Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

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Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 7th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Darwin Thompson is 4th Nationally in Yards Per Carry at 7.55, and Gerold Bright is 22nd at 6.28. USU is one of only two programs (along with Georgia -- who has the 11th and 20th ranked players) to have two players in the top 25.

The reason I stumbled across that stat is because I was trying to find out where Darwin stacks up in Yards After Contact. A quick search didn't turn up that information, but I have to think he is one of the top 2 or 3 in the nation. He is a beast to bring down and just runs through tackle after tackle. I don't think even the great Robert Turbin ran through as many tackles as Thompson.

All this leads me to posit this question: Is Thompson the best all-around running back we have ever had? While I understand that 93 carries is way too early to tell whether he can keep it up and how much of this is attributable to great blocking and a great OLine, he is currently averaging more yards per carry than any back in USU history -- and a lot of that seems to be the result of him running through tackles with the power and success I personally don't recall out of any other USU back. [NOTE: Bright's numbers this year would place him at No. 8 all time (if you include Thompson).]

Here are the current Aggie career leaders in YPC:

1. Michael Smith 2009-11 7.1
2. Tom Larscheid 1959-61 7.0
3. MacArthur Lane 1965-67 6.9
4. Roy Shivers 1964-65 6.8
5. Kerwynn Williams 2009-12 6.6
6. Buddy Allen 1958-59 6.4
7. Devante Mays 2015-16 6.1
8. Robert Turbin 2007-09,11 5.9
9. Joey DeMartino 2010-13 5.5
10.Emmett White 1998-01 5.4


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 7th, 2018, 1:22 pm

NOTE: When I say "greatest," I mean "best." "Greatness" may be viewed to imply success over an extended period of time, and given that Thompson has played only 9 games for the Ags, he does not yet have the body of work to stack up against some of the Aggie greats like Smith, Shivers, Williams, Turbin, and White. But is he a better back than they were?


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by NavyBlueAggie » November 7th, 2018, 1:30 pm

Certainly an exceptional back. Part of the game is durability and this is too early to evaluate Thompson however solid he is.

Darrell Steele was an exceptional back for Utah State in 1963,,,,,,,perhaps the hardest running and fastest starting Tail Back I've ever seen,,,anywhere. Darrell had knee surgery and his Senior season was blase. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders yet his AFL career was brief, likely due to his knee repair.

The issue for Darrell Steele was durability and sadly enough he suffered a significant knee injury.
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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by AgMac » November 7th, 2018, 1:39 pm

He's good. But having two in the top 25 would suggest that this might be the greatest O-line in Aggie history.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 7th, 2018, 1:55 pm

AgMac wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 1:39 pm
He's good. But having two in the top 25 would suggest that this might be the greatest O-line in Aggie history.
Possibly, but if you watch the games (and I assume you do), you see that while the line creates holes, linemen do a great job pulling, and the receivers and TEs do a nice job executing blocks down field, you also see Thompson simply refusing to go down after one hit, two hits, and more -- even after being completely wrapped up by larger defenders. There was one run against New Mexico where I believe it was a linebacker had him completely wrapped up, and Thompson simply ripped himself free and continued his run. Time after time, run after run, Thompson refuses to go down in a way I simply don't recall from any other USU back.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by usufan1 » November 7th, 2018, 1:58 pm

AgMac wrote:He's good. But having two in the top 25 would suggest that this might be the greatest O-line in Aggie history.
I understand what you're saying, but why does having an exceptional O-line make him a "good" back?

If any of the other players on the list had the same O-line their numbers could have been higher, but that isn't Thompson or Bright's fault.

I am amazed how Thompson keeps his legs moving and the extra yards he gains.

Regardless this is a great conversation to have 9 games into the season, instead of turning the focus to basketball season.

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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 7th, 2018, 2:03 pm

usufan1 wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 1:58 pm
Regardless this is a great conversation to have 9 games into the season, instead of turning the focus to basketball season.
Too true. In most of the last 35 years, I have been largely checked out of football discussions by this time of the year, and am focusing on BB. While Smith's first two games have caused me to be more excited about our BB future than I have been in years, under no circumstances do I think the Aggie cagers will have a shot at the MWC title or the Sweet 16 this year. Our football team can certainly get there.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 10th, 2018, 5:19 pm

I'm a little surprised there weren't more comments about this topic. Watching the game today, I have to pose the question once again: is Darwin Thompson the best RB in Aggie history? Man, he looks FANTASTIC!


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by seabass » November 10th, 2018, 5:43 pm

I can't really say about best RB in Aggie History, but He's really strong and can jump high- he's got those measurables that scouts are looking for. He looks like a sure fire mid round pick at least. Great pass catching back.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by AndroidAggie » November 10th, 2018, 6:07 pm

He is incredibly mentally strong.

I have no doubt he would succeed beyond expectations in anything he ever tried



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by Donman » November 10th, 2018, 7:25 pm

ChicAggie wrote:I'm a little surprised there weren't more comments about this topic. Watching the game today, I have to pose the question once again: is Darwin Thompson the best RB in Aggie history? Man, he looks FANTASTIC!
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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by hipsterdoofus21 » November 10th, 2018, 7:35 pm

He’s got my vote. As much as I loved KW, and Turbin, he seems to possess the their combined powers. I must admit I was out of the country for the Emmit White years as the primary back.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by bluegrouse » November 10th, 2018, 7:41 pm

I don’t know how to rank him but he’s having phenomenal season.....



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by dyedblue » November 10th, 2018, 8:14 pm

White was such a one man show is tough to say he isn't the greatest. He did it all, rushing, returns, receiving. His single game all-purpose yard record is so ridiculous. Let's see what else Thompson can do, he is such a dynamic player, but for now I'll still l stick with White.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 12th, 2018, 1:14 pm

Both Thompson and Bright upped their YPC numbers against San Jose: Thompson is now up to 7.80 YPC and Bright is up to 6.43 YPC. Impressive stuff.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by Roy McAvoy » November 12th, 2018, 1:21 pm

I think rushing yards all time and single season are also factors here. I think in some ways it's easier to get more YPC when you have a true dual rushing attack like we've used. It helps them stay more fresh and healthy. I think Turbin, Demario Brown, Emmett White, Kerwynn Williams, & Abu Wilson all have a pretty solid case to be above Thompson. There's still a lot of football left in Thompson's career though to pull ahead.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by hipsterdoofus21 » November 12th, 2018, 1:29 pm

True but Turbin had Smith and Kerwynn had Joe Hill that split time with them as well. Abu Wilson and Demario Brown were truly on their own 90% of the time.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by paaron46 » November 12th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Anyone know where to find Yards After Contact stats for NCAA? I bet Thompson is tops in there. That would be a good measure of his "greatness."


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 12th, 2018, 8:41 pm

paaron46 wrote:
November 12th, 2018, 2:30 pm
Anyone know where to find Yards After Contact stats for NCAA? I bet Thompson is tops in there. That would be a good measure of his "greatness."
If you look back at the OP, you'll see that looking for the YAC stats was the reason I came across the YPC stat in the first place. I was hoping to see where Thompson stacked up nationally in YAC. I agree that he's got to be among the NCAA leaders.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by blueaggie » November 12th, 2018, 10:31 pm

AgMac wrote:
November 7th, 2018, 1:39 pm
He's good. But having two in the top 25 would suggest that this might be the greatest O-line in Aggie history.
The o line has been awesome but I am also amazed at how well our receivers are blocking. I could not believe how well everybody blocked on the two screens. They all had perfect angles. Go Aggies! :utah: :state:



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by mcaggie1 » November 12th, 2018, 10:55 pm

You could qualify the claim by saying he is the greatest back in USU history...against lousy competition. I would also say that he is one of the best all time against any competition..



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by Chupamedia » November 13th, 2018, 12:19 am

I think he may be. I think I need one more year to tell. However I would definitely say pound for pound he is the strongest RB I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe how much power he has in contact and what a great center of balance he has



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by GameFAQSAggie » November 13th, 2018, 8:33 am

Thompson won't break the school yards per carry record. That belongs to Jaron Bentrude averaging 72 yards on his one attempt.
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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by ChicAggie » November 13th, 2018, 8:46 am

I had forgotten about that fake punt. That is cold blooded. Faking a punt up 38-3 with 8:00 to go. Way to step on their necks!


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by USU78 » November 13th, 2018, 10:22 am

Image

In about '67, West Texas A&M's [then West Texas State] Mercury Morris scored a cover photo on Sports Illustrated just before WTS' visit to Logan. The wings on his heels and helmet were enough to motivate USU's pretty stout defense to be very stout. Morris was a non-factor all game long.

But for USU's Altie Taylor, it was a banner day. Not only did he run roughshod over WTS' defense, he also got a 105 yard kickoff return [back when they kept track of how deep in the endzone you took a kick]. This was the day I fell in love with Aggie Football. I was a fan before then, but Altie made me a fanatic.

I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.

Image


You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by 72AgGrad » November 13th, 2018, 3:55 pm

USU78 wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 10:22 am
Image

In about '67, West Texas A&M's [then West Texas State] Mercury Morris scored a cover photo on Sports Illustrated just before WTS' visit to Logan. The wings on his heels and helmet were enough to motivate USU's pretty stout defense to be very stout. Morris was a non-factor all game long.

But for USU's Altie Taylor, it was a banner day. Not only did he run roughshod over WTS' defense, he also got a 105 yard kickoff return [back when they kept track of how deep in the endzone you took a kick]. This was the day I fell in love with Aggie Football. I was a fan before then, but Altie made me a fanatic.

I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.

Image
Thank you, sir. I was thinking the same thing.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by TheAKAggie » November 13th, 2018, 4:32 pm

USU78 wrote: I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.
Average birth year might be a hint.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by USU78 » November 13th, 2018, 4:36 pm

TheAKAggie wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 4:32 pm
USU78 wrote:I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.
Average birth year might be a hint.
Don't think so:
1. Michael Smith 2009-11 7.1
2. Tom Larscheid 1959-61 7.0
3. MacArthur Lane 1965-67 6.9
4. Roy Shivers 1964-65 6.8
5. Kerwynn Williams 2009-12 6.6
6. Buddy Allen 1958-59 6.4
7. Devante Mays 2015-16 6.1
8. Robert Turbin 2007-09,11 5.9
9. Joey DeMartino 2010-13 5.5
10.Emmett White 1998-01 5.4


You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by TheAKAggie » November 13th, 2018, 8:25 pm

USU78 wrote:
TheAKAggie wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 4:32 pm
USU78 wrote:I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.
Average birth year might be a hint.
Don't think so:
1. Michael Smith 2009-11 7.1
2. Tom Larscheid 1959-61 7.0
3. MacArthur Lane 1965-67 6.9
4. Roy Shivers 1964-65 6.8
5. Kerwynn Williams 2009-12 6.6
6. Buddy Allen 1958-59 6.4
7. Devante Mays 2015-16 6.1
8. Robert Turbin 2007-09,11 5.9
9. Joey DeMartino 2010-13 5.5
10.Emmett White 1998-01 5.4
Image



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by USUaggienation » November 13th, 2018, 9:29 pm

USU78 wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 4:36 pm
TheAKAggie wrote:
November 13th, 2018, 4:32 pm
USU78 wrote:I'm quite surprised Altie hasn't gotten a mention in this thread.
Average birth year might be a hint.
Don't think so:
1. Michael Smith 2009-11 7.1
2. Tom Larscheid 1959-61 7.0
3. MacArthur Lane 1965-67 6.9
4. Roy Shivers 1964-65 6.8
5. Kerwynn Williams 2009-12 6.6
6. Buddy Allen 1958-59 6.4
7. Devante Mays 2015-16 6.1
8. Robert Turbin 2007-09,11 5.9
9. Joey DeMartino 2010-13 5.5
10.Emmett White 1998-01 5.4
I know this wasn't the point you were trying to make, it's interesting in the gap in years in this list. From 58-67, we had some beasts. But after 67, we didn't have anyone on the list until 98, but we've had a nice number of players since then. I guess it's not completely surprising, since we had some pretty bad football being played during that gap.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by FloridaAggie13 » November 14th, 2018, 9:11 am

I would certainly add Roger Grant and Abu Wilson to the list. YPC is a good indicator, but it can be misleading. Today's offenses lend themselves to more explosive plays - which we all love of course. But consider Grant and Wilson both averaged in the 5.0 YPC range in offenses designed to ram it down the other teams throat while the defense knew it was coming; pre-no huddle, defenses freely substituted on typical run downs and then again on passing downs so personnel mismatches were difficult. I would be curious to hear Coach Wells thoughts about Wilson since they played together at Utah State and I've always wondered how much better the 1993 team would have been if Wilson didn't blow his knee out during summer camp. Maybe we are able to run the clock out against UNR and Baylor instead of losing on last minute TD's.



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by USU78 » November 14th, 2018, 11:35 am

A quick reminder that every once in a while the reality matches or exceeds the hype:



You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by brownjeans » November 14th, 2018, 11:39 am

USU78 wrote:
November 14th, 2018, 11:35 am
A quick reminder that every once in a while the reality matches or exceeds the hype:

LOL at him dragging that guy for like six yards at 1:20 mark



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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by paaron46 » November 16th, 2018, 8:39 am

Image

Here's the YAC stats.


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Re: Yards Per Carry - Is Thompson the Greatest RB in Aggie History?

Post by USU78 » November 16th, 2018, 9:15 am

paaron46 wrote:
November 16th, 2018, 8:39 am
Image

Here's the YAC stats.
Great find, pa'aron!


You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

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