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2011 UT Rushing Statistics Broken Down & Some 2012 Projections


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2011 UT Rushing Statistics Broken Down & Some 2012 Projections

By: Wes Crochet

 

Since last season was the first season for the longhorns new run dominant offense, I wanted to go back and really break down the numbers in an attempt to get a better idea of what type of production we may expect from the running backs this fall.

*Statistic from – http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/stats/_/id/251/texas-longhorns

 

Total Rushing Attempts (includes RB, QB, WR): 613 (ESPN says 589, but Case McCoy’s 24 carries are not added onto those stats, which is why I’m going with 613. Also note that some QB carries are sacks).

 

Total Rushing Attempts by RB’s ONLY: 443

1. Malcolm Brown – 172

2. Joe Bergeron – 72

3. Fozzy Whittaker – 66

4. Cody Johnson – 48

5. D.J. Monroe – 48

6. Jeremy Hills 36

Average Rushing Attempts Per Game by RB’s ONLY: 34

 

When focusing on just the running backs, the Horns averaged about 34 rushing attempts per game. For the 2012 season, I don’t expect that number to change much, though I do think it could hover around the 40 mark.

The first thing that stands out to me is the amount of players who attempted 20 or more carries in 2011 (including RB’s, QB’s, WR’s), which is a total of 9. The number increases to 10 when you add Jaxon Shipley’s 11 carries. Compare that to 2010 where there were only 5 players with 20 or more carries (4 of those players being running backs) and you start to see where the differences lie in this offensive scheme to the previous one… RUN, EVERYBODY JUST RUN.

 

Let’s take a closer look at each player’s carries last season.

 

MALCOLM BROWN – Not including the 3 games Brown sat out, he averaged about 17 carries per game over the 10 games he played in. His 172 total carries are about right on par for what I expect for the 2012 season. And yes, I unfortunately am taking into account that he may be banged up a couple of games. But I think he averages closer to 15 carries per game.

 

JOE BERGERON – I love how hard Bergeron runs and I really hope he stays healthy all season, but he actually is extremely hard to project for the fall. I know everyone is high on him and it can be very easy to think he will be the best back out of the committee at UT in the fall, but not so fast, my friend (thanks Corso).

It’s important to note that Bergeron didn’t receive more than 6 carries in ANY game until the 7th game of the season against Kansas, who’s run defense is plain awful. Against Kansas, and against Texas Tech the following week, Bergeron ran for a total of 42 carries for 327 yards, giving him an average of 7.8 YPC. And in those 2 games he scored five touchdowns, which were his ONLY touchdowns of the entire season. After those 2 games he had 12 carries the rest of the season. Granted, he was also hit by the injury bug and didn’t play in all of the games the entire season. But If we take those 2 monster games out of his stats and look at the rest of his production his stats would be 30 carries for 136 yards, giving him an average of 4.5 YPC, and 0 TD’s. That’s not a terrible average, but assuming Bergeron will be the best back this year may be a bit of a stretch.

So what should we expect from the bruiser? Since Joe Bergeron is a physical, power running back I still would think his carries will be less than Malcolm Brown’s. If we still agree that the Horn’s will average 35-40 rushing attempts per game, and if Brown gets 15 of those then I’d assume Bergeron sees about 12-15 carries per game. I know there will be games, like the Kansas game last year, where one back could see increased attempts, but we are talking averages here.

 

For all you non-math majors out there, like myself, that now totals about 30 carries. We have 10 left… who uses them? Perhaps Jonathan Gray? When you start breaking down the numbers it gets really tough to see exactly where the production will come from and how it will all play out. Add in the fact that D.J. Monroe, Daje Johnson (freshman), Jaxon Shipley, Marquis Goodwin, and who ever else Harsin can find will all be used to carry the ball in one way or another then the madness that Harsin creates and Mack wants begins to show. At the end of the day I really don’t care who leads in which statistic as long as the Horns are improving and getting wins. I personally love that the Longhorns should have a plethora of weapons to use in the running game, as long as the coaching staff is riding the hot hand/hands… Especially since neither quarterback has yet to “make the decision for [Mack]†on who will start.

 

Join the conversation and tell us what you think.

 

Twitter: @WesKCrochet

Email: Wes.Sports@hotmail.com

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I agree with you on Brown's projected 17ish carries per game. I think he will get a little more than Bergeron with Gray scraping up the remainder. It will be interesting to see what Gray does with his opportunities. If he explodes he might see a lot more playing time than we think.

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JGray will play this season and could easily be the leading rusher for the team this year. He is THAT special. His success this year is a double edged sword. He does well and we have unhappy backs in Brown and Bergeron. Mack Brown has maintained the need for depth at all positions but you cannot hold blue chippers down by relegating them to backups or splitting playing time. Its like messing with mother nature - not a good move.

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