Monday, October 20, 2014

Turnovers - a team effort

I'm as guilty as the next guy; I tend to attribute a team's turnover margin to the defense. And it's something I especially keep an eye on after a change has been made in the defensive staff.

I've mentioned it before, but a large part of the reason Willie Martinez was shown the door is that his defense had lost the ability to gain turnovers. Equally, Grantham's first season was deemed a success mostly because the 2010 defense had improved from gaining just 12 turnovers the year before to gaining 26.

Halfway through Pruitt's first season and the results are once again trending in Georgia's favor. Last season the defense gained seven interceptions and eight fumbles. Thus far this season, ten and seven respectively.

But as incredible as those defensive numbers are, the offense is doing more than its fair share as well. Last season the offense turned the ball over 22 times, which averaged out to about 1.69/game. This season, only four so far (.57/game). Mason has only thrown three interceptions and the only fumble was Bennett's against Clemson, which is still debatable as to its authenticity if you ask me.

So through seven games the Dawgs have made a 20 point swing in turnover margin; from -7 last season to +13 this season. That's impressive, and is a large part of why Georgia is leading the East and was able to sustain two road trips back to back in impressive fashion (+9 the last two games).

Over the next couple weeks you'll hear a lot about how Georgia has proven not to be a one man team and has really pulled together to make a statement. Perhaps we only have to look at the turnover margin to verify that.

*All stats via