The less, the better

Seth Emerson indulged his inner contrarian yesterday ($$) with this thought:  We don’t know whether the defense really is as good as it seems.

And, yeah, I get his point.  The numbers are good, but the opposition, maybe not so much.  Plus, grumpy Kirby:

Last week, coach Kirby Smart was asked if the defense was playing as well as it looked statistically, and began shaking his head before the question was done.

“No, not close,” Smart said. “Extremely sloppy in the last game, and you know, it’s sad, because you guys (the media) control the noise. But when you watch that game, there’s a lot more concern.”

Okay, fine.  But if I may indulge my inner contrarian for the moment, I’m not sure how much we appreciate the job the defense has done so far this season, at least with regard to the most basic of stats, scoring.  Via cfbstats.com, here’s the historical record against FBS opponents for the last eleven seasons:

  • 2009:  28.1 ppg (11th in SEC)
  • 2010:  23.3 ppg (5th)
  • 2011:  22.2 ppg (6th)
  • 2012:  20.1 ppg (5th)
  • 2013:  30.9 ppg (10th)
  • 2014:  21.7 ppg (7th)
  • 2015:  17.8 ppg (3rd)
  • 2016:  24.0 ppg (5th)
  • 2017:  16.6 ppg (2nd)
  • 2018:  20.7 ppg (5th)
  • 2019:  9.5 ppg (1st)

From Willie through Grantham and Pruitt to the current day, one of those seasons is unlike the others.  By a pretty significant margin, too.

True, the quality of opposing offenses steps up going forward from what Georgia’s faced through its first seven games, but it’s not exactly a murderer’s row, either.  The current national rankings of their scoring offenses against FBS teams:

  • Florida:  52nd
  • Missouri:  55th
  • Auburn:  26th
  • Texas A&M:  58th
  • Georgia Tech:  119th

We can debate the relevancy of advanced stats all you’d like, but there’s something relatively pure in pointing out that the less the other team scores, the better your chance of winning is.  In that limited context, and Kirby’s grouchiness aside, Georgia’s defense is bringing it and looks to continue bringing it.

12 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

12 responses to “The less, the better

  1. UGA has played some truly awful offenses. Florida’s isn’t dynamic, nor is Auburn’s or Mizzou’s. A&M is hot or cold, it seems, so you don’t know what you’re getting each week. There’s a very real scenario where UGA doesn’t face a top-25 offense in terms of yards per play all regular season.

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  2. Russ

    How in the world is Florida rated 52nd and Auburn 26th? All the pieces I’ve seen of their games would indicate the opposite.

    Everybody but Mullen could see it, but Florida really got better when Franks went out.

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  3. Classic City Canine

    I still think a good passing attack could expose our defense. Florida has the skill players to do that and if we’re not scoring points, it would only take a few busts to lose.

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    • FlyingPeakDawg

      ND showed how a big WR or TE target can make playing pitch & catch successful against our D, but once we make a team one dimensional we seem to make the necessary adjustments to shut that down. A running QB scares me more ( cough Texas cough ).

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      • HiAltDawg

        “ND showed how a big WR or TE target can make playing pitch & catch successful against our D”

        Yeah right,

        In a loss where lucky ND got handed a TD via Special Teams, got handed good field position via shanked punts, and got a late TD to make the score closer than the game really was. I was at the game and ND didn’t belong on the field with us

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        • practicaldawg

          Agreed. More like ND showed that it’s possible to move the ball a little through the air for a half with our best corners out before Kirby shut it down.

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  4. Cousin Eddie

    Senator you drawing from the ole Erk quote, “If we score we might win but they don’t score we can’t loose.” Still my favorite Football quote.

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  5. jt10mc (the other one)

    Here’s the thing…against we did exactly or more of what we were supposed to do as a defense against the teams we played at least the stats think so…Kirby doesn’t…but the stats do.

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  6. Either he’s (Kirby) seen things that Florida could exploit or he’s trying to distract from the offense. The defense has given up a few big plays on busted coverages this year, and Kirby is a defensive guy through and through, so I guess it’s really not shocking.

    I was thinking that the D might struggle and the offense turn it on Saturday but now I’m kinda the opposite. Guys like Olujari, Dean, Walker and Smith could wreak havoc if we can get them in 3rd and long. These guys have shown flashes of having it all and Dean and Walker have been playing a lot more recently. If we can do a decent job against the run and not have breakdowns on the back end I think the D will show out. Florida has some scary good WRs but I’m not impressed by their OL. Get em in 3rd and long and get after Trask’s ass! Wouldn’t surprise me to see the kid out of Lagrange some. He’s got an arm and can run as well.

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