Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bulldogs dominating, yet, not...

Most coaches, players, and fans alike will tell you that statistics can be a good indicator of trends, but are by no means gospel.

This proved to be no truer than after looking at the box score of Georgia's 14-point win over Ole Miss. With a few missed field goals (and having to settle for field goals in general), what looked like a would-be blowout was really just a TD (and 2-pt conversion) and field goal lead until the final few minutes.

The Dawgs outgained Ole Miss by nearly 300 yards, and held the ball for nearly twice as long. Yet, for one reason or another, Georgia was unable to truly put Ole Miss away.

That's not to say the game was really ever in doubt, but again, with those kinds of numbers, you would have expected the game to be over, for all intents and purposes, by the time the 4th quarter rolled around.

What's interesting is that, if you look at Georgia's other "real" games, the trends don't necessarily equate. Georgia outgained South Carolina by 40 yards in a loss (that one is kinda hit or miss, granted). And, the Dawgs were outgained by a mere 17 yards in what was essentially a blowout 21 point loss to Boise St.

Somewhere along the line, the Dawgs are having trouble turning solid statistical play into real-life victories/easy victories.

Without getting too in-depth, the Bulldogs aren't having trouble scoring TDs in the Red Zone. In fact, their 67% TD rate in the Red Zone is better than Florida and Alabama, for example, who are converting at around the 50-55% range. And, while Georgia's 15 trips inside the Red Zone is certainly not among the best in the nation, it's certainly not at the bottom.

Missed field goals and other poor special teams play has accounted for some issues, to be sure. However, you'll find about as many undefeated teams in the bottom half of the rankings of those categories as you will the top.

In fact, when looking at statistics and box scores, it's hard to grasp just where Georgia is coming up short right now.

All that is a convoluted way of saying that, to me, it still is coming down to Georgia being unfamiliar with how to win the close ones, and how to put away the ones that shouldn't be close.

If Saturday's game against Mississippi State is anything like last year's, the Dawgs will have yet another chance to learn.

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