally awful either.  Georgia’s problem on offense was that in addition to not being particularly efficient, it wasn’t particularly prolific, either, running only 62.54 plays a game on average.  Even Missouri ran more plays per game.  That’s how you wind up below the conference average in scoring.

Not only that, but when you put Georgia’s points per play plays per point number in historical perspective…

  • 2014:  1.63
  • 2013:  1.98
  • 2012:  1.75
  • 2011:  2.27
  • 2010:  1.95
  • 2009:  2.11
  • 2008:  2.02

… it was Georgia’s worst in eight seasons.  And that’s a stretch that covers all kinds of situations – new quarterbacks, the rash of injuries in 2013, negative turnover margins, the Logan Gray fair catch specialist era, etc.  Like it or not, the 2015 squad struggled harder to score than any Richt team we saw for many years.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

27 responses to “A brief slog through Georgia’s offensive efficiency numbers

  1. dawgtired

    “Like it or not, the 2015 squad struggled harder to score than any Richt team we saw for many years.”

    I can believe that. I have never been so frustrated watching our offense as I was last year. I did not enjoy watching Lambert struggle while the opposing defenses disrespected us by putting the whole team and their water boy in the box to stop the run. The level of disrespect they gave our passing game was insulting…and I don’t won’t to live through it again next year. We need better OL play and better QB play.


    • Yup. My couch’s hole is a proof from my constant squirming on each and every play, each and every catch, rather failed catches, each and every run, each and every missed tackle, each and every missed field goals, each and every short pass that missed the receiver, and most importantly the bone headed offensive play call in each and every down,LOL. I probably missed others, but the hole in my couch sure was larger last season.


    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      Your experience was shared by many last year. In our section, we spent a lot of time cheering for the clock as in “let’s get this over”, because the offense was so painful to watch. You could pretty much count on the play being over when Lambert started to roll out or scramble.

      Did you notice that, so far, there are more comments about beer than about the offense. Maybe folks just want to drink and forget.


  2. Noonan

    My immediate thought is that none of the four playoff teams are on that list. I guess defense and special teams are kind of important.


  3. DawgPhan

    When I think back about all the historically bad offense I saw in person this year it is pretty amazing.

    First win without scoring a TD since 95.

    That long stretch of just no TDs. No rushing TDs for a long stretch.

    last season was something else.


    • The offense was painful to watch from October 3 on. The loss of a running back (even one of Nick Chubb’s quality) shouldn’t have that type of impact on an offense. That tells me how bad the QB play and the line play were the last two months of the season. Even in 2013, when we were down to JJ Green and Brendan Douglas, we could still move the ball, but then again, we did have Aaron Murray.


  4. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    It’s a comfort to know that my eyes did not deceive me as I watched this past season. I suppose it would have been better if Chubb had not been hurt, but in a way that’s the point: you can have several weapons in a battle, but if you can only load one effectively and that gun jams, you’re in trouble. I wonder if Schotty thinks about what a crappy job he did.


  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Thanks for organizing the stats, but it was pretty obvious last year that if the other team walked off the field we’d need three plays to score.


  6. Derek

    Greyson Lambert’s passer rating at UGA in 2015: 141.47
    Greyson Lambert’s passer rating at UVA in 2014: 115.74

    By my calculation that’s slightly more than a 22% improvement.

    Yards per attempt went from 6.3 yards to 7.7 yards.

    TD/INT ratio went from 10/11 to 12/2.

    Surely this improvement can be accounted for by going from facing the mighty defenses of the ACC in 2014 to easily the exploitable SEC defenses in 2015.

    Fucking Schotty!


    • Lambert had passer ratings north of 200 in three of his first four games, only one of which was against a D-1 defense. The rest of the schedule? Two games with sub-100 ratings and none above 150. (He was lucky enough to miss playing Florida, too.) So let’s not make it sound like Lambert came in and killed it against SEC competition.


      • Derek

        Believe me I ain’t saying that. Lambert’s terrible. As soon as the opposition realized he couldn’t handle pressure, we were toast. I’m simply pointing out that the blame schotty crowd is looking in the wrong direction. I’m happy to debate whether lambert should have been playing, but that relies on too much speculation. I don’t know why Brice wasn’t playing. I think he should have been, but that’s not based on a whole lot. I KNOW Lambert was awful. To the extent you want to put Lambert’s struggles on Schotty you have to acknowledge that he got significantly statistically better under schotty vs. better opposition. Thems just the facts.


        • Lambert’s statistical performance declined as the season progressed. More significantly, none of Georgia’s quarterbacks looked better as the season wore on. If at least some of that isn’t on their position coach, who then?

          BTW, as you laud Lambert’s stats, you might want to consider comparing his surrounding casts in Charlottesville and Athens for an explanation, at least in part.


          • Derek

            His stats over time, at their best, are mediocre. That he performed statistically better under Schotty in the SEC is the beginning and end of my point. In short, Lambert’s “high water mark” as a college QB was last year at UGA under Schotty vs. the SEC. That’s not an endorsement of Lambert but a defense of Schotty.

            I am not saying that Lambert ever performed well over time. You can try and get into whether Lambert was better or worse with MM vs. SEC CB A or UVA WR B vs. ACC CB Y in order to tease out what role “supporting cast” played if you’d like, but I think that’s a great waste of time.

            You can tell how well a QB is playing by the manner in which the defense defends him. When you see a run that goes for 0 yards and safeties are getting up from the bottom of the pile, you know. That’s not play calling. Everybody knows how to call plays vs. 0 coverage. More than a changing line up, a changing approach to defense vs. Lambert after Alabama showed the way was responsible for the decline IMHO.

            Schotty has had jobs in football for a long time. If he had no idea how to coach, he wouldn’t be working with the Colts today. Nobody was going to make Lambert into a winning SEC QB anymore than 5 years under Bobo was going to make Hutson a NFL caliber QB. Some guys just can’t play the position. Of course, with Hutson the issues were physical, with Lambert it seems that its predominately mental.


            • When you dismiss opposing points as a great waste of time to rebut, it’s easy to see how you don’t lose any arguments.

              I also notice you had nothing to say regarding the complete lack of improvement among any of Georgia’s quarterbacks.

              By the way, I’m not seeing the yawning chasm between ACC pass defenses of 2014 and SEC pass defenses of 2015 you believe exists. That’s probably a waste of time for you, too, though.


              • Derek

                The point remains that Lambert did significantly statistically better last year than he did before. Believe that Lambert would have been even better without Schotty and/or his UVA’s coordinators if you like. Every college coach Lambert has has just let him down? Fine. Whatever helps you do the “blame Bobo” thing I suppose.

                As far as ACC defenses and any gap, again Lambert did significantly statistically better under Schotty in the SEC than anyone else that’s ever coached him in college. To suggest he was held back by Schotty’s poor coaching is pure speculation. The fact is he got better, although he was awful. Lambert’s been a bad college QB his entire career but Schotty got the best performance out of him of his three seasons. In each Lambert was just fucking awful. That’s just the facts. They are stubborn things.

                BTW: I’d love to blame Schotty and CMR for not playing Brice. I thought Brice was our best chance to win big in 2015. I thought Lambert was brought in for depth. I suspect that Lambert was chosen because he could mentally handle the complex offense Schotty intended to run when we’d have been better off playing the more athletic kid with the cannon. Am I right? No fucking idea, which is why I can’t just say that’s what happened. I wasn’t there so I don’t know. I know what I saw when I watched the games. Lambert is an awful QB.


                • Lambert got better, so they benched him for the Florida game and changed the game plan to reduce his touches afterwards?

                  You got some funny facts there.


                • Derek

                  Interesting time line you’ve got there. Why his benching means his stats didn’t improve in 2015 over 2014 as printed is my initial inquiry? I did not say he improved as the 2015 season went on. His opportunities got better as the other team committed more and more to the run and pressure but he got worse. The reason is because he’s terrible. If a back did worse with 6 in the box rather than 8 would you say it’s Bobo or Schotty or the back? You know how to get it back to 8? Be effective against 6. I think the same is true with passing defense. The less that was committed to pass d and the more committed to pressure and run stopping the worse he did. You want less in the box, beat them with the deep ball. He couldn’t. It’s because he’s not very good at the job.


                • One more time: it’s the duty of a position coach to coach his players up. None of Georgia’s 2015 QBs finished the year improved. One kid and maybe it’s his fault. All three? Either it’s a helluva coincidence or Schottenheimer didn’t do his job.

                  But feel free to keep clinging to your position.


                • Derek

                  Actually one of them did end up improved over the prior season. That’s where we started with this. If you’re going to say that Faton and/or Brice were worse in December of 2015 than in August of 2015 or in 2014, who am I to interfere with your fantasies? Perhaps that is where the spring game QBR comes into play. Personally, I’d say there is precious little sample size to say anything about the progression or regression of Faton or Brice. With Lambert there is significant evidence that his game, while atrocious, got better in 2015. If Schotty is so bad why wasn’t Lambert statistically worse in 2015 than 2014? That’s the question. If you are to lay Lambert sucks on Schotty, well he’s always sucked but he sucked somewhat less with Schotty.

                  This is going to be the truth when all is said and done: Lambert’s best college football playing days came under Schotty. The coach that got Lambert’s best performances was Schotty.

                  I give you all of 2016 to prove me wrong. I would note that because his issues are mental, I’m at some risk here, but I think Lambert’s days of playing qb at UGA are done.


                • I didn’t say they were worse. I said none of them improved.

                  As for Lambert’s “significant evidence”, you’re hanging your hat on a better passer rating, but find yourself unwilling to consider any possibility for that other than Schottenheimer.

                  Like I said, I can see why you don’t think you lose arguments.


                • Derek

                  I also cited TD/Int ratio and yards per attempt. They all got significantly better in 2015 over 2014. 12 tds and 2 picks vs. 10 tds and 11 picks is dramatic improvement.

                  No none of the qbs improved through the course of the year, but only one was given the opportunity to show any. What did change was the types of defenses we faced. And I will say this: attacking zone coverage is more dependent upon strategy and play calling than attacking man coverage and that’s what we saw in the second half.

                  What we faced in the second half of the season was “I dare you to throw it” defenses. That can ONLY be confronted by the players on the field. The receiver has to beat his man and get him the ball. In other words, Bill Walsh can’t call plays so that you and I can beat Richard Sherman man to man. Its up to us and we’ll fail. You put Sherman 10-12 yards off the ball with his safety help in a Cover 2 shell look, then we can draw up ball plays. We don’t have to beat anybody. We just have to be where they ain’t. Lambert could do that and did that vs. USC and Southern. Once the other teams realized that Lambert was not capable of making plays on his own, that he could beat no one, then he was toast.

                  Great QB’s force defenses to play weak zone coverage to limit the damage. Bad QB’s allow a defense to play aggressive, stop the run first, man coverage. What you see out of a defense will tell you everything you want to know about what they think of your QB. On and after 10/3 they thought he was terrible and they were right. Frankly, Vandy’s approach to defending Lambert was a good prelude to what was coming down the road.


        • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

          Thems a pretty twisted version of the facts. Do you work for a political campaign somewhere? You said: “I’m simply pointing out that the blame schotty crowd is looking in the wrong direction.”
          Point me in the right direction then, because I’d like to know what it is.
          You know he was not just the position coach, but the OC and play caller. Walk me through that Missouri game and point out his brilliance to me. I am not going to ask you to do the same for Florida or Bama or…well, you get the idea.

          Arrgh! I. must. learn. to. turn. the. page.


  7. 69Dawg

    How about we just agree that in the two times Richt went for the Pro coaches he got bitten in the butt. Plenty of people on this blog and elsewhere were sure it was a mistake to get Schotty. Grantham had been too complex in his schemes and guess what Schotty was too. Instead of working with one QB, he split the reps until the start of the season. The time factor in college just can’t be overemphasized when it comes to schematic disadvantages. A college team is better off adopting the old Greenbay Packer techniques of very few plays run to perfection. Everybody knew that the Packer sweep was coming but nobody could stop it.


  8. Macallanlover

    The Packers may have had “very few plays”, but they had more than one. UGA lacked any serious threat once Chubb was down. MM26 was a talented receiver but you could double him and the OL gave little time to look for other alternatives. A sweep, dive and counter plays to both sides is all you need for the running game if executed well. But you still need more than one receiver that can beat short, deep, or wide to play off the running game to keep the secondary honest.

    For all the bad comments above, mostly true, about the performances of Lambert and Schotty, no one talks about the elephant in the room:the SC game. You can say all you want about the 2015 SC team but no one handled them like UGA did,not even close.that I can recall. The play calling was as good as any I have seen, and Lambert’s execution was flawless. How can we explain that? It is more than a consistency problem….for both of them. I was misled by that game, thinking that was what we could expect when the whole playbook was opened up and our guys were determined. Never really liked a game after that.