So, when UGA’s offense is on the field, in the 25 statistics I track, they are “tied” with Auburn’s defense at 12 – 12 – 1 in terms of which team is higher ranked in each category. That seems pretty even, but a deeper examination tips things slightly in the Tiger’s favor. In categories in which UGA outranks Auburn, they are, average, 13 ranks above the Plainsmen. In categories where Auburn has the advantage, the Dawgs average 22 ranks lower than their opponent. To put that in a more concise way: the advantages the Auburn D has are bigger than the advantages the UGA offense has.
When Auburn is holding the ball, this exercise yields a much different result. The Dawg’s defense has consistently outperformed the Tiger’s D: they outrank the Tigers in 24 of 25 statistical categories. The average ranking differential between these two units is also stark. The only statistical advantage the orange and blue have on offense is their ability to prevent havoc, where they are ranked 24 in the nation, far outstripping the Dawgs 74th ranked havoc rate. However, in the other 24 categories, UGA’s defense is out-performing the Auburn offense by an average of 44 ranks. The biggest statistical advantage to UGA here is in defending the explosive pass, where UGA is ranked 4th in the nation, and is facing the 114th most explosive passing attack in the country. It’s not just that UGA’s D has done a better job this year than Auburn’s O; it’s that, statistically, these two units aren’t even in the same zip-code.
Barring a rash of turnovers, I’ll be surprised if either team cracks 21 points tomorrow.