By HawkeyeGameFilm

During the long off season there is plenty of time to look back at history and study statistics. One question I wanted to answer was who had the best pass catching seasons as Hawkeyes at each position(RB,TE, WR) in recent history?

For the sake of these articles we’ll say ‘best’ is defined as the most efficiency as a pass catcher. Most efficient is not the same as most effective (ie raw numbers: catches, YPC etc), but is more focused on what you did with the opportunities you got. It’s easy to be efficient over a small number of targets so we’ll take that into consideration as we go. There are a couple of basic metrics that are especially valuable when trying to determine a receivers efficiency: Yards per target (YPT), Catch Rate (CR) and Target Percentage (T%). Another useful metric is TD%. Using these statistics we’ll compare the Iowa pass caching targets from 2005-2011. This article will focus on the RB group.

CR: Total catches/Total Targets.
YPT: Total receiving yards/Total targets.
Target %: Total targets/Total Team Targets
YPC: Total receiving yards/Total Catches
TD%: Total targets/Total Touchdowns

For the RBs we’ll ignore the TD% as it’s not an overly helpful metric for them. Also we’ll only be considering RBs who had more than 10 targets in a given season.

This first set of season statistics is sorted by CR. Pretty clearly the catch rate title goes to Albert Young in ‘05, but his ‘06 numbers were no slouch either. He has the two highest percentages by a wide margin and did it with a lot of targets each year. His drop off in ‘07 likely had more to do with a QB change than anything else. Next we’ll sort the list by YPT.

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This time at the the top we find Damian Sims but with only 13 targets his 10.2 YPT is not an overwhelmingly impressive number. Again Albert Young shows up toward the top with a very solid 9.8 over 25 targets in ‘05. I was a little surprised to see Adam Robinson’s ‘10 season this high up but he had a very solid season with 7.5 YPT over 36 targets, the highest number of targets for any RB between 05-11. Finally we’ll look at the numbers sorted by Target percentage:

At the top are two familiar names, Robinson and Young. Young had 3 of the 5 highest target percentage seasons for a RB in his run at Iowa. Marcus Coker is also higher up this list that I would have guessed.

After looking at 7 years worth of data it’s pretty clear who was the most efficient receiver among the running backs. Albert Young had some great numbers as a receiver during his career at Iowa. His career numbers are very impressive with an 85% CR, 7.5 YPT. Statistically speaking over his career that means 85% of the times you threw him the ball, you could expect it to go for 7.5 yards.  Young is the clear cut winner here with his 2005 numbers and his 2006 are not bad either.

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Winner: 2005 Albert Young

In the next article we’ll examine the target history of the Iowa TEs over the same time period, 2005-2011.

*Data for these articles comes from Football Study Hall: Link