Friday, September 23, 2011

Ole Miss Preview

Both teams come in 1-2 with only a win over a 1AA school. Georgia's win was in more impressive fashion but against 1AA schools it is hard to judge the games simply by their final score. The two losses Georgia had were to top ten teams while Ole Miss lost to a 1-2 BYU team and a greatly improved 3-0 (against UCONN, ELON and Ole Miss) Vandy team.

It doesn't take much research to find out that the Rebel Bears are not very good on offense. They are averaging 20.7 points per game, yes including their win over Southern Illinois, which is good for 95th in the country. Their defense gives up a respectable 22.7 points per game but they have played a 1AA school, the 48 and 111th ranked offenses by points per game. Their passing defense has been better, 28th in the nation at 176 yards per game, than their rushing defense. Against the run Ole Miss is giving up 198 yards a game, good for 100th in the country.

Their are many stats that I have seen put out by other sites but there are two that caught my eye. The first was the break down of rushing yards per attempt allowed by quarter. Ole Miss has given up only 1.93 ypc on 30 attempts in the first quarter. In the second quarter that jumps to 5.72 ypc on 29 attempts. In the third quarter it jumps to a staggering 7.32 ypc on 31 attempts. The 4th quarter improves slightly dropping to 5.14 ypc on 28 carries.

The second stat that jumped out at me was how bad Ole Miss is on both sides of the ball on third downs. On offense they convert third downs at a rate of 28%. On defense they allow teams to convert 42% of the time. That is a deficit of 14%. Georgia while not great at converting on offense, 39%, has been great at stopping other teams, 26%, for a positive conversion rate of 13%.

Add up those two stats and to me it looks like you have an Ole Miss team that has a defense that wears out as the game goes on and at the same time they have to be on the field quite a bit. Ole Miss is running ten less plays per game than their opponents. Winning the third down battle and wearign down what appears to be a defense that appears to weaken as the game goes on could be huge for Georgia's chances of winning.

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