By Patrick Garbin—Twitter @PatrickGarbin
PAT’s WEEKLY STAT (you likely won’t see anywhere else—and, there’s probably good reason why): A quick glance over Georgia’s team statistics, and where each ranks among the 130 schools in the FBS, reveals the Bulldogs are currently an impressive 16th in Total Defense (269.5) and tied for 8th in Scoring Defense (11.5). However, to me, a statistic even more notable is if you simply divide the two numbers.
I have referred to before my opinion of perhaps the most telling “defensive” team statistic in all of college football, which is actually not the result entirely of a defense’s performance: YPP, or yards per point, or how many yards a team yields for every point it allows.
Unlike any other defensive statistic, Defensive YPP could be defined as simply how hard a team makes its opposition “work” to earn points—and, a team’s offense and special teams share in this accountability. The higher a team’s Defensive YPP, the better.
Another thing I appreciate about the calculation is that schedule difficulty really isn't a factor. Whether a team plays Notre Dame or Samford, in theory, the yards allowed-to-points allowed ratio should be more or less the same when facing either opponent.
Considering Georgia has allowed 1,078 total yards and 46 points this season, the Bulldogs’ Defensive YPP is currently 23.34, which is the 9th-best in the FBS: (the average ratio for the FBS is 14.80):
Top FBS Teams in Defensive YPP (as of 9/27)
1) Penn State
2) Virginia Tech
4) Wake Forest
What do all the 10 teams above have in common? Simply, they’re “winners,” like each squad is currently undefeated except Houston, which is 2-1. Combined, the teams have a remarkable 36-1 record. Similarly, the bottom 10 teams in Defensive YPP (121 through 130) have a combined record of 11-31 (.262) with only 121st Georgia Tech (11.49 Defensive YPP) having a winning record at 2-1.
Georgia’s current Defensive YPP is a long cry from last season when the Bulldogs’ had a 13.64 ratio. In fact, beginning in 1947 when Georgia's annual team statistics are readily available, it's 23.43 this season would rank as not only the 11th-best at the school (that's in 70-plus seasons of football) but a team high since 1992. The top 10 in Bulldog history:
Top Georgia Teams in Defensive YPP (beginning in 1947)*
* Prior to 2002, statistics and records do not include postseason play.
What makes Georgia's current ratio even more impressive is the 13.64 a season ago was the 6th-worst in school history—that's some improvement in a year's time! In fact, the Bulldogs' 23.43 YPP has been achieved after five (2016, 2013, 2011, 2009, and 2008) of the previous nine seasons ranked in Georgia's all-time bottom 10 in YPP.
As expected, the higher Georgia's Defensive YPP, the better as far as wins and losses, as the top 10 seasons indicated above have a combined record of 85-14-7 (.835) compared to the bottom 10's combined mark of 68-53 (.562), signifying when the Dawgs are "down" with YPP, like this season thus far, the better of they'll be.