Feel free to also add me to the list of people on notice this week for being behind on posts. I promise I will make up for my lateness with some new extra in-depth analysis. First things first though, here are how the numbers ended up in the LSU game.
- Kicks Attempted: 1- Lose by 7
- Kickoffs: 2- Lose by 25
- Kickoff yards: 140- Lose by 24
- UGA's 3rd Down Conversions: 7- Win by 18
- Rushing TD's: 0- Win by 1
- Length of game: 3:56- Lose by 19
- UGA's Total Offense: 296- Lose by 3
- Yards off Interceptions: 0- Win by 2
- UGA's 1st Downs: 19- Win by 8
- Rushing Yards: 78- Lose by 8
For those of you keeping count at home, that is an average loss by 6 points. Remembering that we had two dropped touchdowns, a missed field goal, and a few missed block in the back penalties on a LSU return TD that didn't actually cross the goal line; that number is pretty close(accounting for all of that puts us losing by only 8). We did have more first downs, total yards, and 3rd down conversions than LSU usually allows, so there is your moral victory. Oh yeah, and we held them without a first down in the entire first half. I know it went downhill quick after that, but it is worth mentioning again just for the dominance it reflects. The statistician in me was doing cartwheels around the living room with numbers like that(note: actual cartwheels may have also happened if i didn't live in a small apartment)
As promised, with the extra time in-between the end of the season and bowl games, I took a more in depth at the reported statistics. I converted lots of stats to percentages of total( ex. % of passes that ended as an INT, % of downs that were 1st downs), looked at averages(yards per rushing attempt), and found differences between our performance and our opponents(turnover margin, difference in rushing yards). These numbers are a much better reflection of our team's performance because it eliminates some of the obvious correlations like kicking being important, when it is really that kicking follows scoring of some type.
More than you ever wanted/needed to know about football stats after the break :After the usual analysis, here are the top 10 most important stats in relation to the scoring differential.
10. % of Opponent's Plays That Result in a Turnover- For the season, 3.7% of our opponents plays have resulted in a turnover. To win a game we need to get a turnover every 55 plays by our opponent. Since our opponents are averaging 60 plays per game, we essentially need 1 turnover per game. Sounds about right.
9. Yards per Kick Return- Here is the proof that field position matters. The more yards we can gain on the kickoff return, the better chance we have of scoring more than our opponent. The magic number here is 16.5 yards per kick return. Can we officially petition for Boykin to get a 5th year of eligibility. My cousin was given 6 years, Brandon can have one more.
8. % of Rushing Attempts resulting in a TD- On average, every 36th rushing attempt this year resulted in a TD. To win, we only need to score a rushing TD every 225 attempts. That's almost 5 and a half game's worth of attempts! We've got this one in the bag. If you cant score a rushing TD in that many attempts under the green notebook then you should probably just go home.
7. Turnover Differential- As a self proclaimed stat-head, Grantham said this: “I just knew that it was critical that we got turnovers and we were in the plus-margin.” Well maybe not critical, but its definitely up there in importance. We finished the regular season as +7 in the turnover margin. We need .5 more turnovers than our opponent per game. Sure I know you cant have half a turnover, but then again the government thinks that 2.5 kids is normal.
6. % of 3rd Down Attempts that were Converted- Its not the 3rd downs you have, but what you do with them that counts. We only need to convert 32% of the 3rd downs we have to win the game. This year, we have converted a little over 43% of our 3rd down attempts. For perspective, only 5 NFL teams have a higher conversion rate.
5. Yards per Point- This is one of those things that the football stats people like to talk about. And with its appearance in our top 5, I can see why. It is a measure of how well the yards on the field translate to points. The lower number the better. Our season average is 15 yards per point, so to get a TD it takes 105 Yards. Don't get alarmed that this number is greater than the length of the field. No team scores on every drive. We need two consecutive 52.5 yard drives to score...there, that sounds much better. If that still makes you nervous, then imagine that we need 3 consecutive 35 yard drives to score a TD. If you can't manage that you can go hangout with the people that cant score a rush TD in 225 attempts...at home.
4. Passing Completion Percentage- See, I knew Aaron Murray was more relevant than the other analyses were showing. Our young QB has a completion percentage of 60.5% on 402 attempts...and we only need him to complete 52.8% to win. Murray only fell below that cut-off in 3 games this year: Mississippi St at 52%, Florida at 44%, and LSU at 39%.
3. Total Yards Differential- I like the simplicity of this stat. We get more yards than they do, we win. But exactly how many more yards do we need? 67. This encompasses both offense and defense in one stat. If we split the responsibility between the two, the defense has to keep our opponent 33 yards below the game average and the offense has to gain as many yards above the same average. We are averaging 145 more yards than our opponent, and Boise State is the only team that accumulated more yards than UGA.
2. Return yards per INT- As we saw for most of the season, yards after an interception are very important. Since the sample size is very small here (only 13 INTs) the average loses some significance. This does not mean that statistic loses its importance though. Instead of reading this as yards after interception, just make note that interceptions in general are important. The season average is 18 yards per return, and we only need 2.5 return yards. So we need less than one INT a game. I'm going to vote that we round up in this case.
1. Yards per Minute of real time (not 60 minute game clock)- Seeing this stat at the top of the list makes me happy. This stat is everything that defines UGA football (at least to me). It measures how efficient your team is with the ball. You have to know how to get down the field, but also manage the clock while doing it. And the better your defense is the easier this stat is to manage. We are averaging right at 2 yards per minute which is well over our 1.7 yards needed.
Some Extra tidbits that jumped out at me
- Including cupcake games, Auburn was still our most impressive game offensively.
- In the Auburn game, 76% of our plays were rushing. The LSU game, 40%. looks like we need to rely on our rushing game as much as possible.
- As you may have guessed, LSU was the least impressive offensive game..and its not even close.
- Between the New Mexico State and Auburn games Murray completed 78% of his passes, 20% of the time he attempted a pass it was a TD, and he threw 0 INTs. Those are video game numbers.
- The chart on my spreadsheet for special teams is so all-over the place its almost unreadable. Lets get some consistency here next year. The most I can get is that we cannot blame the LSU loss on our kickers. Butler averaged 51.6 yards per punt and Walsh averaged 70 yards per kickoff.
- Our defense clearly won the Florida game for us. 25% of the tackles were for loss, 15% of all tackles were sacks, Florida's average yards per rush attempt is -.86, their QBs only completed 35% of their passes, and they had a 15% 3rd down conversion rate. Those are better than video game numbers.
- LSU only converted 11% of their 3rd downs against us. Talk about some Junkyard Dawgs
As always, GO DAWGS!