Breaking down Georgia football vs TCU

No. 1 Georgia football heads to Los Angeles next week to take on No. 3 TCU in the National Championship Game.

Georgia football will take on TCU in the College Football Playoff Championship Game on January 9th. It will be the fifth meeting between the two. Georgia has a 4-0 record against TCU with an average points margin of 20.25. However, these 2022 Horned Frogs aren’t your grandfather’s Horned Frogs.

TCU isn’t a team to be taken lightly, as Michigan found out in the Fiesta Bowl. These Horned Frogs have fought for everything they have gotten. That is the main attribute of their team, fight. They never give up until the last whistle sounds. This is fine because that is exactly how Kirby Smart has trained up his Bulldogs as well.

So let’s dive into this matchup, taking a look at the offenses first. Can Georgia football’s Stetson Bennett outduel TCU’s Max Duggan, who finished above him in the final Heisman Trophy voting? Can Kenny McIntosh outrush TCU’s Emari Demercado? Can AD Mitchell outperform Quinton Johnston? Can Georgia’s offensive line stack up against TCU’s dominant offensive line? Let’s look into the numbers.

Offensive Efficiency

Offensive CatagoriesGeorgiaTCU
Yards Per Game494.9474.1
Yards Per Play7.096.85
Points Per Game39.441.1
Third Down Conversion Rate49.7%41.05%
Offense Fremeau Efficiency Index Rating (OFEI)1.721.14
Offensive Drive Efficiency (ODE)1.360.80
Offensive Points Per Drive (OPD)3.603.01
Offensive Drive Yards Per Play (OPP)7.286.98
Offensive Turnover Rate (OTO)0.1200.065
Stats were taken from cfbstats.com, footballoutsiders.com, and bcftoys.com

Looking at these efficiency numbers it is clear that Georgia football is in for another tight contest against TCU. The slightest of margins separate these teams in most categories. However, a few do stick out. First of all, Georgia is actually moving the ball better than TCU, averaging 20.8 more yards per game. That’s at least two more first downs which mean a lot when it comes to time of possession.

Speaking of time of possession and keeping the ball away from the opponent, another category that sticks out is third down conversion rate. Georgia football is converting third downs at a 8.65% higher clip than TCU. Which would explain why Georgia’s Drive Efficiency is 0.56% higher as well. Of course, both of these are helped by Georgia averaging over seven yards a play.

One category Georgia football can work on is its Turnover Rate. This has been a problem for some time now. Georgia has found a way to win despite turning the ball over, but Kirby Smart would prefer them not put themselves in that hole. One offense you do not want to give extra possessions to is TCU. They definitely have the weapons to make you pay for it.

Now let’s take a look at the offensive lines. Georgia is allowing a stuff rate of 14.7% when running the ball which is ranked No. 25 in the FBS. Georgia is allowing a sack rate of 1.5% when passing which is ranked No. 4 in the FBS. TCU’s offensive line has an allowed stuff rate of 15.3%, No. 35 in the FBS, and an alllowed sack rate of 5.6%, No. 54 in the FBS. Georgia definitely has the advantage up front on the offensive side of the ball.

Now let’s spotlight one offensive player. Believe it or not the highest graded receiver in this game is not Brock Bowers or Quentin Johnston. It’s actually Georgia football running back Kenny McIntosh with an 87.8. Look for McIntosh to be huge in this game just as he was in the Peach Bowl amassing 126 total yards and a touchdown.

Defensive Efficiency

Defensive CatagoriesGeorgiaTCU
Yards Per Game304.5395.3
Yards Per Play4.955.53
Points Per Game14.826.4
Third Down Conversion Rate27.13%34.47%
Defensive Fremeau Efficiency Index Rating (DFEI)1.360.66
Defensive Drive Efficiency (DDE)0.860.16
Defensive Points Per Drive (DPD)1.322.04
Defensive Drive Yards Per Play (DPP)4.985.60
Defensive Turnover Rate (DTO)0.0920.115
Stats were taken from cfbstats.com, footballoutsiders.com, and bcftoys.com

As has been the case all season, Georgia football is favored in almost every one of these categories. Georgia is allowed 91.3 less yards per game and 12.4 less points per game than TCU. A big reason for that is Georgia limiting their opponents to a 27.13 Third Down Conversion Rate. TCU is allowing their opponents to convert at a 7.34% higher clip.

One of the categories that TCU leads in is Turnover Rate. They have a 0.023% higher rate of making their opponent turn the ball over. However, Georgia football’s 21 total turnovers are more than TCU’s 13, according to CFBstats.com.

Now let’s take a look at the defensive lines. Georgia is stuffing its opponent’s rushing attack at a 20.4% rate which is ranked No. 34 in the FBS. Georgia is sacking their opponent’s quarterback at a 5.2% rate which is ranked No. 94 in the FBS. TCU’s defensive line has a stuff rate of 19.4%, No. 44 in the FBS, and a sack rate of 6.3%, No. 66 in the FBS. Georgia definitely has the advantage up front.

When it comes to sacking the QB TCU’s defensive line definitely has an advantage. However, according to PFF, the only elite pass rusher in this game is Georgia football’s Jalen Carter. He has a 16.8% win rate on the year which has led to three sacks and 30 total pressures. Dylan Horton leads the Horned Frogs with a 15.1% pass rush win rate, ten sacks, and 47 total pressures.

Now let’s spotlight one defensive player. This game could come down to the matchup between Kelee Ringo and Quentin Johnston. Ringo has been getting a lot of undue negativity lately. He has allowed just 44 catches on 71 targets this season, a completion percentage of just 53.2. He has also only allowed one touchdown. Ringo usually shines brightest in the biggest moments. Monday will be no different.

Combined Efficiency

Combined EfficiencyGeorgiaTCU
Fremeau Efficiency Index Rating (FEI)1.460.89
Net Drive Efficiency (NDE)2.220.96
Net Points Per Drive (NPD)2.280.97
Net Yards Per Play (NPP)2.311.37
Stats were taken from bcftoys.com

Conclusion

Using his efficiency ratings, Brian Fremeau, predicts that Georgia will beat TCU by a score of 38-25. It is looking like another close contest for the Bulldogs. Can they slow down TCU’s offense and move the ball enough on their vaunted 3-3-5 defense? That is yet to be seen, but there is reason to believe it can be done.

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