Interesting statistics leading up to the SEC Championship game

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Ah, I’ll admit it. I’m not stat rat like some of you are. But I do think they paint a vivid picture of some interesting areas within the teams, leading up to the SEC Championship Saturday.

Let’s get down to business:

39 vs. 38

For as much pub as Georgia’s explosive offense gets around the SEC, it’s Alabama who enters Saturday with the higher scoring offense, averaging 39 points per game, compared to Georgia’s 38 points per game. Georgia and Alabama were again neck-and-neck in total offense throughout the regular season, as Georgia averaged 463.7 yards per game while Bama averaged 433 yards per game. It’s interesting that the output is very similar. Why? Both offenses are so balanced. Both are run-heavy offenses, hoping for successful play-action passes when the running game is clicking.

20 vs. 22

Alabama’s offensive line is considered full of NFL talent, with the perennial All-American Barrett Jones at center and future NFL guard Chance Warmack, and Georgia’s offensive line was considered patchwork before the season began, as true freshman John Theus was slated to start at right tackle. However, Georgia’s offensive line has been so much better than advertised, both in the running game and in pass protection. The Bulldogs’ offensive line has only yielded 22 sacks on the season, just two more than Bama’s vaunted trench play.

30 vs. 24

We go from sacks allowed to sacks made on defense. Despite not having a dominant pass rusher in Crimson, Alabama has managed to out-sack the Bulldogs’ defense 30 to 24 led by the figurehead Jarvis Jones. Jones is third in the SEC in sacks with 10.5 total, and Alabama’s highest sacker is Adrian Hubbard with 5.0. However, Bama has 14 different players who have all recorded sacks, while Georgia has only nine players to record at least one full sack. It’s mostly Jones causing the damage on the pass rush for the Bulldogs, while it’s more of a scheme stat for Alabama. How will these two offensive lines pass protect these fantastic athletes?

7.04 vs. 3.9

Georgia’s offense averages 7.04 yards per play, compared to Bama’s defense, which allows just 3.9 yards per play. That’s quite a difference. For comparison, Alabama allowed 5.06 yards per play against LSU and 5.36 per play against Texas A&M. Likewise, Georgia will have to run as many plays in an up-tempo type of offense. LSU was able to run 86 plays, while the Aggies ran 78 plays against Alabama. The Bulldogs will have to average around the five-yards-per-play mark to remain on schedule on offense over the course of the game.

60.87% vs. 71.05%

Alabama and Georgia are #1 and #2 respectively in opponents’ red zone conversions. Bama allows scores only 60.87 percent of the time in the red zone, with only 11 touchdowns and three field goals. Georgia has only allowed 18 touchdowns in the red zone and nine field goals. Points could be at a premium on Saturday, and we’re going to find out whether Alabama’s defense is slightly overrated, or whether Georgia’s defense can once again put it all together.

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE

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