Those of you who don’t want to hear about stats — hayull, man, college football is all about which team wants it more, amirite? — can skip this post. The rest of you ought to take a look at Max Olson’s latest on stop rate ($$).
Particularly as it relates to a couple of teams you care about this week:
One point we’ve mentioned in this space before that feels worth reiterating: LSU is definitely not playing bad defense. Do not be fooled by the yards it allows (35th in FBS in total defense), and don’t even fret too much about the number of explosive plays it’s given up (57th in 20-plus yard plays allowed). Because the truth is, Dave Aranda has this talented group playing efficiently. The Tigers rank 17th in stop rate at 74.8 percent, and they’re getting off the field in three plays or less on more than 40 percent of drives.
The more fascinating matchup to watch in Atlanta, though, will be Georgia’s defense trying to stop the unstoppable LSU offense. The Bulldogs haven’t given up more than 20 points in a game this season. They haven’t allowed 300 passing yards or three passing TDs in any game, either. They’ve forced the fourth-most punts in the FBS. Kirby Smart is going to have answers for LSU, and it’s going to make for one heck of a chess match.
For comparison’s sake, at 85.6%, Georgia is second in stop rate and, at around the same percentage as LSU, 14th in three-and-out rate. It is going to make for one helluva chess match Saturday.