Category Archives: Stats Geek!

How much of a poster boy is Keith Marshall?

Today, the AJ-C asks the musical question, “Will new OC Jim Chaney be more effective than previous UGA staff at utilizing talent?”.  If by “staff” they mean Brian Schottenheimer, well, okay, I suppose.  But if this is intended as a larger scale criticism of Richt’s offense, it’s only fair to point out Georgia’s national ranking in offensive yards per play over the previous seven seasons:

I looked but couldn’t find a year in there when Jim Chaney coached an offense with a better ypp ranking than Bobo.

By the way, last year Georgia was 40th.  Pittsburgh was 56th.  Now it’s fair to note that Georgia had more talent at its disposal, at least until Chubb’s injury, but looking back further, it’s hard to argue Georgia was doing that poor a job with utilization.

This isn’t to say I wish Keith Marshall’s touches hadn’t been significantly higher in 2015.  But it isn’t to say that Chaney’s a slam dunk, either, at least compared to Bobo’s history in Athens.  Particularly if we’re not being overly pessimistic about the talent holes on offense this season.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Bucking the trend

It’s not just that Georgia saw its point production fall so precipitously from 2014 (41.3 ppg, good for 8th nationally) to 2015 (26.3 ppg, 85th nationally).  It’s that it managed to do so during another season of record setting offensive production.

While you were watching (from the stands), sleeping (during another late-night Pac-12 game) or actually crunching the numbers, the most notable college football record of the modern era was set. Again.

The national scoring average increased to a record 29.65 points per team in 2015, according to official numbers compiled by the NCAA for CBS Sports. This is the fifth time since 2000 the scoring record has been set, and it shatters the previous record of 29.5 points set in 2012…

That previous scoring record in 2012 was not only broken but shattered. The three-tenths of a point increase per game is the biggest one-year increase in the record since 2001.

All-time highs were also set in yards per rush (4.51), total offense (411.56 yards), yards per pass (7.30) and yards per play (5.76). Average rushing yards (178.33) were the highest since 1980.

Interestingly, scoring production was down in the SEC, better than three points per game. Then again, Georgia had a lot to do with that, as it finished below the conference average.

There were plenty of reasons for that – Chubb’s injury, spotty quarterback play, poor production on third-down all played a part.  So did Richt’s decision after the Florida game to play extremely conservatively on offense after the Florida debacle, although scoring actually ticked upwards once the Dawgs got past the three toughest defenses they faced last season.

The point here isn’t to reopen old wounds.  It’s that Chaney’s job out of the gate may not be as daunting as it looks, especially if Chubb is able to return at some point this season. To get some idea of how much scoring production fell off last year, 2015 marked the first time since 2006 that Georgia didn’t manage to exceed the national scoring average. (Coincidentally, Mike Bobo wasn’t the offensive coordinator either of those seasons.)

It’s too much of a stretch to think everything that troubled Georgia’s offense last year can be fixed in one fell swoop by a new staff.  But if they can get a handle on just a few of the problems, it’s not unreasonable to expect an offense that once again is on the right side of the national scoring average.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Tuesday morning buffet

Once again, it’s time to rise and shine, campers.

  • This presser sounds like it’s gonna be a real blast.
  • Jordan Jenkins on 6-6, 346 OL Sam Madden“The kid’s a walking refrigerator.”
  • Parrish Walton on the Jim Chaney hire:  It’s the third-down conversions, stupid.
  • Here’s a pretty cool story on how the construction of Harvard Stadium changed the rules of football.
  • Jim Harbaugh really doesn’t give a shit about what people think.
  • Aaron Murray’s advice to Jacob Eason “My biggest thing is don’t read anything. Don’t pick up the paper. Don’t read the good stuff and don’t read the bad stuff. Just stay away from it all. Things are going to go bad at times, things are going be great at times. So you don’t want to be too full of yourself and you don’t want to get too down on yourself by reading this article or this post on this website from this fan..”  C’mon, man.  How’s he supposed to learn about G-Day QBR?
  • When it comes to indoor practice facilities, Mark Richt finds himself on familiar ground.
  • Speaking of Richt, Greg Poole has a piece on a way in which Kirby Smart’s recruiting approach differs from his predecessor’s.
  • Brian Cook has a nice catch about a fall break trip that Vanderbilt’s baseball team took that didn’t raise a single eyebrow about taking away from kids’ free time.  Funny how that works.

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Filed under ACC Football, Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, College Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!

Disrupt the damned ball, Smart.

Kirby Smart’s not buying any of that “turnovers are totally random” bullshit.

Kirby Smart, now Georgia’s head coach, puts a premium on creating turnovers more than he does getting a sack.

“Every pass rusher wants sacks,” Smart explained to a coaching clinic in Atlanta a few weeks ago. “All they want is sacks. ‘I want sacks. I want sacks. I want sacks.’ I don’t care about the sacks. I want the ball. OK, it’s about the ball, the ball, the ball…Sacks are great. It takes away a possession. Probably about 90 percent of the time, you take a sack, you’re going to have to punt.  But 100 percent of the time, you turn it over, your possession is over.”

Alabama’s defense flipped around its fortunes on creating turnovers going from 10th in the SEC and 65th nationally in 2014 to tops in the SEC and 13th nationally. Alabama gained 27 turnovers last season en route to winning the national title after coming up with 20 in 2014.

“Almost one more turnover a game,” Smart said. “Everywhere I’ve ever been, you get what you demand. Bobby Bowden taught me that (when Smart was a graduate assistant at Florida State in 2002 and 2003). …So if you demand it, you’ll get it, but if you let it go by the wayside and just say ‘Ok, guys, we’ve got to be No. 1 in turnovers. Next. OK, guys, we’ve got to be good in special teams. Next.’ No, you’ve got to emphasize it and you’ve got to demand it.”

Hey, if it’s that simple, I’m all for it.

As Weiszer points it, it’s not as if the previous defensive staff didn’t work at ball disruption.  It just get much in the way of results last season, as it forced seven less than it did in 2014. ( I have to admit that “…but if you let it go by the wayside and just say ‘Ok, guys, we’ve got to be No. 1 in turnovers. Next. OK, guys, we’ve got to be good in special teams. Next.” bit kind of sounds familiar, though.)

One thing about being really good at ball disruption on the defensive side is that it lets you be a little more aggressive on the offensive side.  If you look at Georgia’s splits from 2015, you’ll see a peak of 11 offensive turnovers in October followed by a rapid fall off:  four in November and none in the bowl game.  That’s good, but it was accomplished at the price of playcalling that was extremely conservative in order to minimize risk.

One positive Smart and Tucker have working in their favor this season is an experienced secondary.  We’ll see where things go from there.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

2015’s “most underrated offense in college football” may offer hope for Georgia’s 2016 offense.

Given that Arkansas’ offense last season finished first nationally in offensive S&P+ running a scheme largely hatched from the mind of Georgia’s new offensive coordinator, aided by line blocking coached by Georgia’s new offensive line coach, you might want to take a peek at this Ian Boyd piece about what the Hogs did.

This is how you rank first in success rate and third in IsoPPP+, by consistently manufacturing situations where the QB can quickly and easily get the ball to a skill player in space. These days the spread offense is how most teams prefer to accomplish that goal, but Arkansas proves it’s also possible within a pro-style system with bigger bodies on the field.

Yeah, I’d like that.

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Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Saturday morning buffet

Have a little something…

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Recruiting, SEC Football, See You In Court, Stats Geek!

“Preseason FPI is designed to take the guesswork out of preseason ratings.”

ESPN, any ratings system that has Tennessee coming out ahead of Alabama may be many things, but guesswork-free ain’t one of ’em.

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Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Stats Geek!