No, it’s not getting any better.
Category Archives: Stats Geek!
Check out this rather startling stat comparison of Jacob Eason’s passing game:
Jacob Eason – Stat Comparison
When leading Tied or Trailing Attempts 22 65 Completions 10 38 Comp Pct 45.5% 58.5% Yards Passing 109 534 TD Passes 0 5 Interceptions 2 0
That translates into a passer rating of 68.89 when Georgia is leading and a passer rating of 152.86 when tied or behind. Talk about your glass half full/half empty situation — it’s great that Eason shows out when his team needs him, but maybe that’s also a sign of him coasting a little when the game seems comfortable.
In the end, I’d chalk the disparity up to immaturity more than anything. He’s a true freshman; he’ll grow. But, man, that upside! When he gets it all together, it’s really gonna be something.
One of the smaller interesting developments of this young season is that Georgia stands third in the conference in time of possession. The offense is controlling the clock at more than five minutes per game more than was the case in 2015. Some of that may be due to the number of plays Georgia is running. This season, the team is averaging almost 76 plays per game, about 14 plays more per game than last year.
There, in turn, may be more than one reason for that. As someone mentioned in the comments yesterday, it’s reasonable to expect a team forcing more turnovers to run more plays.
But I think there’s another area that deserves some attention, and it’s a happy development.
As we all remember, last year’s third-down conversion percentage was a real sore spot for Georgia’s offense, which finished next to last in the SEC, converting only about 31% of its opportunities. The 2016 numbers are considerably improved: 43.75%, good for fifth-best. The improvement isn’t coming due to the running game. Last year on third down, Georgia rushing converted 21 of 63 tries; this year’s rate (5 of 16) is actually slightly worse.
But look at what’s happened on the passing side.
Before you ask, based on the 2016 numbers, it’s not an Eason vs. Lambert issue. (Greyson, although he’s had fewer opportunities, has a slightly higher conversion rate than does the freshman, although not by much.) Rather, this appears to be an area where Jim Chaney is getting more production than did Schottenheimer.
Now that being said, Chaney’s offense is about to run into several salty defenses, so we’ll see if the trend continues. In the meantime, though, maybe the man deserves a little credit.
UPDATE: Ole Miss’ defense may be salty, but it’s also 11th in the SEC in opponents’ third-down conversion percentage.
Not sure I would have expected this.
For two reasons: one, I would have expected a higher correlation, and, two, that’s a decent sized decline.
Of course, small sample size warning applies here. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out over the course of the season.
Bill Connelly’s advanced box score summary of the game has a few interesting statistical tidbits.
Georgia ran 96 plays on offense. If you think that’s a lot, you’re right. A quick scan of cfbstats.com reveals that’s the most plays Georgia’s run in a game at least since 2008. The question from here on is whether that’s an outlier, or if the Dawgs really are morphing from a pound and ground approach. It’s worth noting that Georgia still racked up an impressive 37:18/22:42 advantage in time of possession, despite throwing the ball so much, even as Missouri tried to let the air out of the ball in the second half with its lead.
Georgia was great on third downs early on. Especially Eason: “It allowed Jacob Eason to begin the game 6-for-6 on third downs for 72 yards. Only one of the completions stretched more than four yards beyond the first down marker — 10 yards on third-and-10, 11 on third-and-7, five on third-and-4, eight on third-and-6 — but it kept the chains moving, and it allowed UGA to build an early 14-10 lead.”
But not so great as the game progressed. “After starting 6-for-6, on his last 13 third-down attempts, Eason was just 3-for-12 for 28 yards and a sack.” You can probably attribute much of that to a breakdown in pass protection. As Bill notes, in the middle part of the game, Mizzou’s d-line really came to life and pressured the hell out of Eason. I don’t know how much of that was due to adjustments by the Tigers’ defense and how much was due to Georgia’s o-line wearing down. It’s not like Georgia’s offense sprung to life after mid-game, either — the Dawgs went more than two full quarters between McKenzie’s two touchdown receptions, although to its credit, the line did a good job on that last scoring drive. Perhaps it’s fair to say that asking six guys to handle 96 plays might be a bit much.
- “The top ten most talented teams in the country last year were Alabama, Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame, Florida State, LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Texas, and Michigan.”
- You know the old joke about someone being so incompetent he could screw up a one-car funeral? That would be Rutgers’ AD.
- According to his dad, Pennsylvania’s D’Andre Swift was really impressed by the G-Day crowd: “To be able to walk into the stadium and be a part of it and walk down and watch the guys coming through the ‘DawgWalk’ and see all the tradition that Georgia has was just remarkable. I’ve never seen how a town shuts down for a game. That city is a college football town, and everybody embraces that tradition and the football program fully. That, to me, was just remarkable about Georgia in every way.” If you were there, take a bow.
- The ACC is already trying to figure out what to do if Clemson, FSU and Louisville all wind up 11-1.
- Good point in this post — if Missouri is an improved team in the SEC East, don’t forget that Florida and Tennessee both have yet to play the Tigers.
- Hugh Freeze notes one difference between Kirby Smart’s defenses at Alabama and Georgia: “He’s playing a lot more odd front. I’m sure he’s adjusting to what he thinks is best for his team. It’s been different from what we expect from them, but the results are well for him.”
- Cool game management, Clay Helton. You’re lucky Stanford didn’t have a two-point trick play up its sleeve.
As someone pointed out yesterday, Georgia’s in a bit of a free fall when it comes to advanced stats, having fallen, for example, from 12th in Bill Connelly’s preseason S&P+ projections to 27th in those through Week 3.
Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll see why. The percentile performances in Georgia’s first three games are as follows:
- North Carolina: 88%
- Nicholls: 1%
- Missouri: 57%
No, 1% isn’t good there. It’s also almost impossible to find any other teams posting that kind of result. A look at the bottom ten teams here found a 0% in Buffalo’s loss to Albany, but otherwise, nothing even close. Looking at some other embarrassing results, Mississippi State’s loss to South Alabama rated at 13% and Washington State’s loss to Eastern Washington still managed to garner a 7%.
So, me calling Georgia’s effort against Nicholls a D-minus was generous. 1% is amazingly bad. But Georgia still managed to win, which may be even more amazing.
But that’s not really the point here. Play that poorly in one-third of your schedule and that’s bound to bring your numbers down big time. Play respectably going forward and you’ll see a recovery in the advanced stats numbers.
Along those lines, note that Bill still projects the Dawgs to have a 30% chance of winning nine games and a 24% chance of winning ten. In other words, things haven’t really changed that much.