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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let's Get Statistical

As you may have realized after reading this blog, I'm a fan of statistics. And since we haven't had any good numbers-related posts in the past couple of weeks, I figured I'd peruse the old stat sheets for the Dawgs and see what kind of interesting tidbits we could come up with. I can't promise any of this really amounts to much, but what else do you have to do on a Tuesday morning?

Here goes...

The Ground Game...

-- Georgia is averaging 4.23 yards per carry on the ground this season, but that has been dramatically improved during the past four weeks. In Georgia's first six games, the Dawgs averaged 3.39 yards per carry on the ground. In their last four, that number jumps to 5.22. Take away the yards from sacks, and the difference jumps to 2.1 yards per carry more in the last four games than the first six.

-- Georgia had six rushing touchdowns in its first eight games. It has six more in its last two.

-- Caleb King and Richard Samuel have both had some nice moments running the ball this season, but Washaun Ealey has been easily the most successful runner. He's averaging 5.19 yards per carry, nearly half-a-yard better than King and .8 yards per carry ahead of Samuel. Aren't you glad the redshirt didn't happen?

-- And how important is the running game to Georgia's success? Well, in it's six wins, Georgia is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. In its four losses, the Dawgs are averaging 3.2 yards per carry.

-- You might also wonder when Georgia is most successful on the ground. Good question. On first down, Georgia averages 4.8 ypc. On second, 4.2 ypc. But on third, that number drops all the way to 2.87.

-- Georgia averages 4.52 yards per carry every where else in the field, but 2.45 yards per carry in the red zone.

The Passing Game...

-- Georgia is averaging 7.6 yards per attempt passing this year. That's actually half-a-yard better than the Dawgs averaged in 2007 when they finished No. 2 in the nation.

-- Want another example of the "How Joe goes, so go the Dawgs" theory: In Georgia's six wins, Cox completes 62 percent of his passes, averages 9.4 yards per attempt and has thrown 13 touchdowns. In the four losses, 50 percent completions, 5.6 yards per attempt and just five TD passes.

-- Nine of Cox's 12 interceptions have come in the second half, and 11 of the 12 have come on Georgia's side of the opposition's 40.

-- Cox -- he who can't throw the deep ball -- is third in the SEC in passes of 15 or more yards and second in passes of 25 or more. (And he's 14th nationally in completions of 25 or more yards, too.)

-- But while the meme about Cox's problems with the deep ball are probably overrated, so too was all that talk about his accuracy. He ranks ninth in the SEC in completion percentage.

(Side note not related to Georgia: Would you believe me if I told you that the SEC's leader in passing touchdowns was Jonathan Crompton? It's true… although he's tied with Ryan Mallett. And, of course, the two combined to throw nine against Georgia.)

The Rushing Defense...

-- There's something to be said for Willie Martinez's obsession with stopping the run. In Georgia's six wins, the Dawgs are allowing 84 yards per game on the ground. In its four losses, they're allowing 175. In the six wins, Georgia has not allowed a rushing touchdown. In the four losses, they've allowed seven.

-- Georgia has allowed just one rushing touchdown in the first half of any game this season. That was Tim Tebow's 23-yard keeper at the end of the first half against Florida.

-- Georgia is allowing just 1.53 yards per carry on 49 rushing attempts inside the red zone.

-- Georgia has allowed the second-fewest runs of 10 yards or more in the SEC, tied with Florida. But opponents have run against Georgia 37 more times than the Gators and 57 more times than leader Alabama.

-- Georgia ranks third in the SEC in rush defense on first down, but seventh on second and third down.

(Another side note: Kentucky allows 4.61 yards per carry on the ground this year. Expect another nice game from Caleb King and Washaun Ealey this week.)

The Pass Defense…

-- In Georgia's five home games, they've allowed just five TDs through the air. In its five games away from Sanford Stadium, they've allowed 14 passing TDs.

-- Georgia's pass defense has been especially bad in the red zone. Opposing QBs have a 157.47 passer rating in the red zone and have thrown touchdown passes on 10 of 39 attempts.

-- Opponents complete 62 percent of their passes in the first three quarters, but just 46 percent in the fourth quarter.

-- Opponent passer ratings by year under Willie Martinez (who, you'll remember, is also the secondary coach): 106 in 2005, 101 in 2006, 116 in 2007, 120 in 2008, 135 in 2009.

-- The 19 passing touchdowns Georgia has allowed this season rank 95th nationally. (And as a fun side note, Georgia Tech ranks 99th.)

-- As bad as Georgia has been against the pass this season, the Dawgs rank 41st in passing attempts against. In other words, those numbers might be a lot worse if opponents threw more often. That seemed to be underscored by Auburn's awful game plan in the final three quarters.

-- Guess who leads Georgia in pass breakups this season? Would you be shocked to learn that it was Bacarri Rambo? I didn't think so. Rambo is actually tied with Brandon Boykin for the team lead with five. Prince Miller has two.

Special Teams…

-- Blair Walsh has 14 touchbacks on 55 kickoffs, or 25.45 percent. That's four more touchbacks than the next best team in the SEC. In fact, Walsh ranks 11th nationally in touchbacks.

-- And yet Georgia ranks dead last in the SEC (and 118th nationally) in average yards per kick return. How's that directional kicking going?

-- Walsh has the fourth-highest percentage of made field goals in the nation. Of the three players ahead of him, only one has attempted more than Walsh.

-- How good has Drew Butler been this year? The difference between his national-best 49.04 punting average and the player in second place (Baylor's Derek Epperson at 45.63) is less than the difference between the No. 2 player and the No. 38 player nationally.

-- You might think Butler's punting has been boosted by some necessary long boots in Georgia's bad games, but not so. In the six wins, Butler is averaging six yards per punt more than in the four losses -- and he's averaging the same number of punts per game in both.

-- Looking for a small chink in Butler's armor? Forty-two percent of his punts get returned. That's the third highest tally in the SEC.

-- By contrast, Georgia has returned 20 of 55 punts this season.

-- Brandon Boykin has certainly had some highlights in the kick return game this season, and he set a school record for kick return yards. But Georgia still ranks 10th in the SEC in kick return average. The biggest boost to Boykin's numbers comes from the fact that Georgia is tied for the conference lead in total kick returns, which speaks to the defensive problems.


Greg said...


Butler has had more than a few kicks that were allowed to bounce and he seems to have been getting some great bounces most of the year.

Don't get me wrong, I think he is one of the best punters in the SEC, but I can't help but think that he doesn't get a whole lot of hangtime on his punts and that he punts these low booming kicks that, while they are inclined to bounce our way, they are also putting our coverage team in a position where they are still 10-15 yards away if/when the ball is caught by the returner.

Do you see this or is this once again a coverage issue (that would be a shocker). I know Butler has a great avg and is/was leading the nation, but punts like the 75 yarder (Arkansas, i believe it was) that bounce 20 yards after they land seem as though they would skew that average.

Riley said...

Greg, I believe Butler leads in both gross and net punt average, so he's getting better distance and hangtime than anyone else in the country. He's also had 45 punts, so it's not like the 75 yarder skewed his average that drastically.

Anonymous said...

What do the stats look like when Tennessee Tech is NOT considered!!

Stats, should be considered for quality opponents only.

Very misleading

Everyone gets fat against weaker schools

David Hale said...

Well, that's sort of the point, isn't it Anon? If EVERYONE is getting fat off lesser opponents, then the game vs. TT shouldn't affect UGA much. And moreover, UGA has had fewer of those opponents than anyone else in the SEC this season, so they're less affected by such games than a team like Florida would be.

John P said...

I agree with the anonymous poster.

Too much work for you, David, I'm sure...but just wondering how team/individual stats would look against quality programs for ALL teams in the SEC. Of course it would be hard to say who is and isn't a "quality" opponent. Also the fact that UGA has played what I would consider one team that isn't quality compared to 3 or 4 by Florida would skew the results as well.

No way to truly know the results. Looking at other teams' schedules, it seems most have played 2/3/4 FCS or non-BsCS schools. I imagine the Dawgs would be near the top in WAY more categories had they been able to pad some stats as the other teams have.

Oh well...I like the tough schedule anyway. I don't want to see UGA playing Lithonia Southwestern Tech every other week.

John P said...

or maybe you just posted above me before i could get my comment out. :-(

still can't believe you've seen Enuff Zenuff.
How about Stryper?

Anonymous said...

you may have posted before ,but how much better could we have been if we had a longer time of possession comparing to the opponents top ) in all the games played ? I remember at one point in the game Auburn had the ball twice as long as us. Not sure how it ended up.

Ant123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ant123 said...

David, Great work though I still agree with anon a little. My concern is how do those same stats compare against FL, TN, LSU, AL, and AU, only, in the WM era vs the Van Gorder era. Same stats against just these 5 teams. I think those would tell a different story. Any way to find out?

Greg said...

hmmm i guess i should look at stats before opening my mouth, especially in response to the "let's get statistical column"

minus one point to my credibility.

Anonymous said...

David, as always great work! Need some education here. I have been reading and looking at this "directional kicking" thing for a while. I have made it a point to watch other games and even a few pro games to compare. I do not see anything different. The Sunday night Colts - Pats game, same thing. Ball lands inside the 5 near the sideline. This seems to be the norm with other major programs also. I just think we are not covering well and it is not (outside the out of bounds kicks) an issue with Blair. Hell Auburn just squibbed it most of the time.

Anonymous said...

You can read and interpret stats any way you want. The bottom line is that UGA was manhandled by UT and UF; and it's the second year in a row where we've been manhandled by a couple of rivals. Changes need to be made for this program to get back to the level we enjoyed a few years ago. I really like the young talent; they just need to be coached up.

Win out and get ready for next year with some new coaches....I hope!!

Texas_Dawg said...

Butler's 2009 average looks likely to be the highest of any punter's average for a season this decade.

Check out this plot (from of all the punting seasons this decade. (This was from a few weeks ago when Butler was at 49.4. At 49.0 he is still lapping the field though.)

Texas_Dawg said...


Check the net punt averages. UGA is far and away #1 there as well.

So your theory is wrong. Butler has been phenomenal and will rightfully win the Ray Guy Award this year. He's had one of the best punting seasons, by any measure, in CFB history.

Texas_Dawg said...

You can read and interpret stats any way you want.

In other words, math confuses you, and you don't know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:24 I don't know why you would ever read stats anyway, your mind is set to negative and nothing will change that. If UGA pitched a shutout, you would still be critical of a game last year, or the year before.

Some fans are just miserable with their teams, and I imagine have miserable little lives. UGA is penalized in the stat department due to the soft schedules being played by others this year (and us next year). Those teams padded their stats on cupcakes and we have played only one.