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Defensively skilled, but Defeated still…

Not since 1970 (pictured vs. Miss. State when Georgia allowed only 173 yards but lost) have the Bulldogs been defeated more than once in a season when yielding 250 yards or less--that is, until Georgia's last two games in a row vs. Vanderbilt and Florida.
Not since 1970 (pictured vs. Miss. State when Georgia allowed only 173 yards but lost) have the Bulldogs been defeated more than once in a season when yielding 250 yards or less--that is, until Georgia's last two games in a row vs. Vanderbilt and Florida.

Pat’s Weekly Stat (you likely won’t see anywhere else): Another sub-par, losing performance unfortunately means another unfavorable post for my weekly stat (and, more statistics you certainly won’t find listed in the UGA record book).

Following the Bulldogs’ 24-10 defeat down in Jacksonville, the first stat which caught my eye was the one featured on the very top line of the team statistics—total First Downs, whereby Georgia had only eight. At the time, I thought to myself, to my knowledge, I don’t think the Bulldogs had ever totaled fewer than that in a game. And, turns out, at least since the late 1960s, they hadn’t.

As I’ve mentioned here before, often for college basketball, statistics are mentioned specifically from “during the shot-clock era.” Similarly, the era of college football from the late 1960s to the present could be recognized as the “stop-clock era” since before 1968, the clock did not stop upon a team gaining a first down. When the rule was implemented, the average number of offensive plays, total yardage, and number of first downs per game in major college football all increased significantly by roughly 15 percent.

During the stop-clock era, or beginning with the 1968 season to the present, the eight first downs the Bulldogs totaled Saturday tied for the lowest mark by a Georgia team in a single game:

UGA's Fewest Single-Game First Downs (beg. 1968)
Rank First Downs Season vs. Opponent Georgia's Result

Tied-1st

8

2016 vs. Florida

Lost, 10-24

8

1990 vs. Clemson

Lost, 3-34

8

1984 vs. Memphis State

Won, 13-3

8

1979 vs. South Carolina

Lost, 20-27

8

1977 vs. Kentucky

Lost, 0-33

Next, despite Georgia being defeated, I was encouraged to see that Florida gained only 231 total yards. And, remember, it was just the Bulldogs’ previous game when they yielded only 171 yards to Vanderbilt, yet they were beaten then too. For the past two games, it appears Georgia’s defense has done an admirable job, yet the team was defeated in both instances, leading me to question the tendency of the Bulldogs to allow only 250 yards of offense or less, but lose. During the stop-clock era, it’s happened just 17 times (the top 10 ranked below) of Georgia’s 173 total losses from 1968 to present, or less than 10 percent of defeats, and never in consecutive games—that is, until the recent losses to the Commodores and Gators. In fact, there has been only one other season (1970) in which the Bulldogs allowed 250 yards or less on more than one occasion and were defeated.

Fewest Yards Gained by Opponent Resulting in UGA Defeat (beg. 1968)
Rank Opp. Yardage Season, Opponent Georgia's Result

1st

171

2016 vs. Vanderbilt

Lost, 16-17

2nd

173

1970 vs. Miss. State

Lost, 6-7

3rd

182

1970 vs. Tulane

Lost, 14-17

4th

188

1985 vs. Georgia Tech

Lost, 16-20

Tied-5th

227

1996 vs. Southern Miss

Lost, 7-11


227

1995 vs. Alabama

Lost, 0-31

7th

231

2016 vs. Florida

Lost, 10-24

8th

233

1989 vs. South Carolina

Lost, 20-24

Tied-9th

236

2001 vs. South Carolina

Lost, 9-14

236

1981 vs. Clemson

Lost, 3-13

236

1977 vs. Clemson

Lost, 6-7

236

1969 vs. Georgia Tech

Lost, 0-6

And, here’s one last stat—a real oddity: Georgia’s offense turned the ball over in every one of the previous 15 games when its defense allowed 250 total yards or less in defeat. In fact, the Bulldogs committed an average of 3.53 turnovers during such games. Yet, under the same circumstances for its last two ballgames against Vanderbilt and Florida, Georgia did not commit a single turnover.