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November 3, 2014

Field position in the Florida game

One thing that stood out in the second and third quarter of the game upon the re-watch was how much we were in a hole every time we got the ball. For the season, we'd been holding our own in field position battles:

vs. Clemson                  +24
vs. South Carolina        +22
vs. Troy                        +8
vs. Tenn                       Even
vs. Vandy                     -4
vs. Missouri                  +21
vs. Arkansas                +15
vs. Florida                    -5

But looking at field position (and time of possession, honestly) in the 2nd and 3rd quarters is stark:
UF                        1st   2nd   3rd   4th     1st   2nd       
                          Qtr   Qtr   Qtr   Qtr    Half  Half  Total
Time of possession       04:01 10:22 12:01 06:17   14:23 18:18 32:41
3rd Down Conversions      1/3   3/5   1/3   2/3     4/8   3/6   7/14
Avg Field Position        F20   F31   F43   F17     F26   F32   F29
4th Down Conversions      0/0   1/1   0/0   0/0     1/1   0/0   1/1

UGA                       1st   2nd   3rd   4th     1st   2nd       
                          Qtr   Qtr   Qtr   Qtr    Half  Half  Total
Time of possession       10:59 04:38 02:59 08:43   15:37 11:42 27:19
3rd Down Conversions      4/7   0/2   0/2   4/5     4/9   4/7   8/16
Avg Field Position        G27   G19   G22   G29     G23   G25   G24
4th Down Conversions      0/0   0/0   0/0   0/1     0/0   0/1   0/1

Using Bill Connelly's five factors measure, it isn't hard to see where it all went wrong in the middle half of the game:

FP Margin Range% of 2013 gamesWin%Avg. scoring margin
20+ yards4.0%96.9%+32.4
15-20 yards8.6%92.8%+28.6
10-15 yards17.8%86.7%+19.9
6-10 yards23.5%78.3%+15.7
3-6 yards23.5%59.8%+6.3
0-3 yards22.7%54.1%+2.6

While simply dividing that game scoring margin by four is slightly flawed logic, it isn't hard to see why UGA got out scored by 24 points in the second and third quarters. With a run first team, especially with the starting center out, thus limiting what you can do passing, it is very easy to see why our offense didn't do more than they did. Of course, that still doesn't explain why a defense that hadn't allowed a single 40 yard plus play this season give up five, all on rushing plays, against a team that hadn't had but five total plays of more than 40 yards this season.


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