Georgia Tech Statistical Analysis

Terry has taken a look at Georgia Tech's statistics, with some basic numbers. Stanford's stats are included as a reference point, with subsequent analysis of how the two offenses and defenses might match-up. Seattle Bowl season is here!

The numbers in parentheses are the rankings among the 115 teams in Div. 1A.

  Georgia Tech Stanford
Rushing yards/game 139.0 (70th) 201.0 (23rd)
Passing yards/game 278.9 (17th) 250.5 (32nd)
Pass efficiency 140.4 (20th) 140.4 (21st)
Total yards/game 417.9 (34th) 451.5 (10th)
Points scored/game 31.8 (28th) 37.1 (9th)
Rushing yards allowed/game 117.1 (23rd) 109.6 (17th)
Passing yards allowed/game 216.2 (53rd) 274.9 (105th)
Pass efficiency defense 115.7 (45th) 114.0 (40th)
Total yards allowed/game 333.3 (32nd) 384.5 (68th)
Points allowed/game 22.3 (37th) 28.6 (79th)

A few observations about the statistics:

Passing offense -- Georgia Tech has a strong passing offense.  On the surface, the GT passing offense may look stronger than Stanford's because GT gains almost 30 passing yards per game more than Stanford.  However, that difference is due entirely to the fact that GT throws an average of 4 more passes per game (34 to 30), possibly because Stanford has spent more time running out the clock or because Stanford has chosen to rely on its running game. The two teams actually have very similar passing games in terms of their overall effectiveness.  The two schools have the same pass efficiency rating (both 140.4), and they average about the same number of yards per pass attempt:  GT averages 8.1; Stanford averages 8.3.  These figures are both quite good.  But while the two teams' overall passing effectiveness is comparable, they get there in different ways.  GT's passing offense is characterized by a high completion percentage (64%) and relatively modest yardage per completion (12.7 yards), while Stanford has a lower completion percentage (53%) and very high yardage per completion (15.7 yards).  These numbers indicate that Georgia Tech has more success with higher percentage short and intermediate throws, while Stanford throws the ball farther downfield.  The disparity shows up more starkly in the individual statistics of the starting quarterbacks.  GT's George Godsey completes 65% of his passes for an average gain of 12.4 yards per completion, while Randy Fasani completes 51.5% for an average gain of 17.2 yards per completion.  Among GT's top 6 wide receivers and tight ends, 5 of them average between 11 and 13 yards per catch.  Among Stanford's top 6 wide receivers and tight ends, on the other hand, 5 of them average between 14.9 and 20 yards per catch -- they have fewer catches, but gain more yards per catch.  For the season, GT has thrown 19 TD passes and 14 interceptions, while Stanford, which has attempted about 80 fewer passes, has thrown 25 TD passes and 12 interceptions.  The two teams' interception percentages are not significantly different (3.6% for Stanford; 3.4% for GT), but Stanford has a higher TD percentage (7.5% to 4.6%).  Georgia Tech does a good job protecting the passer, allowing 1 sack per 19 pass attempts (1.8 per game). Stanford allows 1 sack per 14 pass attempts (2.1 per game).

Rushing offense -- Georgia Tech's running game is weaker than Stanford's. Stanford's advantage in yards per game (201 to 139) is only partly explained by the fact that Stanford averages 4 more rushing attempts per game (46 to 42).  More significant is the fact that Stanford averages a strong 4.4 yards per carry, while GT has a weak 3.3 yard per carry average.  GT's low average is due in part to the fact that Stanford's QB is a better runner:  GT's Godsey has a total of -45 rushing yards for the season, while Fasani has run for 174 yards for Stanford.  But that's not a complete explanation.  Even excluding the QBs for each team, Stanford still has a significantly better average -- 4.7 yards per carry compared to GT's 3.9 yards per carry.  GT's leading runner, Joe Burns, averages 4.1 yards per carry, while Stanford's Brian Allen averages 5.2 yards per carry.  Stanford has run for 27 TDs in 11 games this year compared to GT's 26 rushing TDs in 12 games.

Total offense -- Georgia Tech's offense is effective, gaining 417.9 yards per game and scoring 31.8 points per game.  Those figures, although lower than Stanford's (451.5 yards, 37.1 points), are still quite good.  GT's scoring average, like Stanford's, is a true reflection of the efforts of GT's offense, because GT has scored only two TDs this year on defense and special teams (the same number as Stanford).  GT's high percentage passing game allows them to keep moving the chains.  GT has a very strong 3rd down conversion rate of 47% (compared to Stanford's 42%) and GT notches 22.3 first downs per game (compared to Stanford's 21.6).  GT usually wins the battle for time of possession with an average time of possession of 31:29, but that figure is two minutes short of Stanford's average of 33:29.

Pass defense -- Georgia Tech allows substantially fewer passing yards per game than Stanford (216.2 to 274.8).  This appears to be a significant advantage for GT.  However, there is more nuance in this area than might appear based on a superficial review of the stats.  Over three-fourths of the difference between these two figures is due to the fact that Stanford's opponents have passed more than GT's opponents:  Stanford has faced 39 pass attempts per game while GT has faced 32 pass attempts, partly because Stanford has played more passing teams and partly because Stanford's opponents have been playing catch-up more often. Perhaps a better comparison is that GT has allowed 6.7 yards per pass attempt, while Stanford has allowed 7.0 yards per attempt.  These figures are much closer than the total passing yardage figures.  Overall, Stanford actually has slightly better pass efficiency defense rating, allowing opposing teams a pass efficiency rating of 114.0 while GT allows opposing teams a pass efficiency rating of 115.7. Stanford allows a significantly lower completion percentage than GT, 46.7% to 54.4%.  However, Stanford allows a higher number of yards per completion, 15.0 to 12.2.  Stanford has more interceptions (16 to 11) and has a better interception percentage (3.7% to 2.8%).  But Stanford has allowed more TD passes (21 to 13) and allows a higher TD percentage (4.8% to 3.3%).  Taken together, all of these figures suggest that Stanford's pass defense is better than GT's in some respects, but is more vulnerable to big plays.  GT generates a more effective pass rush, getting 1 sack for every 11 pass attempts (2.9 per game).  Stanford's defense makes only 1 sack for every 21 pass attempts (1.9 per game).

Rushing defense -- Both teams defend the run well.  Stanford allows fewer yards per game rushing (109.6 for Stanford, 117.1 for GT).  Stanford's advantage is entirely due to the fact that Stanford's opponents have averaged 5 fewer rushing attempts than GT's opponents (31 to 36).  GT has allowed fewer yards per carry, allowing 3.3 yards per carry compared to Stanford's 3.5.  Both figures are quite good.  Stanford has allowed only 12 rushing TDs in 11 games, while GT has allowed 17 rushing TDs in 12 games.

Overall defense -- Georgia Tech allows fewer total yards per game (333.3 for Georgia Tech, 384.5 for Stanford).  GT also has allowed fewer points per game, giving up 22.3 compared to Stanford's 28.6.  However, these figures reflect all scoring allowed by each team, not just scoring allowed by the defenses.  Stanford has allowed 7 TDs this year on returns of fumbles, interceptions, punts, kickoffs, and blocked kicks (all but one of them in the first half of the season).  GT has allowed 4 such TDs.  None of this is the fault of the defenses.  Excluding these TDs, GT's defense has allowed 19.9 points per game, while Stanford's defense has allowed 24.2 points per game.  GT still has an advantage in this category, but the advantage is smaller than it appears.  Stanford allows a lower 3rd down conversion rate at 33% compared to GT's 39%.  The two defenses allow about the same number of first downs per game (18.0 for Stanford, 18.2 for GT).

Turnovers -- The two teams have similar turnover margins.  For the season, Georgia Tech is +1, while Stanford is +3.  GT has 21 turnovers (7 fumbles lost, 14 interceptions) and 22 takeaways (11 fumble recoveries, 11 interceptions).  Stanford has 27 turnovers (15 fumbles lost, 12 interceptions) and 30 takeaways (14 fumble recoveries, 16 interceptions).

Penalties -- On average, Stanford commits 5.5 penalties per game for 42.2 penalty yards.  Stanford was the least penalized team in the Pac 10 for the 6th straight year.  GT commits an average of 7.1 penalties per game for 59.3 penalty yards.

Punting/kicking -- Georgia Tech has kicked 19 of 28 field goals (68%), while Stanford has kicked 10 of 16 (63%).  GT has a punting average of 40.4 gross and 37.3 net of returns, while Stanford averages 36.0 gross and 28.5 net.

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