There is a cliché in football that says “Good coaches make halftime adjustments; Good Coaches excel at 'in game' adjustments.” The theory is that coaches are doing what they are suppose to be doing – scheming, whether on the fly with clock running or at the break, once the game starts to unfold.
Note, I know that QB rating is one of the most overused, misunderstood and misleading (at times) stat, but it is quick to find. With that limitation stated look at the table below for the UGA Defense:
| 1st Half||554||136.57||23||15||6|
| 2nd Half||418||115.29||18||8||3|
| 1st Quarter||305||165.19||13||9||4|
| 2nd Quarter||249||106.33||10||6||2|
| 3rd Quarter||302||147.00||13||6||3|
| 4th Quarter||116||75.8||5||2||0|
* stats courtesy of CBS Sports.
Compare QB rating 1st half to 2nd half, 136 to 115. But other indicators drop dramatically as well -- first downs, the “Big Plays" which UGA has been most susceptible too, and most importantly TDs are cut by one-third. Ditto for opponent passing yards allowed.
And once the game gets rolling, look at the second & fourth quarter stats compared to first and third. The fourth quarter defense has been outstanding all year long. IMHO, after all the Xs & Os coaches can think to do, on both sides, talent takes over and UGA players are coming through. No Big Plays over 25 yards allowed, just one TD and 36 percent pass completions. That’s doing SOMETHING right on D.
With the cliché as the criteria, the data says that Willie Martinez is coaching his silver britches off and his scheming has paid dividends.
Back to Dave's comments...
First off, I wish I had enough extra salary to hire Jim on full time. Seriously, great work, Jim.
Secondly, this so clearly underscores what is wrong with knee-jerk reactions by fans that it's almost a shame to have to post it. I'm not saying Willie Martinez is the second coming of Erk Russell. Clearly he has his faults, and at the end of the day, he has to take as much responsibility for what has happened in the first and third quarters as he takes credit for the success in the second and fourth quarters.
But one of the biggest knocks I hear about Willie is that he's incapable of making adjustments, and the truth is, the stats simply don't bear this out.
Now, to use my second "Simpsons" quote of the day, you can find stats to prove anything. Fourteen percent of all people know that.
But these numbers seem pretty convincing, and they aren't inflated by just one or two screwy games. Georgia's defense has been amazingly successful late, and when you consider how much they've been on the field -- Georgia has won the time of possession battle just once this year -- it's hard to argue that the best explanation for that is anything other than some good coaching adjustments by Willie and Co.
Oh, and these stats weren't the only intriguing find by Jim this week. He also noticed an odd similarity, courtesy of Sports Illustrated...