Tyler Dawgden makes good sense in comparing the freshman seasons of Matt Stafford and Jacob Eason, but there’s another data point that I think is worth considering in making that comparison: completion percentage.
In 2006, Stafford completed 52.7% of his pass attempts. That was 90th out of the 101 quarterbacks who averaged at least 14 attempts per game. Eason’s completion percentage last year was 55.1%. That ranked 94th out of 100. More relevantly, a 55.1% completion percentage in 2006 would have ranked 78th.
I think to some extent that tells us there’s been a change in emphasis on completion percentage at Georgia. For years, Richt’s focus for his quarterbacks was more on things like avoiding interceptions and having a credible mid-level to deep passing game. Look at the completion percentage of Richt’s first four starting quarterbacks: David Greene only had one season out of four when he completed at least 60% of his attempts; DJ Shockley’s percentage in 2005 was 55.8%; Stafford never cracked 60% until his third season; Joe Cox hit 55.9% as a starter in 2009.
It changed after that. Aaron Murray topped the 60% completion mark in three of his four years (and just missed going four-for-four). Hutson Mason set a record with his 67.9% completion ratio. Even the much-maligned Greyson Lambert managed to complete more than 63% of his throws.
The trend, then, has been towards a higher completion rate. That’s a trend that was interrupted last year and I don’t think it’s because Kirby Smart wanted to turn the clock back to 2004. Eason does deserve credit as a true freshman for not throwing a lot of picks, relatively speaking, but his 6.6 yards per attempt tells you that he had a hard time stretching the field to go along with that completion rate. Simply stated, that can’t be the story in 2017 if Georgia is going to take a step up in the conference.
- Kirby Smart is “hoping and praying” the two players from the 2017 signing class not yet on campus are able to enroll.
- There are how many new coordinators in the SEC this season?
- Penn State and its former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop (now at Tennessee) are suing each other. Play nice, fellas.
- Here’s a list of the ten teams that Phil Steele says will enjoy the biggest drop in schedule strength from 2016 to 2017. (I’m not sure I’d argue Ole Miss is getting that big a drop from last year’s Georgia team to this year’s Kentucky team, though.)
- There’s more than one way to skin a cat, offensively speaking.
- Jeez, I hate this question.
- Dawg fans, if you’re looking for some nice UGA-themed photo work, take a peek here.
Around two months out from the start of the 2017 season, Pro Football Focus has been tweeting up a storm with some interesting data points. Three have involved Georgia players.
The drop hardly comes as a surprise. As to the question, if anyone has the work ethic to make the answer “yes”, it’s Chubb. Let’s hope his body is up to his mindset.
What I’d really like to know about those three are how many of those throws came about due to duress, as opposed to design. Regardless, with an overall completion percentage under 60%, that’s reinforcement Eason needs to work on his long game.
This one qualifies as a pleasant surprise. I really am looking forward to what Georgia’s front seven on defense do this season.
Bill Connelly looks at three-and-outs.
As I put it in the Illini piece, creating and avoiding three-and-outs is merely step one toward having a good offense or defense. Purdue, for instance, was pretty good at moving the chains once and pretty iffy at everything else. Still, it’s something we draw reference to here and there, but it’s not a list I share frequently enough.
We’ll start with offense. Here’s a list of FBS teams and their three-and-out rates for 2016. I’m also including what I call three-and-out-plus, which features all possessions that ended in three or fewer plays and didn’t include points. That means a few end-of-half possessions for everybody, but more importantly, it includes quick turnovers, maybe the most deadly kind of possession in existence (and something Illinois was particularly bad at avoiding last year).
If you want the tl;dr version, skip straight to the end.
Best three-and-out margins in the country:
(As in, defensive percentage minus offensive percentage.)
- Clemson +19.7%
- Southern Miss +18.4%
- Alabama +15.9%
- Tulsa +14.9%
- Michigan +14.6%
- Temple +13.9%
- Appalachian State +13.8%
- Virginia Tech +12.4%
- Oklahoma +12.4%
- Toledo +12.3%
Worst three-and-out margins:
- North Texas -16.8%
- Rutgers -14.4%
- Illinois -13.1%
- Fresno State -11.9%
- UConn -11.6%
- Charlotte -10.3%
- Buffalo -10.1%
- UNLV -9.8%
- Arizona -9.6%
- Marshall -9.1%
Combined record of the top 10 teams: 111-31, with five conference titles and both spots in the CFP final.
Combined record of the bottom 10 teams: 30-89.
I believe there might be a correlation there.
Hmmm… he may be on to something there.
Georgia, in case you’re wondering, finished a tick under plus-two percent, mainly because of the offense.
There’s some fascinating stuff in this statistical analysis of recruiting tempo among SEC schools over the past ten classes. You can read it all, or, if you want the tl;dr version, it’s this:
Teams that get the majority of their final signing class committed before Sept. 1 have a better chance of pulling in a more impressive class in the SEC.
Don’t know when that means it’s panic time in Athens over the state of the 2018 class, but it’s at least food for thought.
Back to the chafing dishes, folks.
- The NCAA refused to let Ed Orgeron speak at a charity event because… education.
- Another day, another concussion lawsuit.
- Latest national title odds have Georgia at 25-1.
- Dan Wolken asks, “Why is Ole Miss going to these incredible lengths to protect Hugh Freeze?” It’s a fair question.
- Here’s al.com’s latest SEC hot seat ratings.
- Can you name the five college programs that have appeared in every AP preseason Top 25 poll since 2005? (I bet you can name the only one of those five that hasn’t played for a national title during that stretch.)
- The NBA commissioner is struggling with the one-and-done issue. Here’s an opinion piece that argues one-and-done hasn’t been that bad for colleges.
Bill Connelly, in looking at coaching underachievers and overachievers, notes this disquieting (if you’re a Georgia fan, anyway) information:
For preview purposes, I note when teams strayed pretty far from their win expectations, one way or the other, and in 2016 two teams strayed really far from expectations: Idaho overachieved by 2.3 wins, and Notre Dame underachieved by 3.2 wins, the fourth-highest (lowest?) in 12 years.
From year to year, this is a sign of randomness. The teams on the extreme ends are all but guaranteed to regress (or progress) toward the mean the next year. Notre Dame was the fourth team to underachieve its second-order win total by at least three games; the other Power 5 team on that list: 2013 TCU, which improved from 4-8 to 12-1 the next season.
12-1? Dayum, Bill, I really didn’t need to see that.