One of the more endearing features of the Georgia Tech message boards is the way they’ll attempt to construct statistical arguments in years when the teams aren’t on level footing going in to make them look closer than they are.
I thought I’d save everybody a little time with that.
Some of the comparative stats are eye-opening. Start with Tech’s ranking in defensive red-zone conversion percentage. It’s dead last in the country. If there’s a saving grace to that, it’s that the Jackets are 35th nationally in opponent red-zone opportunities. Unfortunately for them, Georgia is ranked sixth in opponent red-zone opportunities and first in red-zone conversion percentage.
The odds are pretty strong that if Georgia gets inside Tech’s 20, good things are bound to happen.
We’ve all been a little disappointed that Georgia’s defense hasn’t been more disruptive this season, despite its general excellence. Georgia ranks 65th nationally in tackles for loss. That being said, Tech’s defense makes the Georgia defensive line look like the Steel Curtain. The Jackets are a woeful 119th in tackles for loss. Sony’s and Nick’s days just got a lot brighter.
It’s a similar story with sacks, as Georgia comes in 63rd in the country and Georgia Tech 97th. Jake Fromm’s day just got a lot brighter.
If all that suggests the Dawgs should fare better with the grind, I think that’s right. It also seems to be the case that Georgia is the more explosive team. Georgia is 16th in plays of 20 yards or more; Tech is 90th. That’s also reflected in Bill Connelly’s advanced stats: Georgia’s IsoPPP is 11th on offense; Tech’s IsoPPP is 80th.
To be fair, one thing to note in favor of the Jackets is that their undefeated home record is no mirage. Bill’s performance percentile in those games: 85%, 94%, 92%, 81% and 87%. Georgia’s road success at Bobby Dodd Stadium is likely to be tested.
Hopefully, though, those numbers don’t lie.