Player Spotlight: Texas Running Backs - NinosCorner™ Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Player Spotlight: Texas Running Backs

Player Spotlight:  Texas Running Backs
by BR Battle

Photo: Tom Reel, Staff / San Antonio Express-News
In a week in which Texas Offensive Coordinator, Tim Beck, stated that both Chris Warren III and Kyle Porter are interchangeable, the stats provide evidence that suggests he actually believes it.  For the record, I believe that Warren is the best running back on the 40 acres.  He should receive at least 15 – 20 touches a game.  However, based on our data, Beck and Running Backs Coach, Stan Drayton, do truly believe Porter and Warren are the same player.

During the game, Warren and Porter both received the same number of rushing attempts…16.  Now, the difference with the carries is what each runner did after they received the ball.  Kyle Porter rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on his 16 carries.  On the other hand, Warren III rushed for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging more than 10 yards a carry.  To state that these 2 runners are interchangeable in the run game is not true at all.  Take a look at the stats below and you can see the difference between the two backs. 

Of his 16 carries, Porter had success on 8 of them and manufactured no explosive plays.  Warren III had success on 13 of his 16 plays.  That’s success on 81% of the carries he had.  Warren III also had 2 explosive plays of over 15 yards.  Another thing to note is how impressive the freshmen running backs, Daniel Young and Toneil Carter, played.  Young ran really hard and had great balance to his rushes.  Carter showcased his speed once he got his touches, gutting the Aztec defense for a 38 yard run on one play. 

Going forward in the season, Texas needs to run the ball with Chris Warren III much more.  Stan Drayton said earlier this year that this team did not have a “bell cow.”  I beg to differ.  Warren III is the Longhorn’s “bell cow” and needs to be treated as such from this game forward. 

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