Dawgs come out of the shifted bye week after another loss to Alabama and will look to continue to improve on offense. Nothing came out of Athens to indicate that any personnel changes are in store for the game in Lexington. Here are the metrics for the tilt between the Dawgs and Cats.
Note that while Kentucky leads the SEC in YPA Rushing, they are middle of the pack in rush explosiveness. This calculation of explosiveness measures the EPA of the successful runs. With the league’s 4th Success Rate on rushing plays, the rush explosiveness is expected to be lower, but 7th in isn’t an efficient rushing attack for a team that has a rush rate of 60%.
Certainly pointing out the deficiencies in the Wildcat’s rushing attacking without noting that they are better than UGA in all of these metrics isn’t fair analysis. UGA rush rate is 51% and that is a lot less than UK’s 60%, but still Dawgs need to improve of the rushing efficiency. 13th in the SEC’s rush explosiveness won’t strike fear in an defensive coordinator’s game plan – but if UGA can get more explosive runs, it will open up things for the passing attack.
There is a lot of talk on the UGA passing game. But, while the batted balls and costly interceptions are well documented (by this blogger and many like me) – it should not go unnoticed that UGA’s pass explosiveness is 3rd best in the conference. Again, this metric counts only the successful pass plays, and a low success rate means that there are fewer plays that count- it’s not bad news. The yards per pass play are not great, but the yards per reception is 5th best at 12.5 yards per catch.
Dawgs have only played 4 games under new OC, Todd Monken, and the offense does lack in efficiency – it shows signs of progress. Better execution should lead to not only a higher success rate, but more scoring opportunities. My friend Graham is a Monken believer and made these notes on some UGA passing plays.
Well, as much consternation as the UGA offense has caused, the defense is has played to its ability. With the notable exception of pass explosiveness allowed. Dawgs sit at 10th best in the conference in this metric. UGA has allowed 5 plays of 35+ yards. In comparison, UK has allowed just one such play.
So, considering that while UGA is 10th is pass explosiveness allowed but 1st in pass success rate allowed, I don’t think we have much to worry about on Saturday. UK is 13th in offensive pass success rate. They will want to run the ball, and by all stats, UGA should be able to contain the Wildcats offense.
I expect that UK will struggle to move the ball. Expect UGA grind out yards on the ground with a 60-40 run/pass ratio. I think Dawgs win and cover. 31-6. If UGA comes close to that run/pass ration and gets to 70 plays, then Stetson pass the ball 28 times. Looking at you Blayne!