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A Barry Sanders Chart That Displays Chuba Hubbard’s Greatness

Chuba is chasing ghosts and housing his competition.



Visuals are often overrated, but not when OKC Dave is building them. I’ve spilled 5,000 or 50,000 or 500,000 words trying to capture just how good Chuba Hubbard has been this season. Dave just puts the numbers into Google Sheets using three words, and it makes a lot more sense than when I say it.

Obviously everyone knows Chuba is having one of the all-time great seasons in a long line of them at Oklahoma State. But did you know how closely he’s tracking Barry to this point? Again, I’ve written about this and taken screenshots of their stats and yelled about it on our podcast, but this chart of Barry’s 1988 season in the blue and Chuba’s 2019 season in the orange does all the work for me.

Here’s a look.

Screen Shot 2019-10-08 at 3.30.51 PM.png

That’s … beathtaking.

Chuba actually gained a bit on Barry here in Game 6 as Barry had 154 against Mizzou and Chuba had 156 against Texas Tech. Howevah! Barry put up 215 or more in every game after that in 1988, including 320 (!) against Kansas State in Game 7. If Chuba tosses 320 on Baylor next weekend, I’m going to need an oxygen mask.

“I may be way out of my line — I hate making comparisons — but he kind of reminds me of Le’Veon Bell-ish,” Brandon Weeden said this week on our podcast. “He’s bigger, taller, pretty thick. Kind of has the same running style, has breakaway speed. He’s extremely patient. He lets things develop and then he hits it. He’s always, always falling forward, that’s the sign of a good back.

“I’ve been really impressed. The numbers speak for themselves, but some of these runs he’s making when things really aren’t blocked that well and he’s getting 7 or 8 yards — they’re kind of hidden yards, not going to be on SportsCenter — but you’re like ‘Damn, that’s pretty impressive.'”

Chuba’s not just chasing ghosts either. He’s still distancing himself from others in the 2019 race for preeminent national rusher. Incredibly, only nine players have hit the 600-yard mark, and Chuba has nearly 1,100. He’s more than doubled the production of all but 15 other runners nationally.

Here’s a look at some of the data.

Name Team Yards/Game
Chuba Hubbard Okla St 182.3
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin 149
J.K. Dobbins Ohio State 137.7
Bryant Koback Toledo 125.6
AJ Dillon BC 124.2
Kenneth Gainwell Memphis 124
Tre Siggers N Texas 120
Total TDs
Name Team TD
Chuba Hubbard Okla St 13
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin 12
Xavier Jones SMU 12
Darrynton Evans App St 9
Malcolm Perry Navy 9
Elijah Mitchell La-Lafytte 9
LeVante Bellamy W Mich 8
Justin Fields Ohio State 8
Cam Akers FSU 7
Jalen Hurts Oklahoma 7
JaTarvious Whitlow Auburn 7
Anthony McFarland Jr. Maryland 7
Total Yards
Name Team Yards
Chuba Hubbard Okla St 1094
J.K. Dobbins Ohio State 826
Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin 745
AJ Dillon BC 745
Xavier Jones SMU 646
LeVante Bellamy W Mich 629
Bryant Koback Toledo 628
Kenneth Gainwell Memphis 620
Marvin Kinsey Jr. CSU 618

Even though I’ve been staring at them week after week, the numbers don’t become less astonishing. Jonathan Taylor hasn’t cracked the 150/game mark yet, and Chuba’s flirting with 200! He’s more than doubled J.K. Dobbins’ TDs. He has nearly 2.5x as many yards as preseason Heisman candidate Travis Etienne of Clemson.

We could do this all day.

My hope in this, I suppose, is that the current numbers and the snaking Sanders graph serve to remind all of us that even at a place that’s seen an embarrassing number of elite running backs, it’s rare that one comes along that’s as special as 30.


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