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Forecasting C.J.’s Numbers

Posted by cuorange on August 27, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveAt the risk of setting off a case of bad ju-ju and alienating every Clemson friend I have, I decided to attempt to project C.J. Spiller’s all-purpose yardage this year.

I used a hybrid method in coming up with these, using common sense, historical averages and yes, a little leap of faith.  His rushing numbers are based on the workload of James Davis last year (40% of teams rushes) using last years run/pass ratio and with a 10% increase in the teams plays to account for the much anticipated up tempo offense.  The touchdown, 10+ and 20+ gains are based on C.J.’s averages from last year.

You could argue this is a conservative estimate, that C.J. will get more than 40% of the carries, that the offensive line is better, etc. and I certainly understand that.  As I said, part of this is a leap of faith.

Personally, I believe Spiller will catch between 50-55 passes this year and that shows up in these numbers.  While I used his 4.1 average receptions per game under Swinney from last year, I didn’t use his 13.0 yard per reception average from the last 6 games of 2009 because I felt that would be a little high for a RB and this was proven by his career average of 10.5 (which I used).  The touchdowns and 20+ yard gains are extrapolated from last years statistics based on these estimates.

On the punt and kickoff returns I began by using last years numbers. Then I heard Jacoby Ford’s hamstring may be a lingering issue, so I assigned C.J. 1/3 of Jacoby’s kickoff and punt returns from last year. Again, you can argue he’ll have more or less and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree, but from what I have heard Spiller’s number of kick returns (and punt returns) is going to vary from game to game depending on the situation, and specifically the situation with Ford’s hamstring.
All expected statistics are based on a 13 game season.  2009 statistics are forecasted.

Year Rush Atts Yds TD 10+ 20+ Rec Yds TD 20+ KO Ret Punt Ret Total
2008 116 629 7 20 6 34 436 3 7 516 189 1,770
2009 188 1,016 11 32 10 54 567 6 11 734 242 2,559

Before you haul me off to the nut farm remember that to accomplish this seemingly astronomical number Spiller only has to average 50 more yards per game this year than last – and stay healthy.

He only averaged 9.7 carries per game last year. If he averages 18 this year and matches his 5.4 average from a year ago he would add about 43 yards right there. Add on the fact that I expect Napier to use him out of the backfield as a receiver early and often (considering the lack of experience at WR) and Spiller could easily reach this mark.

One thing about averaging close to 200 yards a game though – one bad game or missed half due to injury or illness and your shot is kaput.  It will be almost impossible to make reach the magical 2,500 yard marker in that case.


2 Responses to “Forecasting C.J.’s Numbers”

  1. […] does some projecting on C.J. Spiller’s season–all GT fans that were reached for comment on the piece said “Where’s […]

  2. […] by cuorange on October 2, 2009 Back in August I attempted to project C.J. Spiller’s all-purpose yardagefor the 2009 season. Using a Ouija board, hammer, duct tape and a paper clip I managed to come up […]

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