Bulldogs Beat

By the numbers: Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets are very close

ATHENS - History favors Georgia, which has won 12 of the past 13 games against Georgia Tech. This year's numbers, however, point to two closely-matched teams, especially in what they do best.

This is a matchup of the two highest-scoring teams in the SEC and ACC: Georgia ranks seventh nationally, and first in the SEC, with 43.3 points per game. Georgia Tech is tied for 13th nationally, and first in the ACC, with 37.8 points per game.

And yes, these are also two of the best rushing teams in the nation: Georgia Tech is third nationally with 327.9 yards per game, while Georgia is 12th, at 260.5.

What about yardage? The two teams are very close: Georgia Tech is 24th nationally in total offense with 469.6 yards per game, while Georgia is tied (with South Carolina) for 26th, at 461.0 yards per game.

Georgia is also a top 20 team in scoring defense; tied for 18th with Virginia Tech, yielding 20.5 points per game. Georgia Tech is tied for 45th, at 24.1 points per game.

Neither team is as good at stopping the run: Georgia is 54th nationally, at 156.2 yards per game, and Georgia Tech is 70th at 165.5 per game.

Georgia is also second nationally in turnover margin, at plus-16, trailing only Michigan State. Not far behind is Georgia Tech, tied for ninth nationally at plus-10.

And not that it will matter much this week, but Georgia is now second in the SEC in pass defense, and seventh nationally, yielding 167 yards per game. That's a whale of an improvement over last year.

Georgia Tech is a bit more vulnerable to the pass, yielding 223.3 yards per game, which is 57th nationally.

Missouri vs. Arkansas

If you're a Georgia fan looking for hope, Arkansas can provide it. The game is at Missouri, but a few signs point to a pretty close game.

Arkansas will be the thirdbest rushing offense that Missouri has faced this year. The best? Indiana, ranked ninth nationally, which upset Missouri in Columbia. The second-best was Georgia, which rolled to a 34-0 win in Columbia. The third-best was Toledo, ranked 15th nationally, which gave the Tigers a good game in Week 2.

Missouri's strength is its pass rush - the Tigers have 40 sacks this season, fifth in the nation and the most in the SEC - but a good run game can negate that.

Plus, Arkansas has also been good at protecting the quarterback, yielding just 13 sacks this season - tied with Georgia for 16th-best nationally.

Georgia individual standouts

Hutson Mason still doesn't have gaudy passing yards total - 165.9 per game - but he has ascended to be among the most efficient passers in the country.

Mason now leads the SEC in pass efficiency rating, and is eighth nationally, with a rating of 158.1. Don't ask me the formula, but Mason has 19 passing touchdowns and just three interceptions, and is completing 68.3 percent of his passes.

Nick Chubb, despite only starting six games, is second in the SEC in rushing yards with 1,152, trailing only Cameron Artis-Payne of Auburn. Chubb is 20th nationally.

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