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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Running Back EPAs, Week 9: Attack of the Ducks

There's little change to be seen in the RB EPA rankings this week, with Kent State's speedy Dri Archer retaining the #1 spot.  In fact, as few runners had great weeks last week, and #2 Cody Getz was held out of action again, Archer expanded his lead to over 10 points.  His NEPA is even more impressive - as you can see in the per play column, Dri Archer is worth a point every two times he touches the football.  He hasn't had a bad game, and the only thing keeping him from national award talk is his relatively few touches.  Still, De'Anthony Thomas got Heisman talk, and Archer has considerably more touches, so perhaps he should get more attention.

Speaking of Thomas, he and teammate Kenjon Barner place 3rd and 4th respectively.  If Cody Getz' ankle isn't cleared up by next week, the Ducks could have two of the three most productive rushers in the country. Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon had a subpar week but remains in the top 5 thanks to his monstrous week 8.  Also in the top 10: Tulsa's Trey Watts, UCLA's Jonathan Franklin, Georgia Tech's Orwin Smith, USU's Kerwynn Williams, and UNC's Giovani Bernard.  Orwin, Kerwynn, and Giovani happen to be the fastest men on Earth with those respective first names.

Pulling up the rear?  Colorado's Tony Jones, who has managed to be -28 points above (or below) average despite just 88 plays.  He doesn't have the market cornered on pure run-for-run inefficiency, though.  Rutgers'  Savon Huggins is worth -.476 EPA each time the Knights hand him the ball.  Also near the bottom:  Michigan State's LeVeon Bell and Stanford's Stephan Taylor.  I feel bad for both - I get the inkling that both are good runners, but both wind up getting a ton of garbage-time carries.

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