Georgia and LSU played three common opponents down the stretch — Florida, Auburn and Texas A&M. Secstatcat breaks down the stats from those three games. It’s not as pretty as we’d like, to put it mildly.
Looking at the defenses first, LSU’s mostly outperformed Georgia’s in these three games. But the Dawgs have the edge in perhaps the two most important stats – albeit barely. UGA allowed a lower TD Rate and surrendered less explosive plays. Again, explosive plays consist of runs of 10+ yards and passes of 20+. Scoring and preventing points, winning the turnover battle, and outperforming your opponent in explosive plays are the big three areas that often determine the outcome of ballgames. Despite the fact LSU was better down-to-down, generating Havoc plays, and forcing three-and-outs, Georgia had the preferable numbers against those three opponents. Still when everything is taken into account, it’s hard not to give LSU the hat tip. Though UGA was better at curbing scoring and big plays than the Tigers, their edges are slim.
Offensively, it’s no contest. LSU was far an away the better offensive team against Florida, Auburn, and TAMU. Both Throwing and Rushing, the Bayou Bengals outdid the Bulldogs down-to-down, were more potent scoring, had less negative plays, a drastically smaller Three-and-Out Rate, and were considerably more explosive. Even though the Havoc Rates were similar, LSU still had a better clip than UGA’s. Remember, all three of these defenses finished within the conference’s top 6 units against SEC offenses. Georgia was clearly affectedly negatively and LSU appeared to not bat an eye.
Will this play out based on conventional wisdom presented or will the old adage come to fruition? Offenses win games, but defenses win championships.
He makes a good point in his conclusion about turnovers — the way this game turns into a rout is if the Dawgs go minus-2 in turnover margin. Jake needs to keep that interception streak intact, big time.