Last year everyone was wondering who would replace the 2,000 yard rushing effort of Donald Brown, who is now playing on Sundays. Well everyone pretty much thought that no one person could replace that kind of production, so Randy Edsall used two.
Yes, the combined efforts of Andre Dixon (1,093 yards) and Jordan Todman (1,188 yards) did in fact replace Donald Brown's production and now that Dixon is gone, it is Todman's turn to break 2,000 yards individually.
From a fantasy perspective, the UConn backfield was quite frustrating. One week it would be Dixon blowing up and getting the bulk of the carries, then next week it was Todman, or it seemed that every week each shared a limited number of touches. However, nobody would frown upon two 1,000-yard backs or Todman's individual production of 1,188 yards and 14 touchdowns.
With that said, here is a breakdown of the pros and cons on Jordan Todman becoming the next 2,000 yard rusher in college football:
Returns four Offensive Line starters
Returns starting quarterback
100+ yard games- 5 20+ carry games- 6 Avg. yards per game- 91
Good defense allows him to run deep into games
Returns starting fullback
Analysis: Todman returns four of his starting offensive lineman, his starting quarterback, and even his head-busting fullback, Anthony Sherman. Another good thing is that UConn's good defense will keep Todman getting carries deep into games as they help to keep the score low so that Zach Frazer doesn't have to wing it to get back in games.
Despite splitting carries, Todman finished with five 100 yard games, 6 games of 20+ carries, and averaged a very respectable 91 yards per game. One might wonder if the 195 pound Todman can handle the carries of a workhorse back, and while that remains to be truly seen, he showed he could handle the ball 25 times a game which is commendable.
Also Todman has the explosion that is necessary of a 2,000 yard back and he can catch which should help to keep him fresh.
Only averaged 18 carries per game
Shared time with Andre Dixon; has not been workhorse back
Top receiving threat graduated
Spotty quarterback play
Analysis: Todman obviously did not carry the ball many times a game and it seemed that whenever he did have a 20+ carry game, it was followed by one of considerably fewer carries. The big question for Todman in 2010 is if he can take all of the carries for this team.
Other factors that may hinder his rise to 2,000 are spotty quarterback play and a lack of a go-to receiving target. Zach Frazer is not going to win games with his arm and walk-on sensation, Marcus Easley, has graduated.
Another thing to just keep an eye on is Offensive Coordinator, Joe Moorhead. He was brought in to install this no-huddle, spread attack. Well as any smart coach should do, Moorhead and Edsall changed the system to fit the players and not the other way around (see Rich Rodriquez's first year at Michigan).
I doubt they will go pass-heavy anytime soon but it is something to consider.
Ultimately, I think Todman has a great chance of being a 2,000-yard back. Edsall has shown an affinity to funneling the offense through his backs and with the lack of receiving targets, strong offensive line, and poor quarterback play, it's safe to say he stays that course.
Physically, I think Todman can take the punishment as he is an elusive runner who is deceptively strong. He has a great line and is returning most of the players around him.