We’ll just have to take his word on that.

Statistically, the numbers say Georgia’s defense has declined this season.  Although, to be fair, as Seth Emerson notes, the Dawgs have seen much better passing attacks in 2016 than they did last year.

The quality of opponents needs to be considered: Last year the best passing offense Georgia faced, at least statistically, was Alabama, and it was only 62nd nationally. But so far this year Georgia has faced three of the top 25 passing offenses: Ole Miss (17), Missouri (19) and North Carolina (21).

So I get the need to qualify any conclusion to be drawn from the numbers.  Now if I could only figure out what Kirby Smart is saying about that.

“When you base things on stats, that’s what can mislead you,” Smart said, when asked if he’s seen tangible evidence that the defense has improved. “It’s a tough thing to gauge. I think you have to substantiate it some kind of way, and we’ve tried to do that through less missed tackles. We’ve also had less plays. We didn’t have many plays against Vanderbilt. So less plays should have less missed tackles, less opportunities to tackle.

“So we try to look at it from a statistical standpoint, but at the end of the day it comes with practice, and you have to go by practice. And I feel like because you see practice every day, those defensive players have improved.”

They look at stats even though they know they’re misleading?  Yeah, I can see how that would be tough to gauge.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

28 responses to “We’ll just have to take his word on that.

  1. I actually think the D is basically even to where it was the last two years.

    We just got bailed out in 2013 and 2014 by not playing anyone that could throw the ball. When we did run into people that were competent at it (SC 13 and Bama 14), they got toasted.

    What’s encouraging to me is the DL. It is poised to be dominant over the next few years. OLB has been disappointing, but Carter seems to be getting home more.

    Then secondary is ok enough to play with everyone we have left, but going forward needs some bigger corners.

    I don’t get the angst about Tucker.


    • The DL is going to be dominant assuming we can hold on to Rocker (he has said he doesn’t want to move again). That group is really young, but they may be as talented a group as the running backs.


    • DawgPhan

      You also think that last year we really only won 7 games, sooooo.


      • Brandon

        If by that comment, you truly believe beating GA Southern in OT, a 3 win Tech team by 6, and a 5 win Mizzou team by 3 are accomplishments that should be lauded… sheesh.


        • Napoleon BonerFart

          Maybe not lauded, but counted as wins, which they were? Getting into the weeds of which wins to count as losses and which losses to count as wins is just too much.


          • Irwin R. Fletcher

            Back here on Earth, you can tell a win from a loss by who scores the most points. Wins and losses are factual.

            I’ll leave the coulda should woulda for the experts around here and Tony Barnhart.


        • Um, I don’t think DP is lauding those wins. He’s restating exactly what gatriguy has mentioned before in other comment threads that he thought we were a 7-6 team last year. Using that same logic (which I don’t agree with), one could come to the conclusion that we aren’t 4-3 this year, but we’re 2-5.


  2. Normaltown Mike

    In Re stats being misleading

    I always think of it thusly…if your safeties are leading the conference in tackles…you’ve probably got a problem


    • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

      that depends on your safeties and scheme though. As I recall without looking it up because I’m lazy, Thomas Davis and Greg Blue, or Thomas Davis and Sean Jones were among the top 3 tacklers on the team in 02, 03, 04. Van Gorder’s scheme seemed to call for the safeties to be over involved versus other schemes. and those 3 were tackling freaks.


      • S

        Just to add to your comment: Van Gorder mostly ran 4-3 under scheme. By the very nature of the alignments, the SS should be making the tackle on strong side runs by design. If a DL or LB makes the tackle it is because they beat their block.


  3. Granthams replacement

    The defense is basically the same minus a pass rush. The OLBs are not generating much pass rush, they get stuck to OTs as soon as they engage.


  4. Russ

    I’m thinking you’re not fully on board the Kirby train to Processville.


  5. Just Chuck (The Other One)

    Casey Stengel is not dead, he’s become Kirby Smart.


  6. Irwin R. Fletcher

    One of the issues with the comps is that you’re taking a snapshot of this year’s D and comparing it to the whole season from last year.

    The D got a lot better once they started playing games in November.


    So when you look at the five factors…again using all of 2015 and half of 2016…there is some variance but the real difference is that in 2015, that D was MUCH better at finishing drives. The 2016 version is almost dead last in points allowed once the opponent gets inside the 40.


  7. Would add that we don’t really do any more hurry up, which means defense is on the field less. Not sure that overall missed tackles is a great measure. Maybe percentage of missed tackles…


  8. AusDawg85

    Shorter Kirby: Games don’t matter, they are just statistics. Its all about practice.

    Sounds like a quote from the Coke bottle. #theprocessishere or #theprocessisnowhere?


  9. DawgPhan

    I believe that the Def Percentile numbers are adjusted for opp.

    Also look at the 2015 defense down the stretch. GSU, Auburn, Tech, and PSU were some of the better teams we played last year and UGA put up solid Def performances in those games.

    All it points to is that Kirby knows this team isnt better than the team last year and there is nothing that he can point at other than things that only he can see as the spots of improvement.

    He is sales guy pumping pipeline, when he never closes.

    also after reading this all I could think of is ADGM as Micheal Scott and him thinking that he hired the assistant head coach from Bama and he really hired the Assistant to the head coach from Bama.


  10. hooper

    This season is turning into some of the best comedy. Sometimes I can just see a SNL skit with CKS telling everyone how poor a program, with no talent on the team, he had to take over. But the program, and team is getting better every week no matter what the fans may see on game day, because the fans don’t see what’s happing in practice. On top of that the fans who believed the past teams won on Avg. 9.5 games per season, must adjust that win total for the wins that could have been losses, or wins over poor teams that should not count when judging the program now, or maybe going forward until new talent can be brought in to correct, or replace, the poor talent he was forced to take over, that was also coached poorly by the coaches in past seasons……………………….TIC