Daily Archives: October 11, 2022

Control the damn ball, Dawgs.

One thing Kirby Smart said at yesterday’s presser that I appreciated was calling time of possession a misleading stat.  By and large, I think that’s correct, although there are exceptions to prove that particular rule.  (If you’re running the triple option and aren’t dominating TOP, buddy, you got some problems.)  Smart went on to say he prefers to see a big margin in the number of plays Georgia runs versus their opponents.  All well and good.

The thing is, they’re doing both!

No. 1 Georgia is keeping the ball for 34:57 per game, way ahead of last season’s 30:33, more than a minute longer than any of Kirby Smart’s other six Georgia teams. Smart isn’t impressed, calling it a “very misleading stat.” He said he would much rather have disparity in the number of plays the Dawgs run as opposed to their opponents, which may be a different way of saying the same thing. Georgia has that disparity (71.5 snaps vs. 57.1 by the opponents), too. None of Smart’s other Georgia defenses has allowed fewer than 61.4 plays per game. Is that Stetson Bennett moving the chains? Georgia’s defense getting off the field? Doesn’t matter to Smart. He’s just happy to see it.

I would argue an efficiency gap like this is a key to that:

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

The data points, they burn.

Well, what do you know… a lack of an explosive passing game doesn’t mean Georgia’s in dire straits when it comes to net explosiveness.

Of course, if Jermaine Burton were still a Dawg, Alabama and Georgia would swap places on that list.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in hot takes

Tell me you’re a Roll Bama Roll writer who didn’t watch the Georgia-Auburn game without saying you’re a Roll Bama Roll writer who didn’t watch the Georgia-Auburn game.

Georgia 42 Auburn 10 – Ignore the final score, it was another struggle for UGA. But SHHHHH! Don’t tell the AP voters. They don’t want to be bothered to watch the games.

Auburn is currently a program in turmoil. But give them credit for showing some fight against a bitter rival with a third string quarterback at the helm. The Tigers held the Dawgs out of the end zone in the first quarter and UGA benefited from short fields (36 yards and 31 yards) in the second to build a 14-0 lead.

Could the culprit of Georgia’s struggles be… Alabama? Last season, the Bulldogs passing game was popping, mostly due to tight end Brock Bowers who had 13 receiving touchdowns. Thus far, he has only two such scores and both came against South Carolina. Ladd McConkey has one TD that came against Oregon. After that, Stetson Bennett seems to have issues finding open receivers. Thus, defenses can focus on those two. Could it be that losing Jermaine Burton to Alabama was a bigger blow than they would like to admit?

All I can say is that if Georgia struggled Saturday, I hope they struggle like that the rest of the season.  And say hi to Jermaine for us!

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

“… turning a 14-3 slog into a 35-3 romp in about 11 minutes.”

Bill Connelly still has Georgia at number three among the unbeatens ($$).  Here’s why:

Why they aren’t ranked higher: You can’t really go wrong ranking these top three teams in any order, but Georgia’s slow starts and a total lack of big-play passing — Stetson Bennett over the past three games: 10.8 yards per completion — do concern me a bit. The Dawgs sure did turn it on against Auburn in the second half, though.

Why they aren’t ranked lower: Even without passing explosiveness, Georgia still has so many ways to beat you. The Dawgs came back against Missouri with tight ends and nearly perfect third-down defense. They distanced themselves from Auburn with a nasty run game (301 non-sack yards and six touchdowns) and an increasingly overwhelming secondary. They have had vulnerable moments of late, but they’ve got even Michigan topped from a well-roundedness standpoint: They’re third in defensive SP+, fifth on offense and fifth in special teams.

To that I would add they’re also +2 in turnover margin, which is better than either Ohio State (+1) or Alabama (-6).  Not bad at all.

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UPDATE:  Bill’s advanced box score for Georgia-Auburn is also illuminating.

  • Defense dominated.  Auburn ran a stunning 84.1% of its plays inside its own 40-yard line.  (Kudos also to Thorson for pinning them inside their 20 on all five of his punts.)
  • The rushing game crushed it, with half of Georgia runs being 5+ yards.
  • Some of the credit for that goes to the o-line, as Georgia averaged 4.8 yards before contact on rushes.
  • Passing game was good on efficiency, not so much on explosiveness.  That’s been a trend over the past three games, as he’s noted.
  • Auburn’s been terrible in what’s called the “middle 8”, the last four minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second.  That wasn’t really the case Saturday, as Georgia was only modestly more successful.
  • Georgia’s success rate on third-and-long (7+) was meh, as they only averaged 4.5 yards per play in that situation.  Fortunately, they only found themselves there for eight of their 71 plays.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Taking stock, mid-season edition

If your wondering how the ’22 version of Georgia stacks up so far with last season’s national champs, Josh has some useful charts you can check out.

First, net ypp and success rate:

Net ypp is down a tad.  Defensive success rate is a little higher.  But look at that offensive success rate!  We all thought the offense would have to carry the defense some early in the season and that’s been accomplished by means of a high rate of efficiency.

What about explosiveness?  After all, that’s a big key for Smart.

Offensive explosiveness is down noticeably, but not at the expense of scoring or offensive yards per play.  That, again, is a reflection of the improved efficiency.

Defensive explosiveness is also down, which is an indication that they’re doing a good job for the most part avoiding getting burned by big plays.  (They’re ninth nationally in defensive plays of 20+ yards even as they’re fifteenth in defensive yards per play.) Defensive scoring is also up slightly, although it’s doubled compared to the first half of the 2021 season.  They’re doing more bending without too much more breaking, in other words.

Basically to date, this team has pretty much been what we think it’s been.  What’s to come?  I think Josh hits the key going forward in the second half for this team with this:

Defensively, the unit needs to improve, not regress. 4.6 YPP is not going to win a championship, but this is the unit which has a lot of upside with young players getting experience with every snap. Holding the line at 10-15 PPG and 4.2’ish YPP could be the difference between a Sugar Bowl and the playoff.

How tall an order that is remains to be seen.  With the exception of Florida and Kentucky, the Dawgs have already faced the most anemic scoring offenses they’ll see in the regular season.  Three teams remain to play that are in the upper half of the conference, scoring-wise: Tennessee (1st in the SEC in scoring), Mississippi State (5th) and Vanderbilt (7th).  And then, presumably there’s that team to the west (2nd in conference scoring) they’ll face in the SECCG.  The defense has some work to do.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

My Week 6 Mumme Poll ballot

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

Honestly, there’s no reason to overthink this.  There are three teams that are head and shoulders over the rest of FBS and those are the teams that made my initial ballot of 2022:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Ohio State

Needless to say, that took way less than five minutes to cast.

And you?

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Filed under GTP Stuff

Georgia? Who dat?

Matt Hinton’s Monday Down South piece manages to summarize the conference action from last weekend without a significant mention of Georgia or any of its players (except for Aaron Murray, who’s mentioned in passing while discussing Will Rogers).  Hell, Matt even manages a shout out to Auburn’s Colby Wooden for his strip sack of Bennett.

I don’t say that to complain.  Quite the opposite.  The Dawgs put a thirty-two point hurting on their oldest rival and it’s not worth a mention.  That’s about as low key as it gets.

I’m beginning to wonder if the greatest trick Kirby Smart ever played was getting one of the top three teams in the country perceived as flying under the radar.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Tennessee is truly back, baby.

WARNING:  You will not be able to unsee this once you watch it.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange