Apr 6, 2010

Ghosts of G-Days Past: An Eerie Trend that may Predict 2010

I return to this ghost town of a blog to bring you this breaking news update: G-Day may give us extraordinary insight into the 2010 Georgia football season. That's right, this Saturday's spring scrimmage could hold all of the answers to how many games Georgia will win, how many they'll lose and how much turf Ben Jones will victoriously eat throughout the season.

Everyone knows that you can't take much away from scrimmages, where your team plays... your team. But what if you could? What if there is some... disturbing trend?

Let's take a quick look back at the last five G-Day games and see what they may teach us.

2005: D.J. Shockley proved himself as Georgia's starting QB by throwing three touchdown passes, and the Dawgs' offense actually ran the wishbone formation four times. The Red Team (first team offense) went on to beat the White Team by a score of 21-12.

2006: Georgia's defense shined (and/or the offense struggled) leading to a mostly yawn-inducing 14-10 Red win over the Black team (yes, the name changed from White to Black). The quarterbacks did not impress. Other than a 64-yard bomb on play-action from Matthew Stafford, the numbers were very, very bad. Stafford went 5 of 12 for 102 yards, the more-experienced Joe Tereshinski III went 2 of 7 for 45 yards and 2 interceptions, and Joe Cox threw 12 of 21 for 162.... but with 4 interceptions. What a way to go into summer.... (during which Tereshinski was nervously proclaimed starter).

2007: Then fireworks happened at the 2007 G-Day where the Red won over the Black 34-21. This time the offense did the impressing as Stafford went 6 of 12 for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns (zero interceptions), the receivers had almost 400 yards combined, and a young Knowshon Moreno ran for 68 yards on 11 carries. This game, while fun, caused some worry about the Georgia first-team defense which gave up 20 points in the first half.

2008: The offense was a little less exciting, but still did well, leading the Red to a 17-3 victory over the Black team. Stafford was 6 of 10 for 78 yards and 1 TD, and Michael Moore caught two touchdown passes. The rushing numbers were light, but Caleb King led with 6 carries for 31 yards.

2009: Perhaps the most boring G-Day in recent history (are we now cursed every time ESPN comes into town?). Neither team scored a touchdown until the final seconds when Carlton Thomas dashed into the end zone to help the Red win 13-3. Cox was 9 of 16 for 105 yards but no touchdowns. It was a calm and quiet day in Sanford Stadium. But at least the weather was nice.

So what exactly can we take from these five G-Day experiences? Let's put them all together.

2005: Red wins 21-12 and the offense does great. Georgia goes on to a 10-3 season, winning the SEC Championship.
2006: Red wins 14-10 in an offensive struggle. Georgia goes 9-4.
2007: Red wins 34-21 as the offense ignites. Georgia goes 11-2, wins Sugar Bowl.
2008: Red wins 17-3 and the offense does well, but not great. Georgia goes 10-3, but still disappointing.
2009: Red wins 13-3 and the offense does very little. Georgia goes 8-5.

Notice a trend here?

It appears that in the past five years, the better Georgia's offense does, the better the team does in the fall. In fact, it's startlingly accurate. Looking at the total points the Red team scores, you'll see the season records perfectly correlate with the Red's offensive scoring.

2009: 13 points (16 total), 8-5 record
2006: 14 points (24 total), 9-4 record
2008: 17 points (20 total), 10-3 record
2005: 21 points (33 total), 10-3 record (winning SEC)
2007: 34 points (55 total), 11-2 record.

It doesn't quite work out with the total points by both teams, but almost. The Red points definitely match up.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that stats like these may mean absolutely nothing. Usually, I feel like you can throw the history stats out the window, as each year is completely different. But I looked back at the past few G-Days hoping I could find some correlation, but not really expecting it, and here's what I found. Everyone knows you can't take much from scrimmages, but... maybe you can take something.

Most are probably hoping to see some great displays of the 3-4 defense on Saturday, while also hoping to see a quarterback separate himself from the pack. Judging by this strange trend, however, you might just hope to see an offensively exciting game with a lot of touchdowns and points scored. The 2007 defense which looked shaky in the G-Day game went on to be a great strength later in the season (remember what they did to Hawaii?).

Finally, it should be noted that things may be different with the offenses this year. The three QBs are all in the middle of the competition and may play on the Red and Black teams during the game. But the total points also correlated pretty well with the season records, so it wouldn't be bad to root for both teams to score a lot.

So I wouldn't be too worried if the offense tears it up through the air... in fact, I'll probably be pretty happy, not only because it would be a more exciting game for the fans, but because it could mean good things for the Dawgs in 2010.

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