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October 7, 2013

Statistical Trends: 3rd down

I still haven't seen the second half of the Tennessee game, but looking over the box score, I see something that just scares the hell out of me, especially considering LSU's numbers in the same regard.

Georgia's 3rd down defense:
DateOpponentSurfaceResultAttemptsConversionsConversion %
08/31/13@ 3 ClemsonGrassL 35-3816743.75
09/07/1314 South CarolinaGrassW 41-3011545.45
09/21/13North TexasGrassW 45-2116425.00
09/28/1310 LSUGrassW 44-41151066.67
10/05/13TennesseeGrassW 34-3117741.18

There is only one game that we did anything close to competent. We are currently 99th in the nation in 3rd down defense. If that doesn't scare you enough, consider Tennessee's 3 for 3 on 4th down. If you are keeping score at home, that means 10 out of 17 drives that Georgia got to third down on were converted to first downs.  58+%.

Clemson, South Carolina and LSU are all in the top 30 in 3rd down conversions. We actually held Clemson and South Carolina below their season averages. However, no one is going to confuse Tennessee's offense with those three.

You could argue about the delay of game penalty that had no business being called, but that is still something we need to watch out for, especially considering Missouri is 9th in 3rd down conversion with a 54% conversion rate.

If I'm Gary Pinkel, going for it on 4th and anything shorter than 3, especially if I'm past my own 40. Having that mentality changes my 3rd down play calling, too.


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