Notre Dame Football: Reviewing Statistical Predictions

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Nov 2, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Tarean Folston (25) dives into the end zone for a touchdown as Navy Midshipmen linebacker Cody Peterson (53) defends in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 38-34. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame Will Not Have A 1000-Yard Rusher

This may seem like a strange prediction since Notre Dame has a wealth of talent at the Running Back position. But, this is exactly why the Fighting Irish will not have a 1000-yard rusher.

Last year, Notre Dame split most of the carries between McDaniel, Atkinson and Folston. McDaniel had 152 attempts. Under Brian Kelly, the Fighting Irish have only had one 1000-yard rusher. In 2011, Cierre Wood parlayed 217 carries into 1102 yards. However, no player has gotten any where near that amount of carries. Theo Riddick was closest in 2012 with 190 carries. Even with that amount of carries, a player would need to average 5.26 yards per carry.

All three Running Backs on the Notre Dame’s roster have the potential to rush for 1000-yards. It will be hard to give the ball to one player. If Kelly sticks with “the hot hand”, a different player could be featured each week in the offense.

Tarean Folston will come closest to a 1000-yards in 2014. Folston Season Projections: 152 attempts, 812 yards and 6 touchdowns

Update: This projection appears to right on target as far as the notion that Notre Dame will not have a 1000-yard rusher. However, this prediction was made on the pretense that Notre Dame would split the carries between three talented Running Backs. It was not made on the pretense that Notre Dame’s rushing attack would look anemic. After beginning the season against Rice with 281 yards, Notre Dame has only collected 193 yards in the past two games. Notre Dame’s leading rusher, Greg Bryant, is only averaging 39.67 yards per carry. At that rate, Bryant would end the season with 516 rushing yards. Result: Correct