Georgia Football: Dawgs By Statistical Deep Dive Through Three Games
‘Hidden stats’ in football are among the most fascinating things in sports. Things like scoring opportunities (first downs inside the opponents’ 40), yards per passing attempt, and turnovers are horrifyingly predictive in the outcome of football games at any level.
Given Georgia’s 3-0 start, there are plenty of things to like on a dive into the deep end of statistical analysis:
0: Georgia’s amount of 4th down attempts thus far on offense. Playing ahead generally means playing smart.
3.12: Georgia’s rushing yards per attempt allowed. Only good for 25th in the country versus small sample sizes (e.g. #2 Syracuse with wins over Rhode Island, Wake Forest, and Central Michigan), but that’s pretty damn good.
7.92: I have voiced numerous concerns about the offense getting a little too conservative and NFL-y, but through three games the O has racked up almost 8 yards per play, good for 5th in the nation (and easily tops among pro-style teams). The four teams ahead? Baylor, Ole Miss, USC, and Texas Tech.
8.36: Nick Chubb’s yards per rushing attempt, tops among guys with a reasonable ‘featured back’ amount of carries. Yeah, that guy from LSU is nipping at his heels at 8.23.
10: Number of guys with over 10 tackles on the year, a great number through three games. You never like to see two things in the tackle stats: one guy making an inordinate amount of plays (because the offense is targeting him) or a DB leading the team. Well?? 1-2 are, shockingly, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd– both of whom are in double digits in the ‘solo tackles’ category, as well.
10.1: Greyson Lambert’s YPA, or what a difference a week makes! He’s up from 7.8 in this category just a week ago, and is now hovering (temporarily) in a stratosphere above even Stafford and Murray’s best efforts.
20.1: Sony Michel’s yards per reception. That damn endzone has been the only thing that could stop him on half of his catches. What a freaking beast.
25: This is just an odd statistical quirk, but Georgia’s D is 25th in the country in yards allowed per third down (1.3) and per first down (3.16). Given I already mentioned their ranking in YPA on the ground, its only fitting that this statistical analysis is taking place 25% of the way through the season.
43.5%: Touchbacks from Marshall Morgan and Collin Barber (who have more or less split kickoff duties). Given our historic special teams woes and ridiculous defense, allowing the defense to start with 75 yards of field behind them almost half the time is a GREAT thing.
The Bad, where there’s really not much to complain about just yet:
1: The number of punts for…BRICE RAMSEY? He got the assignment late in the 4th quarter last week, for those who didn’t notice. He’s currently running as the leading net punter on the team, as it went for 42 yards.
12: The number of receptions from guys not named Malcolm Mitchell listed as “WR”. Sony Michel split out wide (see numbers above) has been a factor, but it’d be nice to get some consistent input from a Reggie Davis, Terry Godwin (who has half of these 12), Isaiah McKenzie type.
13: Georgia’s average yards per kickoff return. That’s what happens when you can’t field kicks, and teams kick away from Isaiah McKenzie.
38.5%: The offense on third down. Good offenses generally hover in the 42-44% range, so an uptick here could be in order (especially given all of the good peripherals above). 38.5% ranks Georgia in the low 70’s nationally thus far.