Prognosticating 2013: What Kind of Stats To Expect From Key Players

By Chad Peltier on August 21, 2013 at 7:00p
Brutus usually has manlier hands than thisEleven Warriors 2013 Ohio State Football Preview

It's one thing to predict game outcomes, but it's quite another to predict individual player performances. Between injuries (Adam Griffin), fluid legal situations and eligibility (Hyde, Roby), and off days, it's extremely risky for any analyst to stake any claims on how many yards, touchdowns, receptions, or carries a player will get. 

However, we can take a stab at how players will perform by comparing their careers to other previous players. Additionally, some positions – especially quarterbacks – have a more standard year-to-year development progression than others. By using these two tools, we can take at least educated guesses at how some key 2013 Buckeyes will perform statistically. 

Unfortunately I'm unable to provide fantasy football predictions for every player on the team, but I've selected some key skill players on both offense and defense (yes, I consider Urban's defensive ends to be "skill players") for 2013.


Football Study Hall recently ran an excellent article examining basic quarterback statistics over the last decade. One of the findings was that quarterbacks really do get much better throughout their careers, making an especially large jump between their first and second years in the program:

Class Count Comp % Y/Att
FR 82 59.2% 7
SO 222 60.1% 7.2
JR 298 60.6% 7.4
SR 301 61.5% 7.5

We saw first hand how much Braxton improved from his promising freshman year to his truly exceptional sophomore year (especially on the ground). Time in the system matters and older starters typically perform much better than their freshmen counterparts. 

Year Comp % yards Y/ATT
FR 54.1 % 1159 7.38
SO 58.3 % 2039 8.03
JR (predictions) 62% 2800 8.30

I'll admit that predicting Braxton's passing was extremely difficult. We've heard many players and coaches alike speak to Braxton's improved passing mechanics, throwing under pressure, and decision making in the pocket, but it's difficult to separate the hype from the actual technique improvements. 

I based my predictions both on the findings of the "typical" quarterback year-to-year growth as well as several of Braxton's comparable peers, including Tebow, Pryor, and Vince Young. Honestly these numbers are fairly conservative, considering Tebow was able to post almost 3300 passing yards as a sophomore (his Heisman year). 

I expect Braxton to be better with his throwing mechanics and decision making due to increased time in the system and real quarterback coaching, but also due to a better and deeper group of receivers. 

Even with an almost peer-less stable of running backs (ignoring Alabama for the moment), Braxton should exceed 1,000 yards on the ground as well. 


Hyde is an interesting case considering he won't be available for the entire season. While another running back will get the start in his absence, the number of hungry ball carriers has also grown since his breakout junior year as well. It's possible that last year was his chance to reach 1,000 yards.

Hyde actually had a very productive year last season, posting the 12th most points per carry for running backs over the last ten years (at .52 points per carry). He was a touchdown specialist in the red zone, riding excellent run blocking on inside zone plays into the end zone. 

Since his freshman season, Hyde has posted a fairly constant yards per carry score (between 5.2 and 5.9 YPC). I'd expect this trend to continue for his senior season, with his total yards more reflecting his number of carries. Between missed time and potentially sharing the load in the backfield, I think roughly 750 yards is fair for Hyde's senior season. 

I would love to be proved wrong on Hyde not reaching the 1,000-yard mark, but missing games hurts his chances. 

Washington really worked on his dance moves during the spring gameWashington should have plenty to celebrate this season


One of the best storylines from camp has been how explosive Dontre and company have been so far. Expectations have gotten sky high for this freshman, so it's only natural to compare Dontre with two other immediate-impact, multi-talented players around the country. Maryland's Stefon Diggs and Percy Harvin obviously jump to mind. 

Player Receptions Yards Carries Yards
Diggs 54 848 20 114
Harvin 34 427 41 428
Wilson 30 550 30 350

Dontre will likely be more Percy-like than Diggs-like, but they are both decent analogies by being split as wide receiver/running back/do-everything backs. 

Dontre will get his carries and receptions this season, particularly on flash screens and short passes, but I expect his numbers to be moderated by the overall talent levels at running back and wide receiver. 


As the only proven linebacker, Shazier carries a lot of weight in-game and in teaching the young Bucks how to not have fullbacks take their snaps away. 

Shazier's progression as sideline-to-sideline tackling machine resembles James Laurinaitis and C.J. Mosley in my eyes. Shazier is faster and smaller than Laurinaitis, but is a comparable tackling machine. Mosley and Shazier leave fairly similar statistical footprints. 

Both of his comparable players had strong starts to their college careers, as did Shazier. Barring injury, we might expect RDS to post similar tackling numbers at around 125, 2 interceptions, and ~15 tackles for loss. Shazier far out-shined both of his comparison players in the TFL department, so repeating those numbers should lead to an All-America-type season. 


I go back and forth with whether Adolphus Washington or Noah Spence will post better numbers this season (that's a great thing for Fickell and Vrabel). 

I took Washington here, but it's very likely that Spence leads the way in sacks as a pure pass-rusher. Barkevious Mingo from LSU and Cam Heyward are decent comparisons physically for Washington, though both had superior numbers during their freshmen years.

The thing is that we can't really glean too much from Washington's nine tackles (3 for loss) and one forced fumble in four games last season. There's simply not enough data to make any definitive predictions (though having a third of your tackles go for a loss has to say something). Both Mingo and Heyward had more play time in their freshmen years. However, I expect Washington to explode this season, to the tune of 12 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, and 40 total tackles. Washington will cause much more damage than those numbers indicate as well. 


So now that you've seen my best predictions, what do you guys think? How will these, and other players do this year? Are there better analogies for these five players? Stake your claims and I'll take a look at season's end for who was closest. 


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WOLFofOHIO's picture

dontre and jalin..and the combination of makes me want to do this...

there is no greater joy than watching Michigan get slammed. in anything

BKLYN_Buckeye's picture

Spence: 11 sacks
Diesel: 8 sacks
Shazier: 120 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs
Roby: 5 INTs, 18 Pass Deflections
Braxton: 2,900 passing yards & 26 TDs, 900 yards rushing & 12 TDs
Hyde: 800 yards rushing, 15 TDs
Rod Smith: 450 yards rushing, 5 TDs
Dontre: 1,500 total yards, 6 TDs
Philly: 75 catches for 850 yards, 7 TDs

BtownBuckeye's picture

If dontre accumulates 1500 total yards he will have waaaaaaaaay more than 6 tds

THEBEAROSU's picture

Braxton 3000+ yards passing  23 TDs,--1000 yards+ rushing & 19 TDs.                                                                                                                                                                       Hyde 1100 yards & 21 TDs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Rod smith 600 yards & 4 TDs                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Dontre  500 yards +or- a few  2 TDs                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Philly-  60 catches-   700 yards-- 5 TDs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Roby--3 INTs, -15 pass break ups.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Shazier,--115 TACKLES,---7 sacks----3 INTs                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spence 7 sacks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Washington  9 sacks


AirForceNUT's picture

Also, they won't throw to Roby enough for him to get 5 INT's  especially playing 1 less game against a mediocre team. However, I would LOVE if these stats were true!

Jabba the Hoke's picture

I think the 1000 yard barrier for Hyde us the most intriguing here. Without the suspension, I'd say Hell yes, with it I don't know. He has the potential to put up huge numbers, but if the offense really starts clicking without him and other players make a name for themselves, he might not get the touches to get there. My prediction is that he comes close, but not quite with numbers similar to last season.

cajunbuckeye's picture

I think Braxton goes further than predicted. It's his second year in the offense. The offensive line is the best in years. There is arguably more talent in the backfield than on any team in America. From all we're hearing the wide receiver corps has worked their collective asses off, and are finally ready to take center stage. Top that all off with an explosive offensive scheme, and the results could be mind blowing. I didn't even take into account the work he's put in during the offseason. I really think the table is set, (fine china, crystal, and the "good" silverware) all Braxton has to do is eat. 3000+++ yards

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Hovenaut's picture

I like how you mentioned "crystal", Caj....

Hovenaut's picture

Perfect final countdown material.

Really focused on's to all that offseason work paying off. I've read Herman wants him in the 67-70% comp rate, if he's in the low 60's the passing game has seriously risen to the challenge.

It's going to be interesting to see how efficiently/effectively the rock is distributed.

On D....the sky is limit, imo. If that front four can hold the line, muster a fierce pass rush than the possibilities (turnovers, setting up the offense, etc) are endless.

Best thing about writeups like this is the fact that this team has players with such potential, such promise.

Good stuff, and now I have the Final Countdown in my head....(sorry)

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Spence: 12 sacks
Diesel: 10 sacks
Shazier: 115 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 INTs
Roby: 4 INTs, 14 Pass Deflections, 45 tackles
Braxton: 2,700 passing yards & 32 TDs, 750 yards rushing & 11 TDs
Hyde: 900 yards rushing, 13 TDs
Rod Smith: 650 yards rushing, 5 TDs
Dontre: 450 yards receiving, 500 yards rushing 8 TDs (3 from the return game)
Philly: 85 catches for 1050 yards, 9 TDs
Smith: 55 catches for 700 yards 12 TDs
Go Bucks!

AirForceNUT's picture

The season sack record at Ohio State is 13.  If we had TWO players come within 3 of that record, it will be a monstrous season.  I'm way to excited for this.

holtzy's picture

I think Braxton's comp rate and passing yardage will get padded by a lot of the quick passes that turn into long runs.  I think Braxton will hit 3200 passing yards with 28 TDs, Comp % of 65, 700 rushing yards with 15 TDs.  I also think Hall will have an outstanding year to the tune of 1000+ total yards.  He seems like he is the forgotten one.

ohiosfinest75's picture

I love the direction Coach Meyer & Co. are taking the Ohio State football! Like last year I still believe it will all start with Miller. DC will load the box until he (Braxton) can prove he is a more accurate passer. I look for Braxton to make them pay with a comp % 64, 3180 31 TDs, 750 yards rushing for 10 TDs. The spread is functioning on all cylinders as Braxton earning the Heisman. As for the remaining "electric" playmakers:
Philly 75 catches 950 yards, 10 TDs
Spencer 37 catches 540 yards 8 TDs
Smith 60 catches 700 yards 8 TDs
Marshall 25 catches 375 yards 4 TDs
C Smith 30 catches 350 yards 5 TDs
Vannett & Heauman 85 550 yards 9 TDs combined
D. Wilson 35 catches 470 yards 11 TD, 42 rushing 385 7 TDs; 3 TD on special teams, All BIG 2nd team, rookie of the year finalist(what can I say I'm sold LOL!)
Hall & Hyde 770 yards rushing 8 TD
Shazier 130 Tks, 18 TFL, 6 sacks 2ints (All American)
Washington & Spence 18 total sacks, 17 TFL
Roby-shut down (All American)


ScarletNGrey01's picture

Total all your predicted yards catching and there may be nothing left of Braxton's arm by the end of the season.  :P

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

ohiosfinest75's picture

Yeah, just love this stuff!

AirForceNUT's picture

Yeah i calculated 317 pass completions. And i don't think this includes catches by Hyde, Hall, etc which means Miller will throw 500 times for a 63.4% completion percentage.  His arm will fall off if this scenario happens lol

Seattle Linga's picture

I have been told that I am on the 19th string and I know I will see some playing time this year.

2002osubuck's picture

If Jordan Hall can stay healthy this year: 400 rushing yds, 300 rec yds 3 TDs
Spence:10 sacks, 8 TFL, 45 tackles
Diesel: 9 sacks,12 TFL, 50 tackles
Shazier: 135 tackles,15 TFL, 3 INTs, 5 sacks 
Roby: 55 tackles, 6 INTs, 12 PBUs
Miller: 3200 yds passing 29 TDs, 800 yds rushing 9 TDs, 6 INTs
Hyde: 1100 yds rushing 14 TDs
R. Smith: 550 yds rushing 5 TDs
D. Smith: 65 rec 750 yds rec 6 TDs
Philly: 70 rec 900 yds 8 TDs
Wilson: 450 rec yds 4 TDs, 300 yds rushing 3 TDs
Heuerman/Vannett: 800 yds 9 TDs
Big year for the offense 70-80 plays/game. Can't get here soon enough.

southernstatesbuckeye's picture

One thing for that 13th game for the conference championship, Hyde was hitting his stride with fresh legs and Braxton was absolutely amazing...and oh did you see how they came out unlike some past Buckeye teams that start slow, and...uh oh...uh.  My bad.
Timelines are tricky things.   Especially these days.
Testing...testing...////scrrreeeeeeeeeee//// (sorry, my bad again)
This year's team is special.
These are truly team guys.  From Braxton's humble and thankful attitude (which is refreshing to me) and the "coach-on-the-field" mentality with the older players, and right down to Rod's competition-fueled flare up...  All of these guys will sacrifice individually for the team because...Braxton Miller is doing the exact same thing.  With lesser weapons, he would explode in personal output, but for the sake of building a well oiled and scary Buckeye butchering machine, he is going to merely wield one of the axes.
His teammates are inspired by that leadership by example...on and off the field.
And Hyde?  My word, gents & other sentients...while every other running back will have three extra games of abuse on their bodies, Hyde will be fresher, angrier, and more determined to run people over  make maximum use out of every single carry.
This team has Hunger.  Unsatisfied  hunger.
Hmmm.  Might we sit poised at the outset of perhaps one of the greatest seasons in all of college football history?  Somebody has to make that history...why not Ohio State?
And you with a ringside seat.  Sweet.
(in my time, this incredible 2013-14 season has been talked about for...uh, sorry.  look right here into the bright little light...)
This is not a fairy tale (well, unless you ask the disembodied media heads), it is not the result of that lump on your head from a tailgate binge...(well, rub your head to be sure), and you haven't been in a coma for two years and some friends just made up a cool Buckeye story to tease you with now that you're awake. 
No sir.  What we like to call this moment in time-stream reality.
Welcome to it.
The Quest for the Crystal Princess.
Mancerids to all!
The Time Traveler

I like cookies.

JJB's picture

hopefully our princess isn't in another castle.

pjtobin's picture

I am not a numbers guy. I will predict our Buckeyes to beat the living $h!t out 14 teams this year. And they will embarrass SCum 2 games in a row. The first time will be an old fashioned butt whoppin. The 2nd game will be like watching a pack of wolves attack a rabbit. A curb stomp in the 2nd qt will make Hoke forfeit during halftime. 
No animals will be harmed during my prediction. (I don't think wolverines are animals. More like insects. Cockroaches more or less.)

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Bradyhokescholesterol's picture

I just read "young bucks" and thought to myself, what an excellent nomer for freshmen who have yet to shed black stripes. Like a spotted fawn, first year players have to shed their black stripes. We need to start calling Frosh fawns until the prove themselves ready to join the herd

jdagrava.1's picture

I love this state prediction stuff, but to avoid creating the longest post to ever be recorded on this site, I will stick to two players.
I find myself wanting Adolphus to pull away as the best D-lineman, if for nothing more than his badass name.  However, I truly believe that Noah Spence is good enough to challenge Vernon Gholston for his season sack record.
Spence - 15.5 sacks (including 3 against TSUN), 43 tackles, 22 TFL, 3 fumble recoveries and 1 TD.
On the other side of the ball, Dontre Wilson is the real deal and Meyer simply cannot keep a talent like that on the bench.
Wilson - 775 rushing yards, 6 TDs - 850 receiving yards, 8TDs - 2 kickoff returns for TDs

"It takes a little something special to be a great player.  What you got in you, we're going to find out.  And if there's a touch of greatness in there, how cool would that be?"

-Urban F. Meyer

THEBEAROSU's picture

I don't see wilson being a big impact with the talent in front of him,  Braxton Miller, lots of yards. Carlos Hyde, big impact player. Rod Smith , ready to break out as the 1-2 punch, 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Jordan Hall , speed moves experience. All this talent will open up the passing game. Freshman need not apply.


Jdadams01's picture

I'll bite. 
Braxton: 3100 yds, 28 TDs. 680 yds rushing, 10 TDs
Hyde: 800 yds, 12 TDs. 125 yds receiving, 2 TDs
Brown: 925 yds, 7 TDs
D Smith: 1050 yds, 9 TDs
R Smith: 550 yds, 5 TDs. 100 yds receiving, 1 TDs
Hall: 250 yds, 2 TDs. 200 yds receiving, 1 TDs
Spencer: 350 yds, 3 TDs
Wilson: 450 yds, 6 TDs. 250 yds receiving, 2 TDs
TEs: 650 yds, 7 TDs
Shazier: 120 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 15 TFL
Spence: 9 sacks, 9 TFL, 42 tackles, 1 INT
Washington: 8 sacks, 11 TFL, 46 tackles
Roby: 2 INT, 15 PBUs, 1 punt block, 1 sack, 43 tackles
D Grant: 4 INT, 10 PBUs, 47 tackles

RedStorm45's picture

So, Braxton throws for 3,100, but the receiving numbers you threw out total 3,525 yards.  That's not including Michael Thomas, Chris Fields, Jalin Marshall, EzE, etc. etc.
Also, 7 TD's from the TE's??

Jdadams01's picture

I expect Kenny G to get a good amount of playing time. I would not be surprised for him to have close to 1000 yds passing. The TEs will get a lot of red zone targets. Stoneburner always had a high TD rate for his total catches.
And I'll be surprised if Chris Fields or Marshall break 200 yds. Thomas may, but even then not by much.
There are only so many snaps, passes, and handoffs to go around.
Also, I feel like I'm being overly optimistic on the passing game, but that's mainly on my gut feeling.
Looking at the 2008 Florida stats, 6 players had more than 200 yards receiving and I believe 2013 Miller has better passing potential than 2008 Tebow. Especially because that 2008 Florida team was a rushing monster, with 4 players going over 600 yards and a fifth going over 400 yards. I think the Buckeyes will be more pass oriented than the 2008 Gators.

gobucks96's picture

Was convinced that Hyde would top 1000 yards this year, but I don't think he gets the carries to do it. The suspension hurts, plus so much talent in the backfield..

THEBEAROSU's picture

Yea but he has the experience and is dependable. His ability to tear open the middle will make everyone else better. I am pulling for him to get the chance for his 1000 yards. No thanks to Urban suspending him. ( THAT PISSES ME OFF). I wanted to see more of Carlos Hyde in 2011.  He looked bad then when he got the chance. He runs over and thru people. GO BUCKEYES.


RedStorm45's picture

I simply don't think we can run enough plays to hit the numbers everyone is throwing out there - unless the hurry up has really hurried up compared to last year (it was more of a no huddle, then wait and see...look to the sidelines, maybe get the play off with 10-15 seconds on the game clock) AND the defense becomes masters of the 3 and out.  We'll see, but I'm thinking more like 2,400 yards/22 TD's for Braxton through the air and another 800 and 12 TD's on the ground.
It's almost impossible to predict the RB yardage considering the suspensions, but I'd imagine Hyde will hit 750 yards and 12 TD's.  Hall should pick up total yardage of 800 and 5 TD's.
WR's - Brown: 750 yards and 8 total TD's (running, returning, receiving).  Smith: 800 yards and 9 TD's.
Agree on the defensive numbers, but with the "quick strike" passing teams, sacks may be hard to come by again.

Jdadams01's picture

Even if we run 80 plays a game, some of these numbers are far-fetched. And you are right about the sacks because teams will rarely play a drop-back passing game against us. They haven't much for years.
By the by, see my reply to you above.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

I think Philly Brown goes for 1,500 all purpose yards.

NitroBuck's picture

I can think of a strong player analogy for Dontre Wilson, who happens to have come from a somewhat similar offense:  Tavon Austin of WVU.  Hopefully, Wilson will have a more immediate impact than Austin did as a Freshman (15 rec, 151 yds, 1td / 6 rush, 47 yds, 1 td).  To be fair, Austin had an established guy in front of him in Noel Devine.  WVU found a way to get him more touches his second year.  From what we're hearing from camp, I suspect Wilson will be pretty active, perhaps more along the lines of Austin's Sophomore stat line (58 rec, 787 yds, 8 td / 15 rush, 159 yds, 1 td).   Personally, I think Dontre will get about twice that many carries, but about 2/3's as many receptions.  Based on this, my projection for Dontre Wilson is 40 receptions for 535 yards and 5 tds / 30 rushes for 310 yards and 2 tds.  I think this should be an attainable goal and still leave plenty of touches for the wealth of talent we have in the offensive skill positions.

Ferio.  Tego.