Predicting the Cougars 2013: Rolling with the Running Backs


I’m going to hand out another podcast shout out to the Rise and Shout podcast.  They frequently do over/under stats for BYU and I thought I’d come up with some of my own for the AI family and see what we could come up with.  Check back this whole week for the next in depth look into BYU football.

With Jamaal Williams leading the staple of running backs, 2013 should be promising.  Especially if Robert Anae’s offense clicks in, they will be carrying the ball 30 + plays per game this fall.  That means Michael Alisa, Adam Hine, and even Paul Lasike and Iona Pritchard all have chances to be big contributors this season.

Jamaal Williams: 21 carries/game, 107 yards/game, 15 total rushing touchdowns
All the backs: 32 carries/game, 150 yards/game, 23 season rushing TD, 72 season receptions

Carl: As a group, the running backs will thrive.  And Jamaal will have the opportunity to cease the starting role and run with it.  Anae likes to go with primary running backs, as witnessed last season at Arizona and Ka’Deem Carey.  He was 71 yards short of 2000 for the season.  I hope Jamaal continues where he began last season.  He could have a tremendous season if he does.  Nevertheless, the production catching the football will be a must and the running backs will get their fair share of the receiving workload.

Jamaal: Carries = under   YPG = under   Rush TD = under

Group: Carries = under   YPG = under   Rush TD = under   Rec = over

Matt: Assuming a 50-50 split for run/pass in Anae’s new offense that wants to run 90 plays/game, 32 carries/game (as well as 21 for JW) is way too low, so I’m taking the over.  I think Williams will average just over 107 by himself, but this unit should be close to 200 together.  I’d love to see JW run for 15 scores, but I think he’ll come up short of that so I’m taking the under.  As for the entire unit, I think they will exceed it.  Sure, that means I’m buying into the hype, but I think the record for scores in a season is 25 and this unit may need to do just that to be successful in this system.  I’m at a push for receptions.  That’s 6/game as a unit and I think that is a fair estimate (if you don’t count QB carries.)

Mike: I really hope Jamaal’s numbers exceed the examples below but I doubt it.  Those are remarkable for a BYU running back.  With Anae’s stable of running backs I can’t see JWill getting over 20 carries which leads to the rest his other stats falling short.  As a unit I hope we see overs.  With the exception of the receptions and total TDs I don’t see it.  One would assume Anae will have his sophomore QB throwing to TEs and RBs which should lead to over 72 receptions.  The total rushing TD prediction seems way low.  Love the over there.

Jamaal: Carries = under   YPG = under   Rush TD = under

Group: Carries = under   YPG = under   Rush TD = over   Rec = over


Jamaal Williams is a great RB coming off a great freshman season. I definitely buy into the hype of him passing Harvey Unga as the all-time rushing leader at BYU (as long as he plays all four years), but I am not sure about 2013. Jamaal will be great, but the way Anae wants to run the offense, it seems like there will be a lot of sharing. I still expect Jamaal to get the most touches out of the running backs, but I don’t know if it will be fair to except nearly 1,300 yards from him this year. That said, I expect the running backs unit to definitely go over those marks. In fact, they weren’t that far off last season, and I expect more from them this year.

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