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Post First down yardage and a 30% third down conversion rate

Thursday October 5, 2006

A stat that has been thrown out a lot when talking about the Georgia offense’s struggles is the SEC-worst 29.8 third down conversion rate. That’s awful. As Buck Belue pointed out on Tuesday and others have mentioned, what you do on first and second down has a lot to do with your ability to convert third downs and sustain drives. The stats from the Ole Miss game are an ideal case study on that point.

Georgia had 25 first down plays in the Ole Miss game.

  • Three of those plays were either at the goal line or taking a knee at the end of the game, so we’re talking about 22 first-and-tens.
  • 12 of 22 first-and-tens were runs. Five were complete passes, five were incomplete passes. Three of those first down incompletions came on consecutive drives in the first half. All resulted in three-and-outs.
  • Penalties gave Georgia two 1st-and-15+ situations. They converted neither.
  • Georgia gained first down yardage (ten or more yards) on three 1st-and-10 opportunities. All were in the second half. Two runs, one pass.
  • Georgia had ten offensive drives in the game. They did not get two first downs in a series until the last drive of the first half. They had at least two first downs in four out of five second half drives. Nice improvement at sustaining things (and no small reason why Georgia took over the game).

Here are the keys:

  • The Dawgs gained at least four yards on nine of those plays (41% of first-and-ten opportunities).
    When the Dawgs gained at least four yards on first down, they always sustained the drive with another first down.
    This point applies regardless of run or pass. Georgia had two first down completions (both to Southerland) that led to 2nd-and-7+ situations. They converted neither.
  • On the 13 occasions where Georgia faced 2nd and 7 or longer, they ended up with a first down on only four occasions. That’s less than 25%.

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