Georgia State by the numbers

October 27, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football 

The Jaguars prepare to take the field at Lamar University.

Saturday will see a battle between two start up programs in South Alabama and Georgia State. Each team took their own route to where they are today. South Alabama went on the fast track to Division I-A, or FBS, and layed a framework to gradually progress and be successful from day one. While Georgia State decided to defer a season and merely practiced all last season.

South Alabama put together a first season schedule that was meant to gauge their progression by measured challenges without unattainable goals. While their first test was against Hargrave Military Academy, the Jags passed with flying colors and they did not look back for the rest of the season.

As the Jaguars had progressed better than anyone would have thought, their second season opponents was shuffled to be all four year institutions and to present more challenges. Currently, the Jaguars have passed all of their tests by defeating Nicholls State at home and huge road wins against Lamar University and UC-Davis.

Georgia State, as mentioned before, only practiced all last season in preparation for this season. They scheduled pretty agressively by playing Lambuth, Jacksonville State, Old Dominion and most surprisingly of all the University of Alabama. So far they are 5-3 on the season with wins over Shorter, Campbell, Morehead State, Savannah State and North Carolina Centeral and losses to Lambuth, Jacksonville State, and Old Dominion.

Georgia Southern hired former ESPN analyst Bill Curry to start their football program. Curry, formerly of Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia Tech, had been out of coaching since 1996 with an overall record of 82-105-4 as a college coach. His best season came at Alabama in 1989, his last year when his team went 10-2, losing the Sugar Bowl 33-25 to Miami. His following stint at Kentucky never saw a winning record, only finishing 6-6 in 1993 with a loss in the Peach Bowl by one point, 14-13, to Clemson. The following three seasons the Wildcats went 1-10, and back to back 4-7 seasons before he was asked to step aside.

As to whom is the better team, that will be settled on the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Saturday, but we can agree to disagree with how these two programs have decided to progress and their scheduling decisions.

Georgia State by the numbers:

Georgia State averages 29.8 points per game while allowing 20.9 per game compared to the Jags average of 43.7 points per game and allowing 7.3 points per game.

The two teams are pretty even in the first down department with South Alabama earning 141 compared to the Georgia State 139 on the season. The defenses are a bit different with the Jags allowing only 79 while the Panthers have allowed 149.

Rushing yardage is again in the Jaguars favor by gaining 1,610 yards on 274 carries for an average of 5.9 yards per rush, while the Panters have gained 1,086 yards on 238 attempts for an average of 4.6 yards per rush. Defensively the Jags have allowed 454 yards rushing on 200 attempts for an average of 2.3 yards per rush and Georgia State has allowed 1,422 on 347 attempts for 4.1 yards per rush.

Georgia State has the edge in passing offense with 1,750 yards while going 153-for-246 with 7 interceptions for an average of 11.4 yards per catch. South Alabama has 1,610 yards through the air on 97-for-151 passing with only 2 interceptions (both thrown last week against UC-Davis) for an average of 14.1 yards per completion.

Defensively the Jags have the edge again by only allowing 1,039 yards on the season while going 90-for-200 with 10 interceptions with an average of 11.2 yards per catch. Georgia State has allowed 1,195 yards through the air while opposing quarterbacks went 130-for-211 with 9 interceptions for an average of 9.2 yards per catch.

Again total offense has both categories going for the Jaguars. South Alabama has 2,982 total yards of offense while running 425 plays which averages to 7 yards per play while the defense has only given up 1,493 on 400 plays for an average of 3.7 yards per play. Georgia State has gained 2,836 yards while running 484 plays for an average of 5.9 yards per play. The Panther defense has given up 2,617 yards in 558 plays for an average of 4.7 yards per play.

South Alabama averages 426 yards per game while only giving up 213.3 yards per game on average. The Panthers gain an average of 354.5 yards per game while giving up an average of 327.1 yards per game.

Special teams have been a huge plus for South Alabama as well. The Jags returners have returned 13 kicks for a total of 310 yards or an average of 23.8 yards per return. Punt returner have had 19 returns for 372 yards with an average of 19.6 yards per return. Defensively the Jags have kicked 42 times and have allowed 771 yards which is an average of 18.4 yards. Punting the Jags opponents have returned 12 punts for 50 yards for an average of 4.2 yards per punt return.

Georgia State has averaged 25 yards per kick return and 7.1 yards per punt return while giving up an average of 17.8 yards per kick return and 7.2 yards per punt return.

South Alabama has fumbled 10 times and lost 6 of those fumbles. Defensively the Jaguar defense has forced 18 fumbles and recovering 9 of them. The Panthers have fumbled 14 times and lost 11 of them while forcing their opponents to fumble 20 times and they have recovered 8 of them.

Georgia State wins the 3rd down conversion stat by going 44 of 96 for a 46% conversion rate compared to the Jaguars 21 of 73 for a 29% conversion rate. But the Jags then win the 4th down conversion rate by making 6 of 8 attempts for a 75% conversion rate compared to the Panthers 2 of 8 or 25% conversion rate.

Though the Jaguar defense beats the Panthers in both stats. Jag opponents have gone 23 of 96 for a 24% conversion rate on 3rd downs while also going 4 of 11 for 36% on 4th downs. The Panthers opponents have gone 51 of 118 for a conversion rate of 43% and 7 of 11 for 64% on 4th downs.

South Alabama has the edge in red zone scores and touchdowns in the red zone by converting on 37 of 43 trips, or 86% of the time, while scoring 29 touchdowns or 67% beign touchdowns. The Panthers have scored 29 times in their 34 trips to the red zone with 20 of them being touchdowns for a conversion rate of 85% scoring and 59% touchdown rate.

Defensively, South Alabama has allowed opponents inside the red zone 9 times and they have scored 5 times for a 56% conversion rate. Of those 9 trips opponents have scored 4 touchdowns or 44% of them have gone for touchdowns. The Panthers have allowed opponents into the red zone 23 times and they have scored 19 times which works out to 83% of the time. Of those 23 red zone trips, 14 have gone for touchdowns which is 61% of the time.

South Alabama has scored 63% of their points in the first half with the third quarter being their least productive quarter. However, with so many blow outs, South has dialed back the offense in the second half many times. The Jaguar defense has yet to allow a point in the 4th quarter of any games. 53% of their opponents points have come in the first quarter of their games.

Georgia State has been fairly even by quarter, with their least productive quarter being the 3rd where they have scored about 19% of their points. Defensively they have been the strongest in the first and third quarters only allowing 12% and 17% of their points respectively. The second and fourth quarters have been almost identical.

The Panthers have five players who have rushed for more than 100 yards on the season. Their leading rusher has 358 yard on 46 carries so far. While South Alabama has six rushers with over 100 yards. The Jaguars leading rusher is Kendall Houston with 472 yards on 66 carries. The Jaguars second leading rusher is Brandon Ross, who gained 274 yards on 36 carries before going down with a torn ACL.

Georgia State has six receivers who have gained over 100 yards. Danny Williams has 42 catches for 497 yards and 4 touchdowns. South Alabama has three receivers over 100 yards. Courtney Smith has 23 receptions for 371 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Jeff Sagarin’s computer ratings has South Alabama at number 100, which is would make them the highest rated Sun Belt team in the rankings with Georgia State coming in at 184 in the rankings. Other notable teams around South Alabama are Purdue (82), Army (85), Washington University (87), Rutgers (88), Tennessee (89), Boston College (99), Troy (101), Vanderbilt (102), Colorado State (111), Tulane (118) and Kent State (119).

So this should be a great football game on Saturday with all the excitement of the first “rivalry” like game for both teams. Both schools have shown that they have what it takes to win and have done good jobs of it thus far. So come out to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the White-Out and show Georgia State what South Alabama football is all about.

GO JAGS! Beat those Panthers!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: