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Inside the Numbers - Projecting the 2013 Offense

It's game week! With the New Mexico State game coming up, now's as good a time as ever to project the 2013 offensive statistics. And we're doing it the only way Inside the Numbers knows how....SPREADSHEETS. Let's kick this thing off.

Is David Ash in for a big year? I think so.
Is David Ash in for a big year? I think so.
Stacy Revere

All the talk of the offense heading into the season has been tempo and increasing the number of offensive snaps. With the majority of the offense returning in 2013, I think it's fair to start with the 2012 season's production as our baseline, and extrapolate based on what the new offense brings and what will change in 2013. I think the offense gets to 77 plays per game, up from just over 68 the year before, with the bulk of new production going to the passing game. Time to dig-in...


Total Offense - 2012

2012 Plays Per Game Yards Per Play Yards Per Game Total Yards Points Per Game/Completion %
Total 68.5 6.34 434.6 5,650 35.7
Rushing 37.8 4.53 171.5 2,229 -
Passing 30.7 8.57 263.1 3,421 67.2%

Total Projected Offense - 2013

2013 Plays Per Game Yards Per Play Yards Per Game Total Yards Points Per Game/Completion %
Total 77 6.76 520.8 6,771 42.0
Rushing 39 5.00 195.0 2,535 -
Passing 38 8.57 325.8 4,236 71.0%

The starting point was increasing the number of offensive plays from 68 to 77. The 9 added plays were added heavily to the passing game; 1 extra play to the run game, 8 more plays to the passing game. The allocation comes from viewing the open practices, and the heavy emphasis on the screen game, swing pass, and short passing game. The yards per pass metric stays the same from 2012, more on that in the passing section. The rushing game gets a bump from 4.5 yards per carry to 5.0, based on expected improvement from the offensive line and an offense better geared towards higher yards per carry numbers.

Further notes: another year of quarterback experience, added with an offense featuring more short passes, bumps the team completion percentage from 67% to 71%. Additionally, the increase in points per game from 35.7 points to 42.0 points comes heavily from several sources: increased production from the passing and running games (more on those later), getting the same number of non-offensive TDs from a year before (1 special teams, 3 defensive), and adding 4 FGs from the year before (getting 15 FGs in 2013, compare to the 11-19 performance in 2012). The uptick follows a pretty steady increase over the last three years: 23 points per game in 2010, 28 points per game in 2011, and 35 points per game in 2012.


David Ash Passing - 2012

Comp/Game Att/Game Comp % YPA Yards/Game Total Yards TDs INTs
17.8 26.5 67.3% 8.49 224.9 2,699 19 8

David Ash Projected Passing - 2013

Comp/Game Att/Game Comp % YPA Yards/Game Total Yards TDs INTs
24.9 35 71.0% 8.49 297.1 3,861.8 27.2 11.4

The bulk of the added passes in the 2013 offense were added to David Ash (35 of the 38 per game), on the assumption he stays healthy throughout the year and is not benched in favor of the backups). Additionally, expecting his completion percentage to increase another 4% is reasonable, given an offense with increased short passes and another year of starting under his belt. I'm keeping the 8.49 yards per attempt from 2012, expecting a fewer portion of his passing is the long completions down the field. The TD and INT numbers increase merely as a function of his added passes per game; his TD rate remains 6.0% of attempts, and INT rate remains 2.5%.

A brave prediction? Certainly. The season would highly resemble Colt McCoy's 2009 season: 25.5 - 36.2 for 270.8 yards per game, 7.5 yards per attempt and 70.6% completion, 27 TDs and 12 INTs.


Rushing - 2012

Player Rush/Game Yards/Carry Yards/Game Total Yards TDs
Johnathan Gray 11.46 4.70 53.9 701 3
Joe Bergeron 9.77 4.46 43.6 567 16
Malcolm Brown 4.69 5.31 24.9 324 4
Others 11.9 4.11 49.0 637 10

Projected Rushing - 2013

Player Rush/Game Yards/Carry Yards/Game Total Yards TDs
Johnathan Gray 14 5 70.0 910 7
Joe Bergeron 5 5 25 325 16
Malcolm Brown 8 5 40 520 5
Others 12 5 60 780 10

This is the least methodical of projections. I'm not expecting many more rushing attempts per game (just one more), and I'm not ready to call a huge increase in yards per carry until I see an offensive line ready and able to create better space for the running game. The allocation of runs slants heavily in Johnathan Gray's favor, who appears ready to be the perfect fit for Major Applewhite's offense. Another third of the running game is split between Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown, poised to be bruising change of pace backs and short yardage options. The final third of runs will be split between designed QB runs and scrambles, 4th RB Jalen Overstreet, and jet sweep specialist Daje Johnson.


Receiving - 2012

Player Rec. Per Game Yards/Catch Yards/Game Total Yards TDs
Jaxon Shipley 4.54 12.49 56.7 737 6
Mike Davis 4.38 16.47 72.2 939 7
Marquise Goodwin 2.00 13.07 26.2 340 3
Daje Johnson 1.46 15.11 22.1 287 1
Running backs 5.00 8.45 42.2 549 3
Tight ends 2.15 12.25 26.4 343 4
Others 1.08 16.14 17.4 226 1

Projected Receiving - 2013

Player Rec. Per Game Yards/Catch Yards/Game Total Yards TDs
Jaxon Shipley 6 11 66 858 6
Mike Davis 5 15 75 975 7
Kendall Sanders 3 13.07 39.2 510 3
Daje Johnson 3 15.11 45.3 589.1 3
Running backs 6 8.45 50.7 658.8 3
Tight ends 2 12.25 24.5 318.5 6
Others 1.98 14 27.7 360.4 2

There's a lot here, but a few general thoughts build this projection up. Jaxon Shipley gets a few more balls thrown his way, working underneath and building a strong chemistry with David Ash out of the slot. Mike Davis gets a few more targets, but with fewer deep opportunities, bringing his yards per catch down. Kendall Sanders gets a few more opportunities stepping right in and replacing Marquise Goodwin's production. Daje Johnson more than doubles his production from a year before, and pops off a few more explosive touchdowns. The running backs see a healthy uptick in production with further involvement in the passing game. I have the tight ends actually being less productive, but they have the potential to be a significant portion of the passing game. Modest production comes from the rest of the WR depth chart, though Marcus Johnson and John Harris have early opportunities to jump in and blow that projection out of the water. The bottom line in the passing game: there's a lot of production to go around, and more players will be involved than the last two seasons.

Overall, I may be overselling the passing game and underselling the running game. But that's the joy in these projections, you never know where the production will come from and how it will go. So now's your chance: what are your projections for the 2013 season? Accurate predictions earn 1 million spacebucks, redeemable for the respect and admiration of your peers. Inaccurate predictions will be publicly shamed.