Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quest for 2000- Donald Buckram

So from a fantasy perspective no school has been as frustrating at UTEP. They have a good quarterback, great receivers, and now a stellar running back. However, it is anyone's guess as to which facet of this fantasy diamond will shine brightest from year to year or even game to game.

One thing I think we can all count on is that the UTEP Miners will look to feed the ball steadily to their game breaking 'back, Donald Buckram. Buckram took the 2009 season by storm, finishing 6th in rushing yards with 1,594 and 4th in rushing yards per game with 132.8. He also finished 3rd on his own team in receiving with 453 yards. What's next for a running back that just finished the year with over 2,000 yards from scrimmage? Well possible it is 2,000 yards rushing...

With that said, here is a breakdown of the pros and cons on Donald Buckram becoming the next 2000 yard rusher in college football:


Averaged 21 carries per game, but got hot late in the season

Returns 3 Offensive Line starters

3 200+ yard games

Returns starting quarterback and some receivers

100+ yard games- 8 20+ carry games- 6 Avg. Yards per game- 133

High YPC (6.2)

Analysis: For a relatively diminutive 'back (standing at 5'10 and weighing 195 pounds) Buckram toted the ball for an average of 21 times per game which is slightly skewed because he didn't really hit his stride until about 5th game of the season.

He has 3 of his starting offensive lineman returning with an Oklahoma transfer possibly replacing one of the graduated tackles.

Some promising statistics are that Buckram rattled off 3 200+ yard games, 8 100+ yard games, and averaged 133 per game. It is those kind of numbers and production that lead one to rushing for 2,000 yards. Buckram has proven to handle the carries, can take any carry to the house due to his explosiveness, and keeps himself fresh by mixing in with the passing game.


Loses the entire left side of offensive line

Bad defense doesn’t allow him to run sometimes

Inconsistent at times

Analysis: While it can be viewed as a plus that Buckram returns 3/5 of his line, it is somewhat disheartening that the entire left side has graduated. Also UTEP's defense is so porous that if the Miners do not jump ahead on the scoreboard, they often find themselves passing heavily to get back in the game thus decreasing Buckram's carries. Lastly, while extremely effective when he is on, Buckram sometimes does not get the carries to perform as witnessed by three games in which he logged single digit carries. Now one could say that it was because they were being blown out in the cases of Kansas and Texas but a 'back must still get his carries if he is going to hit the 2,000 yard summit.

Overall Analysis:

If UTEP realizes the talent they have in Buckram by continuing to feed him the ball steadily, he could definitely reach 2,000 rushing yards. He plays in a defensively weak conference, has good players around him, is explosive enough to really get the most out of his carries, and Mike Price is not afraid to put the game on Donald's shoulders. All of this makes the case that Donald Buckram of the UTEP Miners could very well be college football's next 2,000 yard rusher.

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