Our weekly postgame look at the stats from Georgia’s 26-24 victory against Nicholls State on Saturday in Athens. And as you’d suspect, when you barely beat an FCS team by two points, most of them are not good. But there are some good ones in there, too.
STILL, MOSTLY BAD
Average margin of victory by Georgia over FCS teams from 2010-15.
Closest margin of victory for Georgia over an FCS team from 2010-15. (Georgia Southern, 45-14, in 2012.)
Margin of victory Saturday.
Nicholls State points off Georgia turnovers (Nick Chubb fumble led to touchdown, Jacob Eason interception led to field goal, Isaiah McKenzie fumbled punt led to touchdown).
Tackles-for-loss by Nicholls State. Last week North Carolina had six.
Georgia’s rushing average against Nicholls State.
Georgia’s rushing average against North Carolina.
Three-and-outs for Georgia’s offense against Nicholls State, the same as against North Carolina.
Tackles by defensive lineman Trent Thompson, a career-high. Three of the tackles were behind the line of scrimmage.
Tackles by Georgia inside linebacker Reggie Carter, second-most on the team. Carter made his first start since 2013, after sitting out last season with an injury.
Career interceptions for junior Dominick Sanders. The school record is 16, held by Jake Scott.
SPECIAL TEAMS IMPROVEMENT
Rodrigo Blankenship’s kickoffs for touchbacks, four more than last week.
Blankenship’s kickoff average, up from 61.7 in the opener. Smart pointed out after the game: “This’ll be lost in all of this, but Rodrigo kicked off better, and we challenged him to do that.”
Marshall Long’s average on three punts, also an improvement from the opener (38.5).
The total yardage on William Ham’s two made field goals (23 and 26).
The length of the one field-goal attempt that Ham missed.
LOOKING AHEAD, LOOKING BACK
Missouri’s point total Saturday against Eastern Michigan. (For context purposes, Eastern Michigan’s previous game was a 61-14 win over Missouri Valley State, and last year Eastern Michigan ranked 123rd nationally in total defense.)
Points allowed by Missouri the first two weeks: It lost at West Virginia 26-11 the first week.
North Carolina’s total yards Saturday at Illinois, after being held to 315 by Georgia. Of course it’s too early to tell how good Illinois is, but for context purposes it ranked 30th nationally in total defense last season, and ninth in the Big Ten.
THIS AND THAT
Touches by Sony Michel: Three rushes for three yards, and two catches for five yards.
Snaps for true freshmen Elijah Holyfield, Mecole Hardman, Tyler Simmons and Solomon Kindley, who were expected to see their first action, but didn’t because the game stayed close. The only newcomer who saw his first action was Javon Wims.
Brian Herrien’s yards-per-carry through two games.
Georgia’s turnover margin through two games. It was an even split (one apiece) against North Carolina, minus-1 against Nicholls State.
Players who made their first career starts: Eason and receiver Jayson Stanley.
Games that Charlie Hegedus has played in for Georgia. The former N.C. State receiver, who transferred to Georgia two years ago as a walk-on, played on the punt-return unit.
WAY TOO EARLY, BUT ….
Georgia’s national rank in total offense. (34th in rushing, 87th in passing.)
Georgia’s national rank in total defense (69th against the run, 18th against the pass).
Nick Chubb’s national rank in rushing yards, with 302, despite being held to 80 by Nicholls State.
AND ONE MORE NUMBER
I lost count
The number of things I got wrong in the Friday Five predictions. Yeah, this one surprised me, too.