Dec 22, 2009


The game is only 6 days away, so I guess it would be a good time to actually take a look at our matchup versus the Aggies. For our earlier game against Auburn, I decided to compare our two teams in one of the only ways possible: our stats versus common opponents. I admitted that this type of analysis was far from foolproof, and the overall results gave the edge to Georgia. Well, we won that game (even though it didn't look like we would in the first quarter), so I'll call that a success.

So let's do the same with the Aggies. A&M only played 2 common opponents with Georgia this season, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State. Let's start with OSU.

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State (L 31-36)
Total Yards: 382
Passing: 273
Rushing: 109

Total Yards allowed: 448
Passing: 279
Rushing: 169

Georgia at Oklahoma State (L 10-24)
Total Yards: 257
Passing: 162
Rushing: 95

Total Yards Allowed: 307
Passing: 135
Rushing: 172

At first glance, you see that Georgia lost by 14, while A&M lost by 5. I'd say first glances are deceiving. First, Georgia played AT Oklahoma State, while Texas A&M caught the Cowboys at home. That makes a difference, especially when the UGA-OSU game was the season opener. Second, you may remember that Oklahoma State's star receiver (and likely best player on their team), Dez Bryant, was the primary scorer in their defeat of Georgia. Guess who was ineligible and not playing vs. Texas A&M? Dez Bryant. Even without Bryant, A&M's defense gave up 279 passing yards to the Cowboys, while Georgia only game up 135 through the air. A&M also gave up almost an equal amount of rushing yards as Georgia did. Overall, Georgia's defense held up considerably better against the OSU offense WITH Dez Bryant, compared to A&M's defense vs. a Bryant-less Cowboys squad.

But on the offensive side, A&M had a much better game than the Bulldogs. But you may recall a sick Joe Cox at QB, and an injured and depleted RB group (with Richard Samuel and Carlton Thomas at the lead, amazingly). Even with Samuel and Thomas (instead of our now bread and butter King/Ealey combo) we still put up almost as many rushing yards on the Cowboys as A&M did. I'm also pretty sure the OSU game was perhaps our worst offense performance of the season.

I'd like to give the edge to Georgia here, but for the stats sake, we'll say even.

So let's look at Arkansas.

Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (L 19-47)
Total Yards: 458
Passing: 345
Rushing: 113

Total yards allowed: 434
Passing: 271
Rushing: 163

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

Total yards allowed: 485
Passing: 408
Rushing: 77

Now this one is interesting. First of all, remember, Georgia played this game AT Arkansas while A&M once again had them at home. Georgia also was still with Samuel as our leading RB. This time Georgia's offense was on fire, while A&M's was good too (yardage wise). Georgia's defense gave up more total yards, but that was almost entirely due to our incredibly weak coverage in the secondary. We only gave up 77 yards on the ground, while A&M gave up 163 to the Hawgs. But to be fair, the Razorbacks didn't really need to pass as much on A&M, because they had a huge lead (30-10) at the end of the first half, and I'm guessing the Hawgs could have run up the score (and yards) even more if they wanted to.

So why did A&M have so many yards on offense in this game with so few points to show for it? At first, you might think it was turnovers. But actually, the Aggies had 2 fumbles in the game (and Arkansas gave them three turnovers). You may remember that Georgia had 3 turnovers at Arkansas (while they had 1), and it's likely that we could have won by more if it weren't for those mistakes. So was it penalties? Nope. A&M did have 8 penalties for 87 yards against Arkansas, and that is bad, but Georgia had 14 for 93 yards and still came out on top (and with a lot more points.

Overall, Georgia's performance against the Hawgs was much more impressive than the Aggies', especially considering the development UGA's offense has gone through, with the emergence of Washaun Ealey and new reliable receivers. According to the stats, in the first game, the Aggie D was not as good as UGA's, but their offense was better. In the second game, technically Georgia's offense put up more yards, but defense gave up more. But stats can be misleading. Almost seems like the two teams could be pretty even. But I think the final scores, where the games were played, and what players were playing paints a better picture of which team performed better against common opponents.

Dec 15, 2009

Ealey and Charles on ESPN's 10 best freshmen in SEC

ESPN's Chris Low posted a story today listing "the 10 best true freshmen in the SEC," and guess who makes his list? Washaun Ealey and Orson Charles, that's who.

Dec 7, 2009

Bad bowl projections or crazy season?

I'm back, thanks to an idea for a quick post. Look back at the preseason bowl predictions from ESPN's experts for 2009. Man, these guys were off (and I'm guessing most everyone was as well).

Only 4 teams that either guy predicted to be in a BCS bowl actually ended up there. Florida, Texas, Boise State, and Ohio State. That's 50%, so... not too bad? But look at who else was projected to be in BCS bowls. Oklahoma, Ole Miss, BYU, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, South Florida, Penn State, and USC. A couple of those picks weren't too bad (Penn State, Pitt), but others were wayyy off. Of course we can give people a break for predicting great things from Oklahoma. No one knew Bradford would get hurt so quickly, but still. Ole Miss and USC were particularly bad picks, and vastly overrated preseason, while everyone overlooked Oregon and Cincinnati.

They both had Oklahoma State in the Cotton, but vs. Alabama? Wow. Alabama actually overachieved this year. And probably the worst projection: Neither guy had a 2nd SEC team in the BCS bowls. Whaaa?

And a sad note: They both had Georgia in the Capital One. Could have happened without a crazy ending to the LSU game and a complete implosion at the end of the Kentucky game, so maybe not too bad of a prediction.