Mountain West Football Top 50: No. 19, New Mexico RB Tyrone Owens
The Lobos’ explosive running back, Tyrone Owens, continues our countdown of the Mountain West’s 50 best football players.
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The number one runner on the nation’s number one running game is a home run threat.
It may seem odd to consider that the next entrant on our list might have been overshadowed in 2016, even as his team dominated on the ground like no other.
New Mexico’s Tyrone Owens didn’t have quite the workload to match other Mountain West backs like Donnel Pumphrey and Brian Hill, but he was arguably the conference’s — and maybe the nation’s — most dangerous runner when the ball was in his hands: Among FBS running backs with 1,000 yards, only teammate Teriyon Gipson had a better yards per carry average than Owens’ 8.01 YPC. He had nine runs of 40-plus yards and, if you’re a believer in the advanced metrics within college football, Owens averaged a stunning 9.2 Highlight Yards per Opportunity (defined by Bill Connelly as “yards gained after the offensive line had done its job”).
No wonder, then, that the Lobos had the nation’s number one rushing offense, making Owens a troubling matchup for the rest of the Mountain division heading into 2017.