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July 20, 2014

Can Todd Gurley win the Heisman?

Yesterday, I noted there was some sort of campaign afoot for Todd Gurley to win the Heisman. Putting aside if UGA should do a formal campaign, here is my assessment on his chances.

First, he has to stay healthy. Last year before he got hurt against LSU, he was looking to be in the 20 carries, 125 yards, and 2 TDs per game area. In fact, the LSU game was looking to be a breakout game, as he was ripping up the Tiger's D and was on pace for 150 + yards before he got hurt.

Working from those numbers, if he hits 240 carries at his current ypc average, he'll have around 1500 yards rushing, plus whatever he gets receiving, keeping in mind he'll get 4+ passing targets per game (let's say 30 receptions). Will this stat line get him an invite to NYC?
Rushing Receiving
240 carries 30 receptions
1500 yards (6.25ypc) 350 yards
20 TDs 20 TDs

The last RB to win, Alabama's Mark Ingram had a similar stat line in his Heisman winning campaign:
Rushing Receiving
271 carries 32 receptions
1658 yards (6.1ypc) 334 yards
17 TDs 3 TDs

Ingram won a close vote over another RB, Toby Gerhart, who had much higher stats (343 carries for 1871 yards and 28 TDs), but played on an 8-5 Stanford team. 2009 also  featured all three returning Heisman finalists: Colt McCoy, Tim Tebow, and Sam Bradford. McCoy and Tebow were finalist (though Tebow should never have been invited with the number of votes he got), along with Ingram, Gerhart, and Ndamukong Suh.

I say all of that to make the point that it will probably take a super special year (think 7+ypc with 250+ carries, 2000+ total yards and 30+TDs).

So ask youself:
Is Todd Gurley capable of that?
Is our offense capable of that?
Is our coaching philosophy able to get him the touches to accomplish that?

For my money, if he stays healthy, he'll get an invite to New York. The rest is really just a beauty contest based on how well UGA's season goes.


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