Friday, August 27, 2010

A Dawg-Like Preview: Running Backs

In honor of Washaun Ealy's Fulmer Cup clinching performance early this morning, we thought it would be a great time to preview the tail backs on this years team. Despite the fact we may be man down, it's all the more important that we quantify the unit's impact on the offense.

Georgia has a pretty talented stable of backs in Athens. Caleb King, high school super-recruit, Washaun Ealy, Georgia state record holder, Carlton Thomas, Floridian football version of Night Crawler, and Ken "Boo" Malcome, a freshman star from Georgia highschool powerhouse Southwest Dekalb make up the depth chart. Let us also not forget an extremely talented duo of fullbacks in Shaun Chapas and Fred Munzenmaier.

If you'll remember from last year, Richard Samuel led the charge at RB for the first three games, as Caleb was recovering from an injured hamstring. As Caleb returned and Richie's fumble count increased, RS was given less of a role in the offense. With 7:07 left in the 3rd quarter of the LSU game Washaun made his first entrance and subsequently led the team with 5.7 ypc. Richard was then moved to LB in the offseason.

From various practice reports yesterday(courtesy of Seth @ BulldogsBlog), Mike Bobo said that Caleb King has the edge to start because of his superior talents in pass protection. It also doesn't help that WE can't keep his driving permit current. I'm excited to see what Caleb can do with his talent if given a season when completely healthy. He hasn't had one of those since his junior year of high school.

As far as what to expect from Washaun, I don't think his latest run-in with the law will hamper him very much. I assume punishment will probably be a one game suspension, so the only thing that is concerning is that he'll see his first snaps in Crack-o-lacky. I don't know if we'll see 5.7 ypc again this year from him, but I think 1000 yards shouldn't be off the table.

I anticipate that Carlton will get 5-8 carries per game with most of his abilities being showcased on special teams returning punts, for which I feel he is best suited. I don't think Boo Malcome's redshirt will come off this season. I haven't heard much of him from camp, other than he is "coming along" which is coach-speak for "We'll he's a freshman and is acclimating to big boy football."

We are set at the fullback position. Chapas is probably the best all-around fullback in the SEC. I expect that he'll be frequently used as a relief valve for Murray in order to take a little pressure off the passing game. Munz is a very serviceable back-up as well.

In all, as I said yesterday when previewing Aaron Murray, I think the magical number for our backs is around 2300 yards rushing. If we averaged around 5.0 yards per carry, which is very reasonable, and 38 attempts per game, a little more than 4 per game more than our last 5-year average, we'll make that mark easily.

With talent along the offensive line, as well as the quality of our recievers and tight ends, our RB's should have a VERY good season. Defenses will try to key on the run to make AM beat them will the pass, which, in my opinion, will be to their detriment with the weapons we have on the outside. I look forward to seeing CK4 and Way-shaun running over people this season.

Oh and this never gets old:

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