UGASports - In-the-Red Woes
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In-the-Red Woes

Allowing Tech to score touchdowns all three times it reached the red zone, while missing out on touchdowns twice against the Jackets when reaching the 20-yard line, the Bulldogs' offensive and defensive red-zone performance continued to be what has been rather substandard in 2016.
Allowing Tech to score touchdowns all three times it reached the red zone, while missing out on touchdowns twice against the Jackets when reaching the 20-yard line, the Bulldogs' offensive and defensive red-zone performance continued to be what has been rather substandard in 2016.

Pat’s Weekly Stat (you likely won’t see anywhere else)--Twitter @PGarbin

Sitting in the press box looking over the final statistics following Georgia’s disheartening loss to Tech, I first noticed both teams’ red zone conversions, which was followed by something Radi said in his “postgame observations, questions and impressions” that night: “Georgia's red zone trouble is two fold. The Dawgs have to score touchdowns next year. More importantly though, the defense has to make a stop.”

Since holding an opponent to a field goal when it reaches inside a team’s 20-yard line is often considered an accomplishment, instead of “red zone conversions,” I prefer to look at “red zone conversions—but only those converted into touchdowns, not field goals.”

Defensively, Georgia has been horrific this season by allowing the opposition to score a touchdown 29 of the 37 times it has reached the red zone, or 78.4 percent, which ranks 125th in the FBS, or fourth from last. Offensively, the Bulldogs have struggled in the red zone, as well, converting just 22 of 41 trips into touchdowns, or 53.7 percent, which ranks 107th in the FBS. Ironically, the team which ranks No. 1 in red zone offense (touchdowns scored) is where Georgia’s Jim Chaney was calling the plays just a year ago, Pittsburgh (82.7 percent).

Georgia began releasing annual red zone statistics in 1993. Beginning then and through 2015, the Bulldogs converted 58.2 percent of their total red-zone trips into touchdowns. Although this season’s offensive mark of 53.7 percent currently ranks in the lower 20th percentile in the FBS, at Georgia, it would rank 17th (a tad better) of the 24 seasons from 1993 to 2016.

UGA’s Top 5 and Bottom 5 in Offensive Red-Zone Touchdown Conversions (1993-2015)
Rank RZ TD Pct. Season* RZ TDs of RZ Trips Season's Record

1st

73.3

2012

33 of 45

12-2

2nd

71.1

1998

27 of 38

8-3

3rd

69.8

2007

37 of 53

11-2

4th

67.2

2014

45 of 67

10-3

5th

65.3

2008

32 of 49

10-3

19th

50.8

2003

31 of 61

11-3

20th

48.9

1999

22 of 45

7-4

21st

42.9

2015

18 of 42

10-3

22nd

42.2

1995

19 of 45

6-5

23rd

39.1

2001

18 of 46

8-3

* Seasons prior to 2002 do not include bowl results.

When comparing this year’s edition to previous Georgia defenses and how frequent they allowed touchdowns in the red zone, this season has pretty much been an outlier—and, a bad one at that. From 1993 through 2015, the Bulldogs allowed the opposition to convert 55.0 percent of their total red-zone trips into touchdowns. If this season’s defensive mark of 78.4 percent was included, it would rank 24th at Georgia, or dead last—and by more than seven percent—of the 24 seasons.

UGA’s Top 5 and Bottom 5 in Defensive Red-Zone Touchdown Conversions (1993-2015)
Rank RZ TD Pct. Season* RZ TDs of RZ Trips Season's Record

1st

29.0

2003

9 of 31

11-3

2nd

41.0

2001

16 of 39

8-3

3rd

43.2

1998

16 of 37

8-3

4th

44.1

2002

15 of 34

13-1

5th

44.4

2004

12 of 27

10-2

19th

63.6

1993

21 of 33

5-6

20th

63.9

1994

23 of 36

6-4-1

21st

65.6

2011

21 of 32

10-4

22nd

67.5

2014

27 of 40

10-3

23rd

71.1

2010

27 of 38

6-7

* Seasons prior to 2002 do not include bowl results.

I then spotted something I deemed noteworthy: four of Georgia’s top five offensive red-zone conversion rates resulted under the same offensive coordinator, and four of the Bulldogs’ top five defensive red-zone conversion rates resulted under the same defensive coordinator, as well.

Offensively, I divided Georgia’s red-zone touchdown conversion figures by offensive coordinator/play-caller and the seasons in which they primarily called the plays. Note: Only three of Wayne McDuffie’s five seasons as offensive coordinator are included (he also served the position in 1991 and 1992). “Since OC Bobo” includes Brian Schottenheimer in 2015 and Jim Chaney this season.

UGA’s Offensive Red-Zone Touchdown Rates by Coordinator/Play-Caller (1993-2015)
Offensive Coord./Play-Caller* Seasons RZ TDs of RZ Trips RZ TD Pct.

Wayne McDuffie

1993-1995

67 of 132

50.8

Jim Donnan

1996-2000

123 of 207

59.4

Mark Richt

2001-2006

168 of 319

52.7

Mike Bobo

2007-2014

282 of 431

65.4

Since OC Bobo

2015-2016

40 of 83

48.2

* Coach in BOLD indicates his red-zone TD Pct. was higher than the Georgia average of 58.2.

Defensively, I did something similar to the above, dividing Georgia’s red-zone touchdown conversion figures by defensive coordinator; however, I included only those who served as the Bulldogs’ DC for at least two seasons. Therefore, conversion figures for 1993-1994, 1999-2000, and 2016 are omitted.

UGA’s Defensive Red-Zone Touchdown Rates by Coordinator (1993-2015)
Defensive Coord.* Seasons RZ TDs of RZ Trips RZ TD Pct.

Joe Kines

1995-1998

80 of 154

51.9

Brian VanGorder

2001-2004

52 of 131

39.7

Willie Martinez

2005-2009

111 of 199

55.8

Todd Grantham

2010-2013

100 of 161

62.1

Jeremy Pruitt

2014-2015

44 of 74

59.5

* Coach in BOLD indicates his red-zone TD Pct. was better than the Georgia average of 55.0.