A look at SEC 3rd down offensive and defensive numbers

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Third down is the money down.

And judging strictly by this chart, the Florida-LSU game will be a third-down extravaganza Saturday. What gives?

Specifically, LSU, Texas A&M, Missouri and South Carolina are all converting over 50 percent of their third-down attempts. The biggest reason is the quarterbacks. Zach Mettenberger, Johnny Manziel, James Franklin and Connor Shaw are playing explosively and very efficiently thus far.

Related: All SEC team stats

One team that’s surprising through six weeks is Georgia. Although the offense has been very productive and high scoring, the Bulldogs are converting just 37 percent on third down.

Here’s a look at the SEC third down offensive numbers:

  Name G Attempts Conversions Conversion %
1 LSU 6 72 42 58.33
2 Texas A&M 5 60 34 56.67
3 Missouri 5 65 35 53.85
4 South Carolina 5 69 36 52.17
5 Florida 5 71 35 49.3
6 Alabama 5 59 25 42.37
7 Vanderbilt 6 76 32 42.11
8 Tennessee 6 77 32 41.56
9 Arkansas 6 82 34 41.46
10 Mississippi 5 74 30 40.54
11 Auburn 5 73 29 39.73
12 Georgia 5 65 24 36.92
13 Mississippi State 5 68 25 36.76
14 Kentucky 5 58 16 27.59

No surprise the SEC’s top two defenses lead in third-down stops. Florida is holding opponents to a dismal 22.95 percent on third down, which is second in the country to only Michigan State. The Tide are second, allowing opponents to convert just 30 percent on third down, which is good for 22nd in college football.

Georgia brings up the rear in the SEC, allowing opponents to convert 44 percent of the time on third down. When will the Dawgs’ defense start to mature and improve?

  Name G Attempts Conversions Conversion %
1 Florida 5 61 14 22.95
2 Alabama 5 66 20 30.3
3 Arkansas 6 81 29 35.8
4 Kentucky 5 61 22 36.07
5 LSU 6 82 30 36.59
5 Auburn 5 82 30 36.59
7 Mississippi State 5 68 26 38.24
8 Texas A&M 5 67 26 38.81
9 Missouri 5 81 32 39.51
10 South Carolina 5 68 27 39.71
11 Mississippi 5 75 31 41.33
12 Vanderbilt 6 87 36 41.38
13 Tennessee 6 87 37 42.53
14 Georgia 5 75 33 44

Photo Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

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