Behind the Numbers: LSU v UGa

Before we put the Georgia game behind us, let's take one last look at the box score and those nasty numbers which made a difference.

156-45. LSU and Georgia's rushing yards.  LSU's rushing game has been pretty bad this season, so thoroughly dominating the ground game was a pleasant surprise.  It wasn't a great performance on the ground, it was mainly that Georgia was truly terrible at running, but for LSU to continue to have success, the team needs to be able to run the ball.  This was the first game after which I feel good about the running game.  Not great, but enough to think our ground attack is credible enough to get by.

6.  The number of sacks allowed by LSU.  In contrast to the big honkin' ZERO in the UGa column.  Yes, a lot of the sacks were the fault of Jefferson, but six sacks?  You can almost see Jefferson thinking "don't throw a pick, just eat the ball" as the rush comes in.  Once again, our staff has stressed low risk, and while that means no turnovers, it also means there will be other consequences, like an increased number of sacks allowed. 

2 for 3.  Keiland Williams had 2 rushes for 3 yards.  Just like the backup QB is the most popular guy on campus, Williams has long been a favorite of those who wish to criticize Miles and Scott.  He's a former five-star recruit who just can't seem to turn all of that talent into production.  I'm not sure what the problem is, other than his continued problems with running north-south, but he really should be more productive.  Scott's apparent demotion did not last long, but it's mainly because Williams could not take advantage of the opportunity.

5 for 6.  Georgia's third down conversions in the 3rd quarter.  Over the rest of the game, UGa went 2 for 11, but that third quarter was a total abomination.  While LSU's offense went backwards, Georgia slowly marched down the field and kept getting scoring opportunities.  The great thing is that the defense made Georgia scratch and claw for every yard.  Sure, 5/6 stinks, but even with all of those third down conversions and nearly eleven minutes of possession, Georgia ran 25 plays for 90 yards.  Even when Georgia got the touchdown early in the fourth, on a fourth down play, it was more of a relief for Georgia.  Nothing came easy for them, even during their best period of the game, and that is a credit to the LSU defense.  Even when things went bad, they kept the offense frustrated.  I just don't know what to make of an 18 play, 60 yard drive.

23 seconds.  The amount of time elapsed on the game clock from Green's touchdown catch to Scott's touchdown run.  Look, the celebration call on Green was terrible, but it did not allow LSU to march down the field in 23 seconds.  I read on a Georgia board that Scott's penalty was meaningless because the game was essentially over.  There were 46 seconds on the clock.  Twice as long as it took LSU to score a TD.  Yes, it was a bad call.  But it wasn't a disaster until Georgia failed to play defense.  The Georgia meme is that the Scott penalty was a CYA call.  Maybe it was, but Georgia had plenty of time to take advantage of the call, just like LSU did. 

133-48. LSU's advantage in return yards.  We ripped on our special teams last week, so let's give credit, LSU dominated the special teams game.  That's 85 "hidden" yards.  Butler is a great punter, and he averaged 49.1 yards per kick without an extreme outlier to distort the numbers.  But LSU had 3 returns for 44 yards, mitigating the value of those punts.  LSU only average 37.8 yards per punt, but Georgia returned those punts for precisely zero yards.  Two of those punts were inside the 20, and LSU punters had no touchbacks compared to Butler's one.  Throw in a missed field goal by Georgia, and you have a total special teams domination.  Even Georgia's one advantage, punt yards, was erased by LSU's return game.  LSU had less yards per punt but better directional punting and absolutely no returns.  Give the special teams a gold star. 

0 for 4.  LSU's red zone efficiency.  Yes, LSU kicked two field goals, so technically they were 2 for 4.  When you're in the red zone, you need touchdowns.  And on that front, LSU totally and completely failed.  Oh for four.  This game should have been over by halftime.  You cannot have four trips to the red zone and come away with a grand total of 6 points.        

5-0. The only numbers that matter right now.

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