Too Much Information: The Feel Good Stat of the Week

The Sugar Bowl is almost upon us, so my pregame breakdown of Georgia's upcoming meeting with Hawaii is drawing inexorably to its conclusion. We have looked at the passing game, the running game, and various other odds and ends, which brings us to my favorite element of Too Much Information, namely . . .

The Feel Good Stat of the Week

Shortly after the Bulldogs' postseason pairing was announced, an early Warrior commenter warned me that Hawaii's defense could adjust. That certainly is true to some extent (as evidenced by the islanders' recovery from an early three-touchdown deficit at home against a four-win Washington team ranked 94th in the country in scoring defense), yet these facts remain facts:

  • In the first twelve games of the 2007 season, the Aloha State Adventurers allowed a combined total of 142 points in the first half.
  • In the first twelve games of the 2007 season, the Aloha State Adventurers allowed a combined total of 142 points in the second half.
That's right. The islanders have surrendered exactly as many points after halftime as they have given up before intermission. The 'Dawgs, in the meantime, have developed under Willie Martinez the propensity they showed under Brian VanGorder for keeping the opposition off of the scoreboard after the break. In the final 30 minutes in their last eight games, the Red and Black permitted 7, 7, 0, 13, 24, 10, 3, and 3 points, respectively . . . and, in the worst of those outings (against Troy), the Bulldogs' scrubs gave up a trash touchdown with five seconds showing on the clock in a game in which the Classic City Canines held a 17-point lead with six and a half minutes remaining in the game.

Consider this: Georgia has allowed more than twice as many points in the second quarter (88) as in the fourth quarter (43). The final stanza, incidentally, is when the Warriors' offense is least prolific, as the 102 points rung up by U.H. in the concluding period of regulation this autumn are the fewest tallied by the W.A.C. champions in any quarter.

To some extent, this is because Hawaii has been ahead, but the islanders have not had a comfortable lead as often as you might think. The Warriors have won five of their games by a touchdown or less and Colt Brennan has thrown every U.H. pass in nearly half of the Aloha State Adventurers' twelve contests.

The Red and Black, by contrast, get better as the game goes along, scoring more points in the second quarter (102) than in the first (65), more in the third (104) than in the second, and more in the fourth (106) than in the third.

Hawaii scores 25.0 points per game in the first half and 20.0 points per game in the second half. Georgia allows 12.7 points per game in the first half and 8.1 points per game in the second half.

Georgia scores 13.9 points per game in the first half and 17.5 points per game in the second half. Hawaii allows 11.8 points per game in the first half and 11.8 points per game in the second half.

What, then, are we to make of the numbers before us? To learn the answer to that question, you will need to stick around for the bottom line in the next installment of Too Much Information.

Go 'Dawgs!

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