Friday, November 06, 2015

Versatile running backs power UConn, Tulane offenses

Arkeel Newsome's impressive receiving numbers have been well documented in this blog but it bears repeating that only Florida International's Alex Gardner and Virginia's Taquan Mizzell have more catches and receiving yards among FBS running backs than Newsome's 34 catches and 386 receiving yards.

With Newsome leading the way UConn tops all American Athletic Conference teams in catches and receiving yards by running backs  (the 46 catches and 468 yards rank 11th among all FBS teams). So which AAC team is next when it comes to utilizing backs in the passing game? Tulane, of course.

The Green Wave have 43 catches for 371 yards ranking in the top 20 nationally in both categories.

YARDS                  RECEPTIONS
Ohio State 736       Virginia  77
Virginia 683           Washington State 74
S. Mississippi 649  Ohio State  68
Stanford 593           S. Mississippi  61
Georgia Tech  537  C. Michigan  55
San Diego St. 534  Northwestern  53
Syracuse 514          FIU   52
Northwestern 502   E. Michigan  51
Washington St. 482 UMass   47
San Jose St. 477     Syracuse  47
UConn  468           UConn   46Texas Tech 448     San Jose St.  44
Ohio  425              Wisconsin  43
FIU  412                Tulane   43
There have been plenty of stories written over the last two or two about Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli saying that he can't remember a defensive back playing as well as a rookie as former UConn star Byron Jones has been playing for the Cowboys this season.

It is not uncommon for coaches to pump up their own players but still it should be noted that Marinelli was on the defensive coaching staff of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Ronde Barber came into the league (John Lynch was going into his fourth season by the time Marinelli arrived) so he knows a thing or two about impressive rookie defensive backs.



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