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ESPN Finds Blueprint for Beating Georgia?

ESPN uses some advanced analytics to potentially find the blueprint for beating Georgia.

Georgia is currently the consensus number one overall team in the country; since Alabama lost to Texas A&M back in week five, Georgia's held that title, even with the return of the College Football Playoff rankings. 

Much of Georgia's success that is being found this season is due to the Bulldogs' elite defense, a unit known by the mainstream as the top defense in the country, allowing just 6.9 PPG. With that points per game number being so low, it begs the debate of the greatest defense of all time. 

Those who are still trying to discredit what Georgia has done through the last 12 games point to the lack of an opponent with an "elite offense," which is hard to find year in and year out. With that being said, as ESPN pointed out in their article, "the conventional wisdom was that an offensive juggernaut would go toe-to-toe with Georgia's overwhelming defense,"

Georgia is currently just days away from facing long-time cross-divisional foe Alabama in the SEC Championship game. Many criticize Alabama for not being "as dominant" as in years past. However, it does not dispute that many see Alabama as the perfect team to beat Georgia because of their offensive firepower. 

Although in ESPN's opinion, it disputes the take that an elite offense will top the Bulldogs. After using some advanced metrics, ESPN believes that an elite defense could be the kryptonite to Georgia's success.

"Using offensive and defensive expected points added (EPA) for each of Georgia's 10 Power 5 opponents, the Bulldogs have played four above-average offensive units: Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. Georgia dominated all three games."

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"The Dawgs have played just one above-average defense, however. That was Clemson, in the opener. Georgia didn't score an offensive touchdown. Or consider a far more relatable metric: yards per dropback. The three best defenses Georgia faced were Clemson, Florida and South Carolina. The three best offenses were Tennessee, Arkansas and Kentucky. Against the top offenses, Georgia's defensive EPA dropped by about 10 points from its Power 5 average. Against the top defenses, its offense declined by nearly 14 points."

Finishing off the thought with, "In other words, Georgia is likely to struggle more against a great defense than a great offense." While stats and advanced analytics don't always tell the whole story, Clemson's loss to the Bulldogs in week one could provide a blueprint for any of Georgia's post-season opponents on how to beat the consensus number one team.

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