This Dawg Post piece compares the Alabama and Georgia offenses in garbage time (defined as when a team is leading by more than 38 points in the 2nd quarter, 28 points in the 3rd quarter or 22 points in the 4th quarter) last season. I don’t think it’s any real surprise that ‘Bama kept its foot on the gas longer than did Georgia.
In 2021, in the 12 games that Stetson Bennett started, approximately 33% of the game time was played in garbage time. Not surprisingly, during this “throttle down” time, Bennett threw only 2 of his 29 touchdowns, while throwing another 2 touchdowns late in games when Georgia was leading by more than two scores, but not yet in garbage time.
In contrast, Young’s Alabama team played in garbage time for less than 20% of its season. Those forgetting (conveniently or otherwise) are reminded that Alabama struggled in wins over Florida, LSU, Arkansas and Auburn and lost to Texas A&M. Moreover, in 2021 Alabama was much slower to throttle down its offense when a game was in garbage time or approaching garbage time. This is not an opinion.
Alabama and Young often continued firing the ball down field in garbage time. In fact, Young threw nearly a quarter of his touchdown passes (11 of 47) when his team was either in garbage time (6 TDs) or nearly in garbage time, where he threw 5 touchdowns while Alabama was up by three or more scores. Simply put, Georgia played significantly more of its 2021 Season in garbage time than Alabama. And when Georgia went into garbage time, it was less likely than Alabama to have its starters in the game and to continue passing the ball.
This is proposed as an argument that the gap between Bennett and Young isn’t as large as many people argue, something I don’t care much about. What I do think it’s an argument of interest for, though, is it being a good reason why Jermaine Burton left Athens for Tuscaloosa. Pad those stats, young man!