Here’s a comparison I didn’t see coming.

First of all, because it’s coming from Kirk Herbstreit.

“I think Georgia’s a team that’s not going to win any style points, but because of the way they’re playing defense, it’s hard not to recognize them as a team that deserves to be up where they are,” Herbstreit said. “I think, in this era of flash and dash and scoring 45 and where’s the big-play ability, Georgia … they do it in an old-school way.”

Herbstreit compared Georgia to the 2002 national championship team at Ohio State.

The Buckeyes went 14-0 and 7-0 in Big Ten play with narrow wins over Cincinnati (23-19, Sept. 21), Northwestern (27-16, Oct. 5), Wisconsin (19-14, Oct. 19), Penn State (13-7, Oct. 26), Purdue (10-6, Nov. 9), Illinois (23-16, Nov. 16) and Michigan (14-9, Nov. 23).

Jan. 3, 2003, culminated the Buckeyes’ close calls with Ohio State’s 31-24 win over Miami in the national championship game — the point being, according to Herbstreit, that Georgia can get the job done despite the lack of the Bulldogs’ firepower.

“I remember when Ohio State — in 2002, they had a team that they would win every game by a touchdown or three points,” Herbstreit said. “It was close, wasn’t pretty and they ended up getting all the way to the national championship against Miami and they ended up playing well. You could argue at the end there whether that (was a) pass interference or not, but the point is they went toe to toe with the Miami Hurricanes in that national championship, ended up winning it. But if you looked at their regular season, there’s so many people that rolled their eyes and said, ‘Ah, they’re not that good. What are we doing here?’

“Georgia’s kind of that team. And if you look at the wins, they’ve got a couple wins to offset that embarrassing loss to South Carolina. And at the end of the day, for Georgia, it’s really not a subjective analysis to break them down. What they’ve done at this point — knocking off Notre Dame (23-17, Sept. 21), knocking off Florida — now they knock off Auburn on the road in a good game. They still have a chance to go to the SEC championship and play LSU. And if they beat LSU, there’s no arguing with Georgia, right?

“It might not be pretty, but it’s effective with the way they play defense, control the ball got a great back in (junior running back D’Andre) Swift, got a veteran quarterback in (junior Jake)Fromm and the receivers are making just enough plays. So … that to me is — they’re an interesting team, but I just love that they’re not going to get caught up in a ‘do they deserve it or not’ discussion because they’ve got, more than likely, LSU in that SEC Championship Game.”

Secondly, because I’m not sure that’s a particularly relevant comparison, given how much the world of college football offense has changed since 2002.  One quick example:  Boise State’s nationally leading 6.9 ypp that season would only rank eleventh currently, almost two yards per play behind Oklahoma.

Still, considering the source, it’s a nice thought.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

38 responses to “Here’s a comparison I didn’t see coming.

  1. 81Dog

    Heard someone make the same observation last week on ESPN radio on xm84. Basically “uga isn’t flashy on O, but their D is deep, fast, and smothering. LSU or OSU both pile uo points, but uga is elite just in a different style. We may be seriously underestimating them.”


    • Dawg1

      Yep, Real shame USC got us with just 13 offensive points in a 2 OT game. Dang.


      • Macallanlover

        All about turnovers, the offense (less the 4 TOs) dominated SC. Just a freak game, mostly self inflicted. That doesn’t excuse the offensive woes we have seen in many games, but this game wasn’t like the other one loss teams which were engaged in close games all 60 minutes in their losses and their opponents didn’t win a fluke game (OU, Baylor, etc.; even Clemson struggled against UNC in their close win where they looked more like equals than we did against SC in our loss. Check the boxscore stats for UGA, looked more like a 2-3 TD victory than a tie.)


  2. Russ

    I’ll take it, and he does have a point. Our defense is going to keep us in all the games, and we have the offensive talent to score when Kirby thinks we need to. Of course the worry is can we really turn it on when we need to.


  3. Billy Mumphrey

    LSU can be had. Better chance their D makes the Dawgs Offense look elite than their Offense making Dawgs D look pedestrian. Will still be a slug fest, as will aTm. If the Dawgs can be mistake free in both those games I like their chances.


    • Uglydawg

      “Better chance their D makes the Dawgs Offense look elite than their Offense making Dawgs D look pedestrian.”
      I think this is true. I hope this is true.
      Well put Billy M.


  4. Derek

    The issue is this and only this:

    Is there an offense out there that we just can’t keep under 25?

    If not, who gives a fuck about how prolific our offense is?

    Football hasn’t changed except for one thing. There are a few qbs that just can’t be stopped: Cam, Deshaun, Baker. If you face them, you’d better score a bunch of points. But those guys are few and fucking far between.

    I’m not sure there is a team out there this year that can’t be had by our defense.

    It’s not a guarantee, but we’re going to be a tough out if we can avoid turnovers no matter who is on the other side because we can play defense and special teams.

    Of course I’d rather be lighting up the scoreboard AND playing solid defense, but if I had to pick a side of the ball to be a liability, it would be offense.

    Bad defenses don’t win championships.

    As far as Herbie, wasn’t he paying attention when he was in school? The team you might want to compare this one to is 1992 Alabama whose offense consisted of a freshman qb handing off to Derrick Lassic behind a big, bruising OL.

    But they could play defense.


    • Is there an offense out there that we just can’t keep under 25?

      Georgia’s played four games in which it has scored less than 24 points.

      I’m not sure that’s such a great argument.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Derek

        The argument is that we have a chance to win if we hold any team to 25 or less, period. It isn’t an argument that we WILL win if we hold a team to 25. See the “it’s not a guarantee” part?

        After we could score 50 and lose. LSU has scored more than 50 4 times so saying 50 is enough isn’t such a great argument is it?


        • Perhaps you should read my response more carefully. I didn’t accuse you of making a guarantee about anything. I merely pointed out that UGA’s offense has sputtered several times, scoring below the threshold you cited.


          • Derek

            And the relevance of either:

            LSU has scored 50 4 times or
            UGA has scored less than 24 4 times

            is that we can’t win vs. LSU, OSU or Clemson even if they score 25 or less vs us?

            I think we’d have a shot under those circumstances, those 8 games notwithstanding.

            If you want to argue we lose unless the opponent scores under our lowest output of the season, make that argument.

            I personally don’t think we have to hold any of those teams to 16 to have a chance at winning.


    • I’m not confident in the least that we can hold LSU or Ohio State or Clemson under 25 points.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Derek

        Because auburn at LSU (allowed 23) is a better defensive team than UGA in the dome?

        I don’t see it.


        • The great thing about this is we’ll get to see who’s right. If LSU scores under 25 against UGA (in regulation) I’ll send you a $10 Chic-Fil-A gift card.



          • And, to be clear, I’m not predicting a Georgia loss. I’m just predicting they’ll have to score more than 24 points to win.

            And the fact that we haven’t scored over 24 points in any of our “best” wins (ND, UF, Auburn) should give you pause.


            • Will (the other one)

              That and comparing Ian Book / Kyle Trask stats with Burrow’s.
              (Though what also gives me pause is that Aranda was able to mostly shut down a far better UGA offense last year, without an all-world offense to back his defense up.)


              • Derek

                Part of that was how we quickly we abandoned the run game AND the stupid fake kick.

                If we had played the right way in that game, RTDB, play d, avoid turnovers, take the three, I think we win.

                I think they’re better on offense this year but a bit worse on defense. That’s a strength vs strength, weakness vs weakness match up that gives us a shot.


          • Cojones

            Could you make that Popeye’s along with a gun?


        • Will (the other one)

          If we’re going to play the comparative score game, I have some bad news for you about TAMU and South Carolina…


  5. Holiday Inn Bagman

    Nice to have the compliment but this is not the BCS era – what would have Ohio State’s odds been to beat both Miami and Georgia that season in a playoff?


  6. Bulldog Joe

    F Penn Wagers.


  7. Dave

    Agree the landscape of college football has changed, but winning despite ‘style points’ is winning despite ‘style points,’ and I think that’s the real point here.

    Blowing everybody out didn’t help Miami that year, and it didn’t help Alabama last year.

    Ultimately, it’s not to predict UGA will win the SEC or National Championship, but to stress to not count them out, either, based upon flashiness or lack thereof.


  8. Mdcgtp

    The better comparison is the 2006 UF team.


  9. Starbreaker

    Seems like a pretty apt comparison and I’ll take it…basically, our D will keep us in every game and actually give us a great chance to win any game. My concern about our offense is not style points, but rather hitting a streak of 3-and-outs that puts that defense on the field way too much and sets them up to finally break.


    • WF Dawg

      Keeping the defense on the field too long is a legitimate concern. Our depth on defense has helped to mitigate that problem (contrast that with the 2012 SECCG, where we didn’t rotate DL and paid for it), but it’s not fair to ask the defense to defend another 86 plays like they did against AU, esp as the season wears on and there’s cumulative fatigue.


  10. That Ohio State team had a bunch of calls go their way at just the right time. Here’s to hoping the same for UGA the rest of the way.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. BuffaloSpringfield

    My thoughts the Dawgs play in Athens against the Aggies of Texas A and M…. all the propaganda that the World Wide Leader spouts out its bung hole of network of channels will not mean a tinker’s damn Saturday.
    Exactly where else could Paul find a platform like Jerry Springer ? Truly can you listen to Jesse Palmer for more than 2 minutes without your eyes crossing ? Perhaps the fitted suit Herbstreit cause the best of platform but can you actually watch one game with out pick the announcer promoting the next match up and look on Saturday schedules the WWL will post game and times of all the games on THEIR WWL channel but not a hint about the CBS game of the week, like it doesn’t exist.
    Who watches Sports Center anymore ?


    • Man, I have posted so many comments about this but I’ll keep doing it because I feel so strongly.

      I think ESPN/ABC is total trash. And not just in their commentary, but how they visually present games. They’re only a HAIR better than FOX, whose games looks like the local access network broadcasts of the high school team.


      Give me CBS allllll day long.



  12. Whiskey Dawg

    Vince & Erk approve.


  13. Ginny

    This kinda makes it seem like the dawgs are squeaking by in games. I feel like we’ve been more dominant than that…even in the games where we’ve only won by maybe one score.


  14. Don’t be taken in by Agent Herbstreit’s dribble, of all the teams in the history of college football to compare against this years edition of UGA football…he rolls a big fat one and brings up… tosu….thanks, but no thanks there herbie


  15. 92 Grad

    Yeah, he didn’t have to say any of that, nice first take. Problem is, he needs to come up with at least 4 newer takes before we finally get to the championship game. He probably already knows what he will say and he is saving the “they dont really belong here” take for the climax. He’ll say “the SEC is really only LSU this year”.


  16. WHB209

    It might not be pretty…. Why do people keep saying this. SC was not pretty, the fourth quarter of the AU game was not pretty. What else was not pretty?
    Nobody cares for defense. I guess it is too complicated for the fans of today.
    It is easy to look at the score board, but really had to watch a great defensive team because it IS really complicated to understand defense and people just don’t want or care to take the time to really learn how this game is played..