SF-7x

November 23, 2010

X-Tra Time Significant in Stopping Tech?

Not too long after Paul Johnson arrived at Georgia Tech and installed his unique triple-option offense, rumor had it that if an opposing team had more than a week to prepare, the Jackets' offensive system could be figured somewhat and slowed. 

Then, Tech played at Georgia - who was coming off an open week - and rolled up 400+ rushing yards and 45 points in a victory over the Bulldogs in the final regular-season game of 2008.

So much for having extra time to prepare for Coach Paul's potent offensive attack...

Nevertheless, there are exceptions to most every rule, especially when it involves Willie Martinez and his dismal Dawg defense of two seasons ago.

Normally, prior to posting most of my blog entries, I check around the Bulldog blogs/sites, making sure my piece doesn't communicate the same message as others.  I only post a couple times a week as is; the last thing I want is to echo someone else's work.

After crunching some numbers, I did the same for this entry and found a post from AJC Tech blogger Doug Roberson, indicating "the extra time or preparation [for Tech's offense] doesn’t seem to matter."

On the contrary, my research seems to have a slightly different view than Doug's, so I thought I'd post my opposing findings.  I might be hating a little on Doug's post (albeit clean and old-fashioned) but the numbers don't lie...

I calculated Tech's offensive figures since the start of the 2008 season through the present, comparing teams that had a week or less to prepare for the Jackets to those that had more than a week.  Unlike Roberson, I  considered just BCS conference teams (C'mon, Little Sisters of the Poor could run north of 300 on S.C. State...).

First off, here are the nine Tech opponents who had extra preparation for the Yellow Jackets (time between Tech and previous game/bowl game):

2008- Clemson (9 days), North Carolina (14), Georgia (14), LSU (Chick-fil-A Bowl)
2009- Miami (10), Iowa (Orange Bowl)
2010- North Carolina (14), N.C. State (9), Virginia Tech (9)

Georgia Tech's offensive statistics: Rush Yds Per Game (Per Carry Avg.); Total Yds (Per Play Avg.); Turnovers  
Vs. Extra Preparation Defenses: 256.6 (5.2); 342.6 (5.4); 1.7 
Vs. 1-Week Prep. Defenses:       309.5 (5.5); 423.0 (6.2); 1.5 

Simply put, on average, Tech's offense is not as efficient and turns the ball over more often when faced with a defense that had more than a week to prepare.

Now, before you mention the Jackets likely faced stiffer opposition/defenses, who had the luxury of more than a week to prepare... Perhaps this is slightly the case, but by my assessment, there's not much difference in the two levels of competition.

Talk about a difference... Here are the statistics that really stand out and the numbers that count the most:
Vs. Extra Preparation Defenses: 20.7 points per game,  3 wins - 6 losses
Vs. 1-Week Prep. Defenses:       30.4 points per game, 19 wins - 5 losses

Notably, the Ramblin' Wreck is sluggishly scoring nearly 10 points lower than normal and winning just once every three games against teams coming off a bye week.

Does this make me feel better about Georgia's chances on Saturday?  Maybe a little, but not much.  I'm still scared to death of Tech's running game against Grantham's troops.  However, given a bye week, especially when facing Tech's unique offense, I'll take it every time over the alternative.

Above all, here's to dropping the Jackets' situational record to 3 and 7 this Saturday and a non-repeat defensive performance of 2008.

No comments: