Back before the season, I went through what Josey and Franklin's healthy 2011 seasons might look like when compared to SEC defenses rather than Big 12 defenses. I apparently did that in a comment instead of a FanPost, however, so I cannot find where to link to those. However, I did have them copied and pasted elsewhere. I'll quote that information here:
Henry Josey and history of SEC running backs.
If he is as healthy as before, I believe that Henry Josey could have one of the best seasons in recent SEC history. I’ll use statistics to back my thoughts up. In 2011, pre-injury, Josey rushed 145 times for 1,168 yards in just 10 games. That was 14.5 rushing attempts per game at 8.1 rushing yards per attempt. In that season, the Big 12 teams as a whole* gave up 4.28 rushing yards per attempt. Henry Josey was 88% better than the Big 12’s average running back in 2011.
Now let’s look at the last 5 years of the SEC. What would those players have needed to rush 88% better than their league average?
2012 SEC = 3.76 yds/rush -—> 88% better would have been 7.07 yds/rush
2011 SEC = 3.90 yds/rush -—> 88% better would have been 7.33 yds/rush
2010 SEC = 3.89 yds/rush -—> 88% better would have been 7.31 yds/rush
2009 SEC = 3.86 yds/rush -—> 88% better would have been 7.26 yds/rush
2008 SEC = 3.57 yds/rush -—→ 88% better would have been 6.71 yds/rush
What did the SEC’s leading rusher with approximately the same number of carries per game (so nobody who carried the ball 8 times a game on end-arounds or something) accomplish?
In 2012, the SEC as a whole* allowed 3.76 rushing yards per game. The leading rusher (with 14-16 carries per game) was Eddie Lacy. He averaged 14.5 carries per game, rushing 204 times for 1,322 yards. In 14 games that year, Lacy had a 6.5 yards/rush. That was 72% better than league average.
In 2011, the SEC as a whole* allowed 3.90 rushing yards per game. The leading rusher (with 14-16 carries per game) was Vick Ballard. He averaged 14.8 carries per game, rushing 193 times for 1,189 yards. In 13 games that year, Ballard had a 6.2 yards/rush. That was 58% better than league average.
In 2010, the SEC as a whole* allowed 3.89 rushing yards per game. The leading rusher (with 14-16 carries per game) was Knile Davis. He averaged 15.7 carries per game, rushing 204 times for 1,322 yards. In 13 games that year, Davis had a 6.5 yards/rush. That was 67% better than league average.
In 2009, the SEC as a whole* allowed 3.86 rushing yards per game. The leading rusher (with 14-16 carries per game) was Dexter McCluster. He averaged 15.1 carries per game, rushing 181 times for 1,169 yards. In 12 games that year, McCluster had a 6.5 yards/rush. That was 67% better than league average.
In 2008, the SEC as a whole* allowed 3.57 rushing yards per game. The leading rusher (with 14-16ish carries per game) was Glen Coffee. He averaged 16.6 carries per game, rushing 233 times for 1,383 yards. In 14 games that year, Coffee had a 5.9 yards/rush. That was 66% better than league average.
*I did not want to take the time to look at individual schedules to see who each of these running backs played against and divide it up that way, so this is the quick(er) and easier method.2013 James Franklin - Speaking of the injury front, in 2011, James Franklin was completely healthy.
In 2012, I don’t know if James Franklin was healthy for a complete game. I might be willing to say he was for the season opener against SE Louisiana, but he only got 27 touches. In similar games (Miami (OH) and Western Illinois) the year before, Franklin got 40 touches and 31 touches, respectively. In any case, that one game was not against anything resembling an SEC caliber team, so for this exercise, I will assume that last year was a lost year.
In 2011, Big 12 defenses had the following passing lines put up on them:
215.8 completions, 355 attempts, 60.79% completion rate, 2,544.6 yards, 7.17 yards/attempt, 17.0 touchdowns, 9.9 interceptions
In 2011, Franklin had the following passing line:
238 completions, 376 attempts, 63.30% completion rate, 2,865 yards, 7.62 yards/attempt, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
Franklin’s completions were 10.29% better than league average.
Franklin’s attempts were 5.92% better than league average.
Franklin’s completion rate was 4.13% better than league average.
Franklin’s passing yards were 12.59% better than league average.
Franklin’s yards/attempt was 6.30% better than league average.
Franklin’s touchdowns were 23.53% better than league average.
Franklin’s interceptions were 11.11% worse than league average.
Over the last three years, here is what the SEC has averaged defensively against the pass PER GAME:
17.14 completions, 29.57 attempts, 57.96% completion rate, 198.70 yards, 6.72 yards/attempt, 1.23 touchdowns, 1.00 interceptions
The 2012 numbers alone were much worse than that, but I’ll go ahead and give the Best Conference In Football the benefit of the doubt here and go with a three-year stretch.
If you apply Franklin’s 2011 percentages above/below league average to the 2010-2012 SEC and assume that the Tigers play 13 games this season, what would Franklin’s 2013 SEASON line look like?
13 games, 245.8 completions, 407.2 attempts (60.35%), 2,908.4 yards, 7.14 yards/attempt, 19.8 TDs, 14.5 INTs
Now, I’m not so sure I like the 14-15 INTs in just 13 games, however the 20 TD passes, the 7+ yards/attempts, the 60%+ completion rate, and the 224 yards per game really pop out as nice numbers to me!
In real life 2013, this is what happened:
Franklin - 198-319, 62.1% passing, 2,429 yards, 7.6 y/a, 19 TD, 6 INT. - It was better than I predicted minus a few games missed.
Josey - 174 attempts, 1,166 yards, 6.7 y/a, 16 TD. - About what I predicted,