Since we only have a week of football under our belts, the only thing we can do right now for comparison's sake is look at what teams did last year versus what they did this year. The trick with Georgia though is that they don't have a good comparison point on the '08 schedule for Oklahoma State in '09. I think Florida and Alabama were better last year than OSU will end up, and they don't have some other good but not great foe to go against.
So, I decided to compare against Oklahoma State's 2008 season averages. As with before, the sacks have been taken out of rushing totals.
|CATEGORY||OSU '08 DEF AVG||UGA vs. OSU '09
|Yds. per Pass||6.6
|Yds. per Rush||4.7
|Time of Poss.||28:81
|Sacks All.||1.2 (-6.5 yards)
||2 (-9 yards)|
No surprises here. The Georgia offense did not reach the level of production that Oklahoma State's opponents did on average in 2008. That's not surprising, really, since Oklahoma State played offenses like Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech which gain yards well beyond what Georgia was expected to do this year in even the rosiest of predictions. The much maligned Georgia passing game actually reached a greater percentage of the OSU per pass average than the rushing game reached of OSU's per carry average of '08.
The big questions are obvious. Was it the new Cowboy defensive coordinator Bill Young? Was it Joe Cox's flu bug? Was it the long distance of the road trip? Or is Georgia just not that good? Since Oklahoma State is a pretty big enigma defensively right now (just how good are they?), it will be a while before we know for sure. We'll probably get a better gauge this weekend against South Carolina, since we pretty much know what we're getting with both the opponent and the series.
|CATEGORY||OSU '08 OFF AVG||UGA vs. OSU '09
|Yds. per Pass||9.7
|Yds. per Rush||5.8
|Time of Poss.||31:09
||1.2 (-7.3 yards)||0
The Georgia defense, on the other hand, did an excellent job at slowing down the Oklahoma State offense relative to last year. OSU rushed for the same exact average as Georgia's offense did on Saturday, and the Cowboys got less than a yard more per pass than the Bulldogs did. The time of possession was really the difference between these two teams because, subtracting sack yardage form UGA's total yards again, Georgia gained 9.78 yards per minute and Oklahoma State gained 9.11 yards per minute.
Ultimately, the turnovers are what killed Georgia in this game. Three of OSUs four scoring drives were of 32 yards or less; remove points off turnovers and UGA wins 10-7. There are still plenty of questions about this Bulldog team, but it looks like the defense is definitely back. That's something to build on when defense is what so often wins games in this conference.