This is a post about stamina. The purpose of the post is to prove Bud Elliott of Tomahawk Nation wrong when he says Georgia Tech has poor strength and conditioning training. If I could find his messages to me, I would show it to you but I've searched through email and twitter files and just can't find it. Basically I get a random message that says: "GT has horrible conditioning. This is why you suck"
I have looked over the past three years of Paul Johnson's tenure on campus and dug out all the 4th quarter scoring statistics. The test of conditioning and stamina is revealed in the 4th quarter. When your back's against the wall, holding onto a lead, or desperate to take one, what happens? Does your team have the energy to muster the necessary output? Specifically, I wanted to see the scoring differential between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and their opponents at the close of games. If Bud Elliott is correct, then we should see our opponents scoring a consistent amount of more points in the 4th quarter than we are.
Does Georgia Tech have the stamina to outlast their opponents in the 4th quarter? I answer that question after The Jump!
Yes they do. In the regular season, the team does respond to 4th quarter weariness very well. For all years, I looked at all games first, and then subtracted FCS teams and bowl games. Here is where the Jackets stand since 2008 through the Virginia game this past Saturday.
As you can see, opponents are coming in to the 4th quarter losing and leave the game having lost by more points than when they entered the 4th quarter. Over the long term, Georgia Tech has outscored its opponents in the 4th quarter by about 50-60 points.
Now, as we know, this year is nothing compared to 2009 which was also nothing compared to 2008. Here is a breakdown by year. What can you pick out of the data?
2008 was Paul Johnson's first year and it was obvious. It was also the only year that opponents scored more points than us in the 4th quarter. One game that could throw these numbers off is the North Carolina squad that the Yellow Jackets ran into during this year. That game was the definition of not knowing how to close. The Tarheels scored 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter on the way to quite the romp. If removed, the Jackets and their opponents are virtually tied in the 4th quarter (3 point difference).
Looking back, it's easy to see how we won the ACC and punched our ticket to the Orange Bowl. Look at the 4th quarter scoring differential.We never gave up, ran out of energy, etc. We had a hunger that was the ultimate will to win....oh and a defense that could never be trusted so we absolutely had to score.
2010 is a different story. Year-to-date, we have not outscored our opponents through the first three quarter and have absolutely needed the 4th quarter. In fact, we have only led South Carolina State and Virginia going in to the 4th quarter. We have needed 4th-quarter comebacks against North Carolina, and Wake Forest while NC State and Kansas were simply too little too late. But still, look at the 4th quarter scoring compared to our opponents. We are continuing to score more points late in the game. This table shows us that even though our offense may not be as good as it's been, it still has more energy than that of the enemy.
Finally, over the 2+ years Paul Johnson has coached Georgia Tech, he has posted a 24-9 record. Every single one of those losses were when we were outplayed throughout the entire game. None of them were because of a 4th-quarter meltdown to lose. On exactly the opposite side, only one of those 24 wins, Miami in 2008, resulted in them gaining 10 or more points in the 4th quarter.
While strength, conditioning, and stamina are all essential parts of football that do not show up in the stat sheet, I think pulling these 4th quarter numbers reveal, that no, we do not suffer from conditioning issues. In fact, we outlast our opponents in the final minutes of the game.