Pruitt vs. Grantham: Statistically Georgia’s New Guy Has the Edge over Louisville’s New Guy
A lot has been made about Todd Grantham’s performance at Louisville. To the former Georgia D.C.’s credit, Louisville has performed well from a points allowed perspective. To be sure, it remains to be seen if Grantham can develop talent and teach his scheme, but in a veteran-laden defense he’s looked good and in a secondary that will be bolstered by two familiar faces, Shaq Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons, I’m sure he’ll look fine next season as well.
But as good as he has been in his first year at Louisville, he hasn’t been better than Jeremy Pruitt.
If you look at the raw numbers, Louisville ranks 18th in the nation in points allowed per game—the most important defensive statistic in my opinion as it reflects…ya know…points scored. Georgia ranks 25th.
But those figures don’t take into account the quality of opposition.
To get a better look, I removed FCS competition. The direct impact of this was the removal of defensive performance against Murray State for L’ville and Charleston Southern for Georgia. Then, I analyzed each team’s remaining 11 opponents in games that were not against the team in question or FCS competition. For example, I examined Miami’s performance against everyone except Louisville (the team in question) and Florida A&M (FCS).
These figures provide a a better look at the quality of offenses played.
Louisville’s opponents combined to average 25.7 points per game under these conditions. Georgia’s combined to average 28.3.
This may seem like a negligible difference of less than a field goal per contest, but in a sample size this large (221 total games played by Georgia and Louisville’s opponents) it matters. For comparison’s sake, a team averaging just north of 28.3 points per contest (Georgia’s opponents’ average) would rank 70th in the nation in raw scoring offense (including FCS foes). A team scoring 25.7 would rank 88th.
Put in more tangible terms, Georgia’s opposition is less than one point shy of the national raw scoring average (which includes large point totals vs. FCS foes). Louisville’s opponents would trail this average by 3.5 points.
But I didn’t do this digging just to see how good the offensive opponents of Georgia and Louisville were. After all, the intention was to analyze the performance of both first-year defensive coordinators. So then I compared points allowed by each team relative to their opponents’ scoring average.
Under practically every measurement, Pruitt came out ahead.
Average Percentage of Opponents’ Scoring Average Allowed:
- Pruitt: 78.98%
- Grantham: 79.46%
Best Game Performance Relative to Opponent’s Scoring Average:
- Pruitt Allowed 0.0% of Scoring Average Against Troy and Missouri
- Grantham Allowed 12.5% of Scoring Average Against Florida International
Worst Game Performance Relative to Opponent’s Scoring Average:
- Pruitt Allowed 139.6% of Florida’s Scoring Average
- Grantham Allowed 159.4% of Kentucky’s Scoring Average
Head to Head Opponents:
- Pruitt Allowed 31 Points vs. Kentucky.
- Grantham Allowed 40 Points vs. Kentucky.
- Pruitt Allowed 21 Points vs. Clemson.
- Grantham Allowed 23 Points vs. Clemson.
This may not be a surprise to Georgia fans. But as the media hypes up Grantham’s Top 20 defense, understand that his success has come against inferior offenses. On an opponent-adjusted basis Pruitt has had the better year.
That’s all I got/