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Analyzing Terry Grant

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Terry Grant. We all know if him by this point, and for good reason given his performance in his first two starts at Alabama. But just how good is he?

All told, Grant had twenty five carries yesterday, and those carries netted 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. But let's go deeper.

I've talked before about the Running Back Success Rate, and how it takes down and distance into account when evaluating a play's success. For those that don't remember, or if you are new to the concept, a run is considered a success if it gets 40% of the needed yardage on first down, 60% of the needed yardage on second down, or 100% of the needed yardage on third and fourth downs.

So how did Grant stack in terms of Running Back Success Rate yesterday?

All told, he had 25 carries, and 14 were successes, which puts his RB Success Rate at 56%, which is pretty good. But you can construe that a bit higher, too, if you take out the last two carries -- which were basically clock-killers and nothing more -- and then his RB Success Rate shoots up to 60.8%. Either way you look at it, not bad for Grant.

Moreover, Grant did well in goal-to-go situations. He had four carries in goal-to-go situations, and two were successes (both touchdowns). Even the two unsuccessful carries both netted two years inside the six yard line, which while not technically a successful carry, is not particularly a bad play either. Contrary to the Shula thinking on the subject, you don't need a 240+ pound fullback playing as tailback to get some success in goal-to-go situations.

More interesting, of the 25 carries that Grant received yesterday, only one carry came on third down. Without looking at the rest of how things worked, I think it mainly shows how much we passed in third down situations (even short-yardage situations on third down) more than anything else. Obviously, we didn't have any problem giving him the ball in short-yardage situations in general (see above).

What I do see from the data, interesting enough, is that Grant very much seems to be a boom or bust runner. Most readers are probably familiar with the concept of the boom or bust runner -- the guy who has a tendency to seemingly either get a big gain or get stuffed -- so there's no real reason to elaborate much further here.

Either way, though, Grant very much seems to be a boom or bust guy. If you factor out the four goal-to-go carries, he had twenty-one carries on Saturday. Of those twenty-one, seven carries went for two yards or less, while eight carries went for ten yards or more (those eight carries combined for 143 yards). Only six carries went for somewhere in between three yards and nine yards.

You never want to read too much into things, considering the small sample size, but it does seem that we have a boom or bust runner on our hands with Grant.