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Monday, October 25, 2010

By the numbers

It's another beautiful day in Athens ... No wait, it's not. It's raining cats and dogs at the moment, so much so that my cat and dog are saying, "Yeah we'll stay right in here." As for me, I guess it's a treadmill day.

(Time to work off all that burgoo from Kentucky.)

As you get back to work, or whatever you do during Georgia-Florida week, a few stats, records and such to tickle your fancy:

- No one ever would have imagined this after the Marcus Lattimore fiasco, but Georgia now ranks first in the SEC in run defense and 12th in the nation. The Bulldogs are the only league team yielding under 100 yards on the ground per game – and it’s not just because of sack yardage. The Bulldogs have 18 sacks and 121 yards in sack yardage, which both rank in the middle of the SEC.

- The flip side: Georgia is dead last in the league in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 42.2 percent of the time. Those of you who watched Kentucky on its opening drive convert four straight third downs, all with longer than eight yards to go, are not surprised by this.

- Justin Houston’s nine sacks lead the SEC, and is one off the national lead, held by Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers. He’s five away from the school record, set by David Pollack in 2002. (They started keeping sack records in 1979.) Auburn’s Nick Fairley is second in the league with 7.5 sacks.

Houston, with 19 career sacks, is also more than halfway to Pollack’s record of 36. But I’m not quite sure Houston will be around long enough to make a run at it.

- Florida is receiving votes in the Harris Poll, which the BCS uses as one-third of its formula. In fact the Gators rank 27th, and moved up a spot last week despite playing. Esteemed voters in the Harris include Gus Frerotte, who once injured himself after banging his head against a wall to celebrate a touchdown.

But remember, the BCS is a great system.

- Speaking of the polls (the AP one), this will be the first time in 31 years both Florida and Georgia are unranked when they play.

- Want to know why Urban Meyer is working on his offense? Florida ranks ninth in the league in scoring offense and total offense. For the school of Tim Tebow and Steve Spurrier, that’s Ron Zook territory.

- Here’s an intriguing matchup for Saturday: Brandon Boykin, coming off his third career 100-yard kick return touchdown, goes against the Gators, who rank second in the league in kickoff coverage. And that’s with only four touchbacks. By comparison Georgia, which leads the lead in kick coverage, has 11 touchbacks.

- Here’s another intriguing matchup: Jeff Demps vs. Georgia’s kick coverage. Demps leads the league in return yardage, averaging 32.5 per return. And Georgia, as we said, is first.

- Georgia is more disciplined this year, and ranks third in the league in least amount of penalties. But its opponents are even more careful – the Bulldogs rank last in the league in opponent penalty yardage.

- The Bulldogs are now at plus-7 in turnover margin, bested only in the SEC by Alabama in that category.

- Akeem Dent is second in the league with 77 tackles. The leader is Kentucky’s Danny Trevathan, with 81.

- Aaron Murray’s pass efficiency rating is 156.97, which would be the best in school history, at least since they started keeping the stat. The current record-holder? Murray’s quarterbacks coach, Mike Bobo, who had a 155.80 rating in 1997.

- Murray now ranks fourth all-time among Georgia freshman quarterbacks in passing yardage (1.766). The first three are David Greene (2,789 in 2001), Quincy Carter (2,484 in 1998) and Eric Zeier (1,984 in 1991).

- All those short fields at Kentucky resulted in Murray dropping to fifth in the league in passing yards (1,766). But among starters, he remains tied for first in least amount of interceptions (3) with Alabama’s Greg McElroy.

- You may recall that A.J. Green missed the first four games of the season. (It was in a few newspaper stories.) Despite the missed time, Green is still tied for fifth in the league with four receiving touchdowns, and 10th in receiving yards (365). His average receiving yards per game (91.2) would rank second behind South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery if Green had enough games to count for the SEC.

- Despite the time he’s missed, Green now ranks fifth on Georgia’s all-time receiving list, with 2,137. He’s one good game away from catching Mohamed Massaquoi (2,282). First place is Terrence Edwards, who holds the SEC record too, with 3,093.

- Green has 131 career receptions. He’s on the verge of passing Hines Ward and Reggie Brown, who are tied for fifth on the school’s all-time list with 144. Edwards also holds the career record with 204.

- Blair Walsh is struggling a bit, having just missed his first career extra point, so let’s throw him some love: The junior is one point away from moving into fifth all-time at Georgia in points scored kicking. In fact Walsh, who has 268, one good game from vaulting past three guys into third all-time. The record is held by Billy Bennett (409) and Kevin Butler is second (353).

- Brandon Boykin should soon break Gene Washington’s school record for kickoff return yardage. Boykin has 1,507 in 56 kick returns, and Washington, who returned 71 kicks between 1973-76, had 1,637.


Hobnail_Boot said...

Good stuff, Seth.

MauiDawg said...

Seth, where do you get the ballot info on the polls? I've tried looking this up before with no luck