First South Carolina observation

My standing caveat about game predictions is the effect of turnovers.  Usually that’s just a routine genuflection on my part, but it might be worth keeping an eye on Saturday.

South Carolina is +8 in turnover margin.  That’s second-best in the conference.  (In conference games only, the ‘Cocks are first in that category.)  Further, Jake Bentley hasn’t thrown an interception in his past four games, a streak up to 136 pass attempts.

The Dawgs have been a little fortunate this season in that they’ve comfortably survived the two games in which they generated negative turnover margins.  Bill Connelly’s analysis shows them minus-1.09 points per game in turnover luck, which seems a little surprising for an 8-0 team.  (Alabama’s, for instance, is +2.31 ppg.  South Carolina’s, by the way, is almost as good at +1.99 ppg.)

In short, this week, take my caveat seriously.

41 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

41 responses to “First South Carolina observation

  1. illini84

    They are due. . .

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  2. Teams like SoCar and UK can only hang with UGA if they get some TOs and/or special teams plays. I think AUB and to a degree GT can play man up for most of the game, but I think SoCar and UK are too limited and need some help.

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    • Mayor

      Funny but I feel exactly the opposite. I think the teams to worry about are UK and SC. We own Auburn and GT ain’t shit this year.

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      • GT is always an issue with that offense. And AUB is the best team we’ll play all regular season not named Notre Dame. It’s also going to be the most raucous atmosphere Fromm has played in, and his home/road splits are terrible.

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        • kfoge

          I read an article on Gridiron Now about Auburn being Georgia’s and Alabama’s toughest opponent the remainder of the season. The writer called BS on that. He said Auburn beats up on crappy teams but going back to their last 6 losses they barely crack 20 points. It was an interesting take. http://gridironnow.com/auburn-as-a-spoiler-for-dawgs-and-tide-what-auburn-team-are-you-watching/

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          • Mayor

            Auburn is living a lie, to quote Granny Holtz. Auburn bought themselves a nattie in 2010 when they bribed $cam Newton to go there and he took the money. One great season. Since then the got lucky twice with the infamous tipped pass against Georgia and the Kick Six against Bama in 2013 that got them in the BCSNCG which they lost. They aren’t really a top team any more. Who have they beaten who’s worth a damn? They are ranked based on an old reputation. After Georgia and Bama paste them they will be just another 3 loss team.

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            • sniffer

              Can I fix that for ya? Four (4) loss team is what you meant. Please, give the plain men everything they earn and deserve.

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              • Mayor

                Thanks. I forgot LSU.

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              • Cojones

                And thanks to all of you for the attitude. Thought it was just me (and a few of you) who thinks they have been tooting a tinhorn since before the season started. The same breed of writer that has had UT and Auburn up early in the poles and discussing their QBs like they are gods beside our pedestrian(?) Fromme were smoking some of the good stuff from last winter’s inside-home grown crop. The same applies when they speak of QBs as if the summer manipulations made them unbeatable.

                Hell, they’ve lost good people since we trotted all over their ass last and they haven’t introduced any Freshman Phenomes. On paper their D looks decent, but isn’t that what happened last year? They ain’t that great, especially against this serious bunch of Dawgs who are being fitted currently for muzzles before there is a serious case of dog bite on the Plains.

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              • Greg

                The game at TAMU this weekendis no guarantee for Auburn either. I have a feeling TAMU will at least give them a game after getting embarrassed last weekendby Miss St.

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  3. Otto

    Sounds like it is time for Bentley to throw an INT.

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  4. Bright Idea

    I expect to see a lot of HUNH without subbing from USCe to try and neutralize the Georgia defense as much as they can and hoping for a misalignment or miscommunication that Bentley can exploit.

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    • Everyone that has tried it has ended up only tiring their defense out. With a few exceptions, Tucker rarely substitutes when the offense doesn’t. The discipline these guys have played with is incredible at this point in the season.

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      • Mayor

        ^This. If you run the HUNH you better make first downs. If you don’t your D is right back on the field. If you play a team like Georgia that usually has long drives by the end of the game the HUNH has backfired and that team’s D is dragging ass.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Dave

    Note the turnover luck stat. Of course, it can hold true for an entire season (the Falcons last year had a ridiculous run). However, that thing has a tendency to creep back toward the mean.

    Tipped passes falling harmlessly to the ground, intercept-able balls being dropped by DB’s, etc. start turning the other direction. UGA was, defensively, on the down side of those early on (remember the “we have no picks” talk?) and presumably, USCe has been on the up side.

    No guarantees for this game, mind you, so we’ll see if that number normalizes for one or both schools.

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  6. The challenge for Kirby and Co. this week is twofold. First, they need to make sure we haven’t nibbled on any rat poison. I imagine the staff has doubled down on the work this week. Second, this is the first rivalry game of the year where we don’t have revenge or intensity on our side. Georgia teams (2005) have farted around with inferior USCjr teams in the past. Don’t do it, Dawgs.

    #KeepChopping

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  7. Cojones

    It’s luck whenever the ball bounces our way for fumbles and the interception rate at UGA will begin to go up in the second halves from here on out. Expect that UGA will loosen up more after getting ahead and allowing some D-backs to range freely according to the opposing QB’s talent. Of course, factor in that Scar’s and Auburn’s QBs are above average for what we have faced all season.

    Thinking of some causes for the present situation could come from the offensive passing goofs that were anomalies of a Freshman who had help from receivers not being on the same hunch after the play is broken. The last turnover came from a mid-throw where the receiver turned back and the throw was arched up-field. You can’t beat that for downright poor timing luck. Funny that we haven’t seemed to have worried about that being a trend, the reasoning being that it is out of character and talent for our QB and receivers.

    The game with Tech will be a chance to wrest the ball from their runner(s?).

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    • Hillbilly Dawg

      I don’t think I’m fat off with this, but I am pretty sure that Drew Lock and Shurmur are much better rated QBs than Bentley. And in a personal note, I would definitely take Fitzgerald over Bentley.

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      • Macallanlover

        It is a combo of QB & receivers, that is why Mizzou is more dangerous. I think Bentley is an above passer, not great, but lacks the receivers, as well as a strong running game. They may have some success but our D should be able to keep them pretty well in check unless they come in sleepwalking…and I don’t see thaqt happening to this group.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        You are correct if you are referring to 2017 passer rating. Bentley is eighth among those with enough passes to qualify at 137.20. Shermer is seventh at 137.84. Bentley has a better completion percentage had completed more passes for more yards. Shermer gets the higher rating because he has almost 50% more TDs.
        Lock is second, behind Jake from State Fromm at 167.78.

        By the way, our guy is first in both passer rating (171.86) and in yards per attempt (9.9).

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  8. PTC DAWG

    I don’t see Carolina scoring more than 20..so they lose by about 30….

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    • Biggen

      This. I can’t image for the life of me that they score even that much without a defensive TD. It just won’t happen on UGA’s D.

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  9. Busta

    wonder if Boom will try and edge rush us to death again…ha. On the turnovers, be pretty hard to gain a lot of turnovers when we’re run’n it down their throats and throwing low risk passes.

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  10. ChiliDawg

    Objectively speaking – what reason is there to believe Sahkerlina matches up with us any better than Miss State?

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    • The Truth

      None. This week is a mindset game just as much as last week was.

      Last week it was the Gator monkey, and we certainly got him off our back. This week it is how do we play under the influence of rat poison.

      As I said last week (when I predicted a 41-10 final score), mindset is maybe what the Dawgs are doing best this year. Dawgs on top, 34-13.

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      • ChiliDawg

        The guys will be playing at home for the first time since September and I think they’ll have all the reason they need right there to play with intensity. I still think it’s a lopsided victory closer to your original prediction, and I won’t be surprised if they don’t get in the end zone at allz

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  11. 92 grad

    I only know this, each game I consider what they’re up against. Vs. TN and FL I thoug to myself, “I’m not sure they can score”. Same goes for SC. I’m not seeing how they score, if they do it’s not more than 13. I do see how we score more than 13. Our team has made a living out of the “shock and awe” where they hit hard and fast at the kickoff. We will be up by at least 14 in the first quarter. As the game settles in we will see what happens but SC needs to play as if they’re down 14 at the kickoff. If they understand that and handle it properly then maybe it will be a game. I think this is when Kirby decides to let chump know that he is only friends in the “play nice because my mom says to” kind of way.

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    • Macallanlover

      Sounds about right, they are really outgunned in all phases of the game. I think they come in determined to upset a top team but the outcome will be controlled by us. I we hand it to them, they can win, otherwise it is just how much they lose by. Kirby has been playing it conservative, and getting the backups in early to minimize injuries. Crowd should be energized so I expect us to come out of the gate smashing their offense. Our offense will depend on whether we try to force our will with the run, or let Fromm have some fun. We won’t get too cute with AU on deck the following Saturday.

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  12. Uglydawg

    When your defense is three-and-outing everyone, and your offense is able to control the ball and stay on the field..you aren’t going to get a lot of turnovers because it’s impossible to get a turn over from a defense..
    Just another way stats don’t tell the whole story.

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  13. Will Trane

    6-2. Lost to KY and A&M. But beat NC State.
    Frankly I think this is a worrisome game.
    They had a bye week
    They get three O linemen back.
    Extra time to prep.
    Their QB is heady and understands the playbook and defenses.
    We can not pass. So Muschamp throttles the run game, and makes Chaney and Fromm throw. 7 passes against UF. A TD and and INT.
    Have no idea how they plan to attack Muschamp’ s D, but it had better be good. Can they get Michel and Swift to the edge. And can the WR’s make some tough catches, cause they are going to be played tight.
    When you sit at the top everybody brings their A game. So do the Dawgs begin to push for a higher bar.
    Think Dawgs will have to score 35+ to win, with no turnovers, and penalties that kill drives. Defense needs to really stop their QB throwing.

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    • Greg

      UGA will have to score 35+ to win? Only if our O gifts SC 14-21 points with turnovers deep in our territory.

      South Carolina’s best win, by far, was their first game vs NC State. Deebo Samuel, who is out for the year with an injury, accounted for 3 of SC’s 5 TD’s that game and they were able to win by a TD. Since then, their wins have come over La Tech (on a last second FG) and 4 SEC team’s with an aggregate record of 1-18. We’ll have to break down to some degree in all 3 phases of the game for SC to keep it close.

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    • Sanford222view

      So Georgia will get USCjr’s best shot?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Dolly Llama

    I had said this a few days ago, but if Kirby really wanted to screw with Boom’s head, he’d start Eason. Even if it was for just a scripted first series or two. Eason needs the non-garbage-time reps, and it’d be a thing of beauty if he threw a super-pretty, super-long TD. Get some of the other teams thinking, too, perhaps.

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  15. Chipperdawg

    I swear I don’t think they’ll score double digits against this Bulldog defense. I’m thinking 38-9.

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  16. aladawg

    We saw what a hot QB can do to a respectable defense in Columbus last week. We should be wary of USC. They will stack the box. They did beat a quality NC State team handily. We are coming off an emotional game. I have little to complain about with our coaching staff, but for the life of me I don’t understand why we didn’t work the passing some with the game in hand last week. Fromm needs the work and needs it badly. 7 passes is not going to beat Auburn and if we are fortunate to play Bama, 7 won’t work in the Bama game. I still think our Senior leaders are/have been every bit as key as our coaching staff and they will carry us through here, but not without some heartburn. UGA 27- USC 17

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    • They did beat a quality NC State team handily.

      Handily? They were outgained 504-246, lost the time of possession battle badly and had 12 first downs compared to NC State’s 29. State had a chance to tie at the end, too.

      The ‘Cocks won because of turnovers and Deebo Samuel. Samuel ain’t playing Saturday.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. UGA will put up 40 or more on SC

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