I kind of cheated and turned the Raider Read into a position preview, so you get a 2-for-1 deal today. As for the running backs, I expect another big year out of DeAndre Washington and more of the same from Justin Stockton. I would expect Washington to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark again this season. I would like to see Stockton get in the neighborhood of 800 rushing yards which would be double his 396 yards last season.
Starter: DeAndre Washington (Sr)
2nd String: Justin Stockton (So)
Key Returning Starter
This is an easy one, DeAndre Washington. Last year he had a breakout season and Kingsbury has said he wants to get DeAndre more touches in the red zone. He only had 2 rushing touchdowns last season which I had forgotten because he ran the ball so well last season. Based on Kingsbury's comments though, I would expect the touchdown total to improve.
Player to Watch
Damarcus Felton (RS Fr) flashed some nice moves in the spring. We know what we have in Washington and Stockton. Felton should get a few touches a game and hopefully he provide value in the touches he gets. He reminds me of Washington 2.0, so next year with Stockton, Felton and Dauphine the RB group shouldn't skip a beat. RB coach Mike Jinks said recently that if Dauphine can be better than another running back on the roster while getting eight to ten touches a game that he wouldn't redshirt. Ultimately I think he redshirts and then bursts onto the scene next season. Otherwise he may have been my player to watch.
Biggest Question Mark
How many touches will the RBs get? In asking that question, I am thinking total touches (rushing and receiving). This group is too strong to receive less than 50% of the touches throughout the game, but Kingsbury hasn't shown a propensity to want to keep the ball on the ground too much which limits their touches because last season the RB position averaged four catches a game. However, he said at Big 12 Media Days that he wanted to get this group more touches, so we will see. I think the more they touch the ball, the more success this team will have.
Similar to above, the key stat for this group is the percentage of rushing attempts compared to passing attempts. Last season we ranked #125 in rushing attempts but #80 in rushing yards per game so we were really good when we ran the ball. We average 29 rushes per game last season while averaging 46 passing attempts per game. If we want to get to a 50/50 split, we need to be around 37 rushing attempts times per game. For me, the raw number isn't as important as the percentage.
Just for Fun: Justin Stockton Highlights
Next up: Offensive Line
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