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.