Can I first say how wonderful it feels to be reporting on the numbers behind UGA's win over Florida.
So, here's how the stats from last week played out in the big game:
- Florida's Yards on Offense: 226- Win by 20
- Florida's Plays on Offense: 56- Win by 34
- UGA's Yards off Interceptions: 0- Lose by 8
- Fumbles recovered by UGA: 2- Win by 46
- Kickoff's by UGA: 3- Win by 5
- UGA Rushing TD's: 1- Win by 5
- Florida's 3rd Down Attempts: 13- Win by 3
- Florida's 1st Downs: 11- Win by 23
- UGA's Plays on Offense: 83- Win by 35
- UGA's 3rd Down Conversions: 7- Win by 18
Notice a trend? Winning! We should have won by 18 according to the 10 most important stats, and we acutally won by 4. But with the Florida game its not the amount you win by, its the win that counts. I was there and I can promise you it felt amazing!
Now on to next week...
Obviously the secret to beating New Mexico State is showing up. It should be an easy game where we get some experience for our backups. Still, I don't want to break tradition so i will give you the top 10 most important stats to UGA winning:
10. UGA Kickoff yards- A new stat this week. After another horrible performance by our special-ed team, kickoff yards is now relevant. Our boys need all the yards they can get to have a chance of helping the team win. Walsh must total at least 318 yards on kickoffs to have UGA win. Part of this is influenced by the relationship between scoring and kicking, but the distance counts too.
9. Opponents Passing Yards- After playing a team who abandoned the run, limiting our opponent's passing attack is now in the top 10 of importance.Without a single yard we would win by 57. After we allow 329 yards we start losing. Isn't it fun having a good defense again?
8. Opponents Plays on Offense- After Florida dipped well below our average plays allowed the importance dropped with it. Still, limiting our opponent is important. since allowing 0 plays is impossible, we will skip that part. I don't want to put silly useless numbers in your head. The important part is holding our opponent below 67 plays, assuming winning is also important
7. Opponent's 1st Downs- Yet again, fewer 1st downs means shorter drives, less time with the ball in our opponents hands, and less chance they are scoring. holding our opponent without a 1st down would result in UGA winning by 50. its not until the 18th 1st down by our opponent that UGA is in trouble.
6. UGA's 3rd Down Conversions- Converting 3rd downs means we are driving the ball and running the clock. Everything the sportscasters obsess about. I hate to admit they are correct. If we were to go 3 and out the entire game we would lose by 25. By our 5th conversion we are back in the win column
5. Opponent's 3rd Down Attempts- Be careful here, this is a reverse relationship. The more our opponent is attempting 3rd downs, the less success they are having on 1st and 2nd down. If our defense unable to hold the opponent to a single 3rd down attempt we would lose by 156. After forcing the 13th 3rd down attempt we are back in the green (not to be confused with the green notebook).
4. UGA's yards off Interceptions- Even though we managed 0 interceptions this week, the yards after catch are still important. Without a single return yard we lose by 5. After just 5 return yards post interception we are winning again. Note: this is the only stat we failed in last week, boys. Lets step it up.
3. UGA Rushing TD's- Our ability to run over the goal line is becoming more and more important. Although those two passing TD's were beautiful, it was the bulldozer run by Samuel that counts the most. Without a rush TD we lose by 10, but that first one puts us right back where we want to be.
2. Kickoffs- The more we score, the more we kickoff. Simple as that. As the season wears on kickoffs are becoming more and more relevant. With just one kickoff(to start the half) we lose by 15. Just two kicks later we are winning.
1. Opponent's Yards on Offense- Just like the BCS standings, whats on top is staying put. Fewer yards on offense , less chance the ball gets in the endzone, or even close enough for 3. If we completely shut down an entire offense we would win by 57. Grantham needs to start throwing fits after we allow 329 yards(although for the record, I'm ok if he gets angry if we are even heading in that direction)
The trend here: our defense is important...really important. Since all of this is based on the scoring differential, it shows that our defense is winning games for UGA. We are back to what I always imagined UGA football as; strong running, huge defense, and key special team performers. Another week or two of this and I may be ready to throw out the title of junkyard dawgs officially. As of now, I am officially declaring my love of all things Grantham. GO DAWGS!