3. Georgia football converted as many third downs as the Gators did
On Saturday, it seemed like the Gators converted third downs left and right, but after looking at the stat sheet, the Dawgs converted just as many.
Both teams converted four third downs, which isn’t good for either team. Georgia went 4-of-9 on third down while the Gators went 4-of-13. The Dawgs averaged 44%, and the Gators averaged 30%.
So while they both had four conversions, Georgia won this stat category because they had a higher success rate. Even though the Dawgs did, that isn’t a great number to see on the page.
Georgia needs to be sustaining drives for long periods to give their defense a rest to keep them sharp. Even though the Gators had the same amount, they did go 2-of-4 on fourth down, so two of those drives lasted longer because they didn’t punt after the Dawgs stopped them.
However, that means Georgia got two turnovers on downs, so technically, they forced five total takeaways on the day — we kid, but hey, it’s the Gators, so morally, if you want to say five, then go for it.
Head coach Dan Mullen knew if he were going to score on Georgia, he would have to find a way to keep those drives going, but the one drive they did score on, they didn’t have to convert on third or fourth down. They did it on first and second, but more on that later.
So when they did catch a moment of weakness from Georgia, they still couldn’t capitalize off it because of either a turnover or the Dawgs’ defense shutting it down.
Give the Gators defense some credit, too, because they were able to force mistakes and hold Georgia’s offense off for a little while.
Those three turnovers, though, gave the Dawgs enough confidence to trust that their defense could hold Florida out of the endzone enough, and they did.
So while you want a team to convert more than four third-downs, those four were enough to win the ballgame.