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Post Cashing in on scoring opportunities

Monday July 22, 2013

Yet another interesting post over at Football Study Hall – this one looks at how well teams finish scoring opportunities (or at least trips inside the opponent’s 40). With a good kicker, you can start thinking about points not to far past that yard line.

The data for Georgia go in two different directions. First, Georgia was outstanding at generating points if they crossed the opponent’s 40. Georgia came away with an average of 5.17 points per trip – 4th best in the nation.

Of course the counterpart to that bit of information is to look at how often Georgia got the ball into that position. There they weren’t as successful. Over half – 53% – of Georgia’s drives made it across the opponent’s 40. That’s not bad, but it’s still only a little above average. 46 teams were better. For comparison, Alabama and A&M both had over 64% of their drives make it inside the opponent’s 40. That might not be surprising for the Aggies, but it’s a reminder of how quietly efficient the Alabama offense was last year.

So when Georgia’s offense got rolling, it was hard to stop. It also had its stagnant moments where drives fizzled. If there’s an area where Georgia’s loaded offense can improve in 2013, it’s in sustaining drives. Get that 53% over 60%. It’s an attainable target; 13 teams managed it last year. If Georgia can finish those drives at a comparable rate, you’ll see some big dividends. At the same time, improvement in this area will also help the young defense. You’ll have the offense on the field longer, and more sustained drives means fewer three-and-outs that put the defense right back out there.

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