# Behind the Numbers - Rushing Stats

*There are a lot of statistics floating around the world of College Football. Some intriguing, some important, some useless, some hilarious. Behind the Numbers is a semi-regular look at just a few of the statistics that you may or may not be aware of, with a little bit of a dissection of each. Enjoy.*

### Today's Focus: Rushing Stats (Rush YPG)

**(Full NCAA Rankings)**

*Players of note: Ralph Bolden, Purdue (1st, 178.5ypg); Jahvid Best, Cal (6th, 140.5ypg); Armando Allen, ND (23rd, 105.5ypg); Caulton Ray, MSU (99th, 61ypg)*

### Why It's Important:

Because.. it tells you how many rushing yards a player has per game, on average. Pretty self-explanatory here. Generally the more yards a player rushes for per game, the better they are.### Why It's Flawed:

It just measures yards. A big, bruising back that gets the ball on third and short situations or inside the ten yard line can be just as valuable as a quick running back who gets big yards but can't break tackles. What would you rather a running back's stat line be -- 6att, 25yds and 3 TDs or 30att, 200yds and no scores? One gets you points, the other gets you valuable field position that can turn into yards.Also, it doesn't take into account the number of rushing attempts. YPC does this, but you'd have to look into two or three different stat lines to really see the effectiveness of a RB.

ALSO, it doesn't take into account fumbles. 200yds in a game is all well and good, but if all that field position is wasted because he fumbled 3-4 times, it doesn't help at all.

So any one stat for a RB will be leaving out a lot of the story.

### Applying this to Current Statistics

**Ralph Bolden, Purdue:**178.5ypg (#1)

Definitely a great YPG average, good enough to be #1 in the nation after two games, but a look at his YPC tells a different story. Bolden averages 7.14ypc, still a respectable number, but not nearly #1 in the nation. In fact, second through sixth leading rushers in terms of YPG have a higher YPC average than Bolden. His 50 carries are the second highest in the top 10.

It's pretty obvious that between two equally talented rushers that have the same YPC average, whoever gets more carries per game will have the higher YPG average. Hence the flaw.

**Robert Turbin, Utah St:**148.0ypg (#4)

Obviously an extremely small sample size here, as Turbin has only played one game so far (Utah), but he's listed here for another reason. That 148yds was garnered on only 13 carries, earning him a 11.38ypc average, the best of anyone in the Top 25 of YPG.

**104.5ypg (#25)**

Reggie Arnold, Arkansas St:

Reggie Arnold, Arkansas St:

Arnold, while not dominant in either YPG or YPC (8.04), is extremely efficient in terms of points earned with his carries. He's had 26 carries thus far, and has scored 5 touchdowns. Almost 20% of the time this guy's had his hands on the ball out of the backfield he's been in the endzone.

So three different stat lines, all pretty damn good in their own way.

### An Alternative

Along the lines of my Quarterback Efficiency Rating, I've come up with a Rushing Efficiency Rating (RER). It's much more than YPC or YPG, it's a combination of the major aspects of a running back's game that is contributes to their overall efficiency.Here's the first draft of the formula:

(Yards) + (Touchdowns x 10) + (Fumbles x -10)

Attempts

So a big bruiser who might not rack up 8-9ypc but is solid with ball control and in the red zone who's usually good for a few scores:

10att, 40yds, 3 TDs

**(RER: 7.00)**

Has an RER that's similar to a speed back who might rack up the yards, but is prone to a mistake here and there and might not always get the ball on the goal line:

28att, 170yds, 2 TDs, 1 Fumble

**(RER: 6.79)**

### Applying the RER to Last Season's Backs

Rank (YPG) | (YPC) | Player | YR | TDs | YPC | YPG | RER* | Rank |

1 | 7 | Donald Brown, Connecticut | JR | 18 | 5.68 | 160.23 | 6.17 | 6 |

2 | 5 | Shonn Greene, Iowa | JR | 20 | 6.03 | 142.31 | 6.68 | 5 |

3 | 1 | Jahvid Best, California | SO | 15 | 8.14 | 131.67 | 8.92 | 1 |

4 | 10 | Javon Ringer, Michigan St. | SR | 22 | 4.20 | 125.92 | 4.76 | 10 |

5 | 8 | MiQuale Lewis, Ball St. | JR | 22 | 5.39 | 124.00 | 6.07 | 8 |

6 | 6 | Chris Wells, Ohio St. | JR | 8 | 5.78 | 119.70 | 6.17 | 6 |

7 | 2 | Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma St. | SO | 16 | 6.45 | 119.62 | 7.12 | 2 |

8 | 3 | Vai Taua, Nevada | SO | 15 | 6.44 | 117.00 | 7.08 | 3 |

9 | 4 | Tyrell Fenroy, La.-Lafayette | SR | 19 | 6.08 | 114.58 | 6.92 | 4 |

10 | 9 | LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh | SO | 21 | 4.83 | 114.46 | 5.51 | 9 |

**HUGE difference is made in the RER because I couldn't find fumble statistics. Any help there would be greatly appreciated and the RERs would be updated for more accuracy.*

Quite the shakeup in the YPG rankings when the number of carries is taken into account, as well as the number of touchdowns. YPC numbers, on the other hand, are nearly identical. If the fumbles were taken into account, this would surely be a bit different, but until I can find those stats this is all we have to go by.

Thoughts? Comments? Fumble statistics? Let me know.

___________________

*Behind the Numbers will be back soon with another look at a stat from the world of College Football. Any stats you want to be examined a little closer? Or even just a stat you've been interested in for a long time? Let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to get to it in the next few installments of BtN. Thanks for reading!*

-CollegeFootball13

## Comments