Tuesday Doomsday: Revisiting a Prediction for the Decline of Gurley and Marshall
Over the summer, I got bored and did a little predictive trolling of some college football stars. The goal of the exercise was to identify some players/coaches/teams that were due for a decline. Here are the topics that I explored.
- Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall
- Jadeveon Clowney
- Tajh Boyd
- Will Muschamp
- Teddy Bridgewater
- Johnny Manziel
Over the next few Tuesdays I’m going to follow up on each and every Tuesday Doomsday topic. Here’s the first one.
Gurley and Marshall will decline in 2013.
I opened the series by predicting a decline for Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, because I didn’t want to seem like a Georgia fan throwing stones at other folks’ houses.
My case (read it all here) boiled down to three factors:
- I anticipated that Todd Gurley would lose a few carries to Keith Marshall and in doing so decline from a statistical standpoint.
- I anticipated that Keith Marshall would pick up more yards but remain somewhat eratic as he was in 2012.
- Lastly, I called into question the likelihood that both backs would stay healthy all season long.
Sadly, I was all too correct regarding injury risks. In the nineteen seasons prior to this year, only once (last year) did Georgia manage to keep its two leading rushers healthy and playing in each and every game. As I wrote this summer, I found it unlikely that such good fortune would occur two seasons in a row.
Already this year, Todd Gurley missed time in the Clemson and LSU games and missed the entirety of the Tennessee game. We all hope he’s back soon. Keith Marshall is out for the season with a torn ACL.
I hate that I was right about that.
My actual prediction for Gurley and Marshall read thusly:
Gurshall won’t have a bad season. The two-headed monster has too much talent and focus to disappear. But, fans should taper expectations a bit. With that in mind, here are a few predictions:
- Gurshall accounts for fewer rushing yards in 2013 than in 2012.
- Keith Marshall closes the yardage gap with Todd Gurley.
- Neither player averages 6.0 yards per carry.
- Neither player rushes for more than 15 TDs.
If we extrapolate the five games already played and assume a 14 game schedule (12 regular season games plus SEC Championship Game and Bowl Game), here’s how those figures will stack up:
- In 2013, Keith Marshall will run for just 246. Through give games Gurley has accounted for 450 (so 90 per game). He’ll finish with 1260 yards if that pace holds. This brings the total to 1506. Now, it’s safe to assume that Gurley’s load will increase when he returns, but I still don’t think Gurshall 2k13 will match last year’s total output of 2144 rushing yards. To get there, Todd Gurley would need to run for 161 yards per game starting this week. If he’s out this week, that total jumps to 181 moving forward. That’s a lofty calling for a player who has never run for more than 154 yards in a single game.
- Obviously, Marshall won’t close the yardage gape with Gurley. But to date, he held his own. Last year Marshall rushed for 54.8% of Gurley’s total. This year, Marshall was at 54.7%.
- Keith Marshall will not average 6.0 yards per carry. We know this because he’s done for the year at a 4.4 ypc number. Gurley is averaging 6.3, and might make a run at 6.0 yet.
- With four touchdowns in five games, Gurley is on pace for 11.2 rushing TDs. He needs 11 touchdowns over the next nine games to hit 15 total, that’s certainly possible.
Sadly, the injury bug is going to render Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley less productive than last year. I wish I was wrong. I miss the duo already.
That’s all I got/