The Rose Bowl, a study in contrasts

It’s not just the epic great offense versus great defense aspect — it’s balanced versus unbalanced.

Among this year’s four playoff teams, three are extraordinarily balanced: Alabama, Georgia and Clemson each rank among the nation’s top 10 in efficiency on both offense and defense.1

Oklahoma, on the other hand, is a study in imbalance.

Not only do the Sooners have the best offense of 2017, but the difference between their offensive efficiency and the second-ranked offenses (Alabama and Oklahoma State) is about the same as the difference between No. 2 and No. 10 Central Florida’s. Since the playoff started four seasons ago, the only offense remotely close to being as efficient as Oklahoma’s belonged to Oregon in 2014 — and the Ducks weren’t really that close to the Sooners.

At the same time, the Oklahoma defense is easily the worst of any playoff team. The Sooners allowed 25 points and nearly 385 yards of total offense per game this season. They rank 59th in the country in defensive efficiency. It’s safe to say that Oklahoma has the most one-dimensional profile of any team to ever make the College Football Playoff.

Does that matter?  Well, maybe.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the Sooners are primed for a playoff letdown. Oklahoma has the best quarterback in the country (Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield) and a host of other weapons that can make opposing defenses pay. Their stat sheet could give any defensive coordinator a heart attack. (This is, after all, a team that surpassed 600 yards of total offense in more than half of its games!)

But it’s also worth noting that in three years of playoff action, the more efficient defense won 67 percent of its games, while the superior offense won only 56 percent. Even if those numbers are skewed by Alabama’s success as a defensive juggernaut, the Tide have won with defense for a reason. Oklahoma will have to buck that trend if they want to prove that a great offense can win, too.

I think the conclusion hits directly at what Oklahoma wants to happen and what Georgia wants to avoid.

… But perhaps Oklahoma’s best chance against the Bulldogs is to use its dominating offense to jump out to an early lead, then hope its defense can force Fromm into freshman mistakes while playing from behind. Between Georgia’s impressive balance and Oklahoma’s shaky defense, however, that might be a task easier said than done.

From your lips, brother.  From your lips…

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22 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

22 responses to “The Rose Bowl, a study in contrasts

  1. SemperFiDawg

    Now that My Brother is pure righteousness.

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  2. J-DawG

    I said it before and say it again, what happens when they are forced to play smashmouth football? I don’t think they have the will or the stomach to match that for 4 quarters. We should contain their running game, but can they contain ours? If they can’t, it should be our game.

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  3. I have no red-colored glasses that make me think we’re going to shut them down. I do think we’re much more likely to get some key service breaks that allow us to get the lead. The question is whether we can take advantage of the breaks or field position our defense may create. Eventually the more balanced team takes over, and the Dawgs win 38-30.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. W Cobb Dawg

    Not sure why our offense or STs bothered to make the trip. From everything I’ve read we won’t be seeing them on the field.

    This Baker Mayfield guy sounds like a mixture of Michael Vick’s speed, Barry Sanders’ elusiveness, Joe Namath’s arm, and Tom Brady’s competitiveness. He’s obviously super-human. This baloney that he has a cold or the flu must be a ploy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Uglydawg

    Maybe BM is being muzzled because the OK coaches don’t want him spilling the HUGE secret….BM is going to play defense too! We won’t score or even get a first down.

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  6. Greg

    Honestly, I do not feel that Oklahoma’s offense is that much better than ours. The biggest reason their PPG is so high, is that they had to score, we pulled the dogs off most all games in the 4th qtr.

    Our offense has progressively got better as the year has gone on and is still peaking imo. W Cobb mentions special teams, we excel there….never underestimate field position. Defense wins championships & speed kills. I like the dawgs in this one.

    38 – 17…. DAWGS!!

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    • Maybe somewhat, but there were a lot of big-margin blowouts as well
      56-7, 31-16 (tOSU), 56-14, 49-41, 29-24, 42-35, 49-27, 62-52 (OkSt), 38-20 (TCU), 41-3, 59-31, 41-17 (TCU). Avg margin of victory: 18.6

      Like the Senator has said, Colt Brennan and Hawai’i they are not. While OU has not faced a defense like Georgia, neither has UGA faced an offense remotely like Oklahoma. I suspect this game ends up as a 20+ point blowout either way, with UGA the likely winner b/c of overall depth and the much better defense.

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      • Greg

        Would need to look again, but I believe our average margin of victory is somewhere around 25 or 26 PPG. Sometimes you just can’t really make a comparison of two teams on paper (opponents). Also, nobody is comparing Mayfield and Brennan… certainly not me. And sometimes…..it does not matter who you have back there at QB.

        I like our team, on both sides of the ball. Whoever plays better on both sides wins…to me, it is Georgia. We have the better personnel and more complete team. We will know soon….

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  7. Busta

    Greg you said it, no need for our #1 O to be out there when the game is in hand. Like you said, OU had to keep scoring because “lesser” teams score just as much as they do…offensive stats of theirs are largely a result of being in constant shootouts…and far inferior teams/conference.

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  8. Otto

    OU’s hope is to jump out to a lead, push UGA into winning it in the air. OU goes fast on offense forcing UGA to defend more plays tiring the UGA D.

    Clemson pushed Bama into a shoot out last year and tiring the Bama D and won it on the more consistent Offense.

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    • Greg

      Probably their game plan….& who can blame them. But Oklahoma does not have the balance on offense and defense that both those teams had….nor do they have the balance of Georgia. Our ability to push the middle, contain the edges and ability to tackle in the open field will give them issues. Gonna be tough for them with the size and speed we have….they have not seen anything like it. They have a prolific offense, but believe we hold them under 20. Our best defense may very well be our offense, but still think we hold them under 20….I like the way we match up.

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      • Clayton Davis

        You don’t think OU has a balanced offense? Might want to take a closer look.

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        • Greg

          But Oklahoma does not have the balance on offense and defense”

          Obviously, I am saying team here….as I go on to say they have a “prolific offense”.

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    • Clayton Davis

      Bama led most of the game. They most definitely didn’t get pushed into playing catch-up against a big Clemson lead.

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  9. AthensHomerDawg

    Hidden yards and TOP

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  10. Uglydawg

    Just saw BM’s little interview. I think he’s faking it..some sort of silly ploy OK has come up with in an attempt to play head games. He said ” I don’t know what I’ve got, but you don’t want it”….I guess he hasn’t seen a doctor?? You know if the guy sneezes they send him to the doctor. My only other guess would be the flu..but with tami-flu meds he could make the game pretty easily, But if he had the flu, they wouldn’t let him near his team mates…so I’m guessing it’s a guise.
    Kirby should have Chubb, Michel and Swift all come out to a press conference in ankle casts tomorrow.

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    • Greg

      Thinks the rumors are true…..he is hungover. But so what, “Willie Joe” was for a bunch of his games also……..alcohol & pantyhose helped him, maybe he and Mayfield is just alike.

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  11. Just keep everything in front of you, Dawgs, tack Roquan to Mayfield, & FOCUS on every play like it is all that matters (similar to the entire season) and victory will be assured.

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  12. I do not have the confidence in the Dawgs pass defense that others have..
    I expect their receivers to be open on a regular basis. We can’t stop them

    I sure hope that this is not the last time I see Chubb & Michel as Dawgs.

    Winning the SEC Championship was / is the major goal for me.
    It already has been a GREAT Season. for me. Kirby did terrific
    & the entire Season was one to always remember. Go Dawgs.

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