Monday, October 03, 2005

M-azing Michigan Mike Hart

If you watched the MSU game, all you can say is damn. That kid is unbelieavable. Tom Lemming thought he was too small to be a TB in college? Yeah, great observation Lemmster. All the kid does is gain yards. He has to have some of the strongest legs I have ever seen. He's listed at 5'9", but that's stretching it. And I've seen it take 3-4 tacklers to get him down some times.

Want some numbers? He has now played 12 career full games (if you discount his total of 11 carries against Miami last year and Notre Dame last year and this year). In those 12 games...

337 carries, 1785 yards, 11 rushing TDs, 5.3 yards/carry
30 catches, 285 yards, 2 receiving TDs, 9.5 yards/catch

He's racked up 4 games of 200 or more yards rushing, another 2 games of 150+, and another 2 games of 100+. Only 4 times has he failed to crack the 100 yard barrier: 99 against Iowa, 79 against Indiana, 61 against Ohio State, and 83 against Texas.

The kid is averaging 172.5 yards from scrimmage in his first full 12 games of his career. Not to shabby, huh?

Let's look at the careers of some great backs from Michigan's recent past:

Chris Perry - 3696 career rushing yards, 39 rushing TDs. He cracked the 200 yard barrier twice in his career, both as a senior (MSU and CMU). He also topped 150 three times in his career. Six other games over 100 yards.

Anthony Thomas - 4645 career rushing yards, 55 rushing TDs. He cracked the 200 yard barrier once as a senior (Illinois). He topped 150 on eight occasions. He had another 12 100 yard performances.

Tim Biakabutuka - 2911 career rushing yards, 24 TDs. He cracked the 300 yard barrier with one historic performance against Ohio State. He had one other 200 yard game. He topped 150 twice. He had another 8 games over 100 yards.

Tyrone Wheatley - 4178 career rushing yards, 48 TDs. He cracked the 200 yard barrier twice. He topped 150 another 5 times. He also had 11 games over 100 yards.

Let's look at the stats of these great backs this way: Name - career games played (with at least 8 carries), total games over 200, total games over 150, total games over 100

Mike Hart - 12 games, 4 over 200, 6 over 150, 8 over 100
Chris Perry - 38 games, 2 over 200, 5 over 150, 11 over 100
Anthony Thomas - 44 games, 1 over 200, 9 over 150, 21 over 100
Tim Biakabutuka - 21 games, 2 over 200, 4 over 150, 12 over 100
Tyrone Wheatley - 35 games, 2 over 200, 7 over 150, 18 over 100

By the numbers, Mike Hart is the most dominating back Michigan has had in some time, if not ever. The kid just pounds out huge yardage totals game after game. I don't think I can adequately describe his greatness. Let's just hope he stays healthy and stays for his junior and senior year. If he does, Anthony Thomas can kiss his yardage record goodbye, perhaps by the end of next year.


Blogger James said...

Nice breakdown. The kid is amazing--and he's just plain fun to watch, the way he's always scooting for extra yardage. He's quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites.

Mon Oct 03, 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger RDConz said...

Hart is a very good back (I can't say things like "great" or "amazing" even if he is, because, as a Wisconsin fan, I haven't seen most of his games and am therefore not qualified to judge), but my impression is that he gets a greater % of Michigan's runs from scrimmage than backs like Perry, Thomas, and Biakabutuka did. I remember these backs sharing time, while Hart seems to be on the field most of the game. This would tend to give him more "big stat" games than the other backs. I'd be interested to see a breakdown along these lines to find out whether my perception is correct.

Wed Oct 05, 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger robert paulson said...

I have yet to do a breakdown of that. But I do know that Hart has turned into the #1 tailback earlier in his career than anybody else. Players like Chris Perry and Anthony Thomas etc. didn't become the main guy until later on. So while they got the lions share of carries for a few years, they never did it for 4 years. Hart is on pace to be the main guy for all 4 years of his career.

Thu Oct 06, 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Chris of Dangerous Logic said...

Just for a little bit of historical perspective:

Jamie Morris (1984-87): 48 games, 4392 yards, 25 TD. 2 games over 200, 6 more over 150, 10 more over 100.

Gordon Bell (1973-75): 34 games, 2902 yards, 28 TD. 1 game over 200, 3 more over 150, 9 more over 100.

Fri Oct 07, 12:50:00 PM  

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