Nov 11, 2009

Comparing Georgia and Auburn in the only way possible...

It's probably the least useful information we have to compare the performances of two football teams late in the season, but it also happens to be some of the only information we have. That is, comparing teams based on how they performed against the same opponents. Auburn and Georgia have played both played 3 specific teams: Arkansas, Tennessee, and LSU. So let's take a look at how each performed against these similar opponents, just for fun. It's certainly no true indication of which team is better this year, or who will win between the Tigers and the Bulldogs this Saturday, but hey, it's fun to look at.

Let's start with Arkansas.


Georgia at Arkansas (W 52-41)
Total Yards: 530
Passing yards: 375
Rushing yards: 155 (ypc. 4.3)

Total Yards against: 485
Passing: 408
Rushing: 77 (ypc. 3.2)

Auburn at Arkansas (L 23-44)
Total Yards: 375
Passing: 133
Rushing: 242 (ypc. 6.9)

Total yards against: 495
Passing: 274
Rushing: 221 (ypc. 4.9)

Georgia clearly had a much better performance against Arkansas, especially on offense. On defense, the numbers for each team were similar, except Georgia was ripped up mainly by Arkansas' passing attack, while the Razorbacks gashed Auburn in the air and on the ground evenly. This could be a sign that Georgia's run defense was actually more effective against the Hogs than Auburn's, forcing them to pass more and rely on Mallet's arm.


Georgia at Tennessee (L 19-45)
Total Yards: 241
Passing: 152
Rushing: 89 (ypc. 4.0)

Total yards against: 472
Passing: 310
Rushing: 162 (ypc. 4.4)

Auburn at Tennessee (W 26-22)
Total Yards: 459
Passing: 235
Rushing: 224 (ypc. 4.7)

Total Yards against: 410
Passing: 259
Rushing: 151 (ypc. 5.2)

This time, the story is slightly different. Auburn performed much better at Tennessee on offense than Georgia. But despite a large difference in the number of points the Volunteers scored, both Auburn and Georgia gave up similar yardage in Knoxville. So now through two games we've observed, both Auburn and Georgia have had bad defenses, but up-and-down offenses.


Georgia vs. LSU (L 13-20)
Total Yards: 274
Passing: 229
Rushing: 45 (ypc. 1.9)

Total yards against: 368
Passing: 212
Rushing: 156 (ypc. 3.5)

Auburn at LSU (L 10-31)
Total Yards: 193
Passing: 81
Rushing: 112 (ypc. 2.7)

Total yards against: 376
Passing: 254
Rushing: 122 (ypc. 3.8)

So here's the tiebreaker. Georgia only scored 3 more points than Auburn, but did have nearly 80 more total yards against LSU. Auburn's defense also gave up slightly more yardage, and a lot more points. But let's face it: both games were ugly performances by Georgia and Auburn. If it's any consolation, Georgia had a good chance to win the game with a minute left (and we all know about the bad call on AJ Green), while Auburn was down 24-0 in the third quarter. So I'd say Georgia's defense, despite the yards they gave up, played a much better game against LSU than the Auburn defense.


Just for fun, I combined the states from all 3 of these games to see how each team has fared against the similar opponents.

Total Yards: 1045
Passing: 756
Rushing: 289

Total Yards against: 1325
Passing: 930
Rushing: 395


Total Yards: 1027
Passing: 449
Rushing: 578

Total yards against: 1281
Passing: 787
Rushing: 494


In conclusion, both offenses have looked pretty even overall, with Georgia having the better passing game while Auburn is better at running the ball. Defensively, Georgia has actually fared a little better than Auburn, but both defenses are weak against the pass and stronger against rushing attacks. Since Auburn's offense focuses more on running than passing, this is good for Georgia's pass-vulnerable D. Plus, Auburn, like Georgia, is weak against the pass, which has been Georgia's strength on offense.

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