Had ’em right where they wanted.

I started with this blurb from Team Speed Kills:

Georgia held North Carolina far below the numbers the Tar Heels gained against Illinois. That defensive performance is one that could look more impressive as the season progresses. They did give up 24 points against Nicholls State, but only allowed 236 total yards. The offense turning the ball over three times made this game closer than it should have been. A fumble at the Georgia 30 yard-line set up the first Nicholls State touchdown, while a late touchdown occurred only after a ‘Dawg fumble at its own 9 yard-line. Still, the ‘Dawg defense allowing nearly 40% completion on third downs this season must improve to reach the next tier.

The exact percentage is 37.93%.  That led me to check on last year’s third-down conversion rate, which was 28.93%, so, yes, there’s work to be done there.  But here’s the truly weird part.  Last year’s best effort in opponent third-down conversion percentage, and by a very wide margin?  Alabama, at 8.33%.  No, that’s not a misprint.

What’s so weird about that isn’t that I don’t ever come across individual stats that are misleading.  It’s that I don’t remember Georgia doing anything at all well in that game.  Go figure.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

25 responses to “Had ’em right where they wanted.

  1. Cojones

    They made all their first downs on first and second downs. They rarely had a third down.


    • Actually, they had 12. It’s not a small sample size thing.


      • Greg

        If you look at the flow of the game, it’s really not that surprising. Neither team was particularly effective offensively for the first 20-25 minutes. I believe it was 7-3 in favor of Bama near the middle of the 2nd quarter. Then, Bama blew the game open with 3 quick scores in succession (including a blocked punt and a long TD pass). It was garbage time for the entire 2nd half. They were just looking to grind out the clock in the rain for the most part so we got more 3rd down stops then.


    • Derek

      Hard to get 8% without quite a few opportunities. My math says that there had to be around 11 opportunities.


  2. Derek

    Defense wasn’t our problem that day. We needed a quarterback.


    • Biggus Rickus

      Defense was A problem, but it wasn’t the only one. Alabama averaged 6 yards a play. The only teams they averaged more yards against in conference play were Mississippi State and Auburn. It was also the second worst performance on that basis during the season (the worst was Florida, of course).


      • ltrftc

        Defense became a problem over the course of the game. Stated above, but to start the game, our defense had come to play. It wasn’t until we turned the ball over and had a few really lackluster offensive drives that it seemed like the dam broke… There was some poor coverage on intermediate throws that I recall early, but I think the majority of that per play yardage came later if I had to make a wager.


  3. Brad

    Without looking up the stats; wondering if Alabama had many 3rd downs?


  4. Puffdawg

    Unless I misread, writer references 3rd down completion %. You reference 3rd down conversion %. Not sure what that will do to overall premise, but different nonetheless.


    • I took that as semantics, but maybe you’re right. In any event, it’s what led to that strange stat from last year’s Bama game.


      • Charlottedawg

        2 non offensive touchdowns- blocked punt, pick 6. ; no 3rd downs

        I believe Ridley’s touchdown was on second down as was Henry’s long touchdown run.

        That boys and girls are why explosive plays on offense and big special teams plays matter. The fewer plays an offense has to run to score a point the fewer third downs it has to convert and the fewer chances it has to screw up which can stall a drive.


        • Cojones

          Yeah, but that was the formula for why the D was bad: “They were tired because the O scored too fast”, et cetera, now that we have learned our lesson, we keep the O on the field and wait to fumble or have an interception near the goal line; in that way the D gets lots of rest. Anyone looked at the D stats to see how we are doing with that old exc…., uh,….saw that was the reason we had lousy D during the Murray years?

          With our latest O “Drag it Out” play, that D should be shining armor in return for all that rest. Excuse me, I have to find the D stats for the Nicholls game ; not ours – theirs! It should be terrible what with how quickly they scored over two qtrs. and their D didn’t get any rest.


  5. Normaltown Mike

    “It’s that I don’t remember Georgia doing anything at all well in that game. Go figure.”



  6. D.N. Nation

    Bama scored 38 points in that game.

    7 were on a pick-6.
    7 were on a blocked punt.
    7 were on a first and bomb.
    7 were on a drive that started at the UGA 38 thanks to a personal foul following a punt.

    After getting to 38, Bama had a 3 and out, a fumble, a 3 and out, a 3 and out, a turnover on downs, a turnover on downs, and the end of the game.


    • MDDawg

      Thanks for looking it up, assuming you didn’t just rattle it off from memory. And I’m assuming it’s correct. I mean, it’s on the internet, so it’s gotta be true, right?

      But seriously, good on ya.


  7. Bama primarily made their hay on 1st and 2nd down. I remember we stopped Henry a number of times on 3rd and short both before and after the game got out of hand. They also scored a defensive TD and a special teams TD. If you had told me before the game that the defense would hold them to 24 points, I would have thought we would lose a close game (think 24-20). Our offense was terrible (and, yes, Bama’s defense had something to do with that), and our special teams were special in the not-so-special way. That’s the way you get your hat handed to you by a championship-quality team.


  8. DawgPhan

    I love that some many of you had to jump right in these comments to defend Bama’s 3rd down conversion rate.

    At least someone has bought into the process.


  9. illini84

    The IIlini suck, what’s the big deal?


  10. The other Doug

    I think the weirdest stat from last year was that we went 1-4 in 3rd down conversions against USC, but had 32 first downs.


  11. Will Trane

    AS D N Nation pointed out there were some similarities between Bama game and Nicholls game.
    Mainly, turnovers and field position. Can not give the other team points whether they are a Bama or a Nicholls.
    Plus Nicholls had all year to prep for the Dawgs.
    Next two road games will tell us all about this staff and roster.


  12. Hogbody Spradlin

    I’m no X and O guy, but maybe Bama put the offensive starters in the barn early 3rd quarter and most of that was trash?