After a tremendous sophomore season, Clinton Lynch saw a dip in numbers for his junior season but don’t be surprised if the senior A-Back puts up big numbers once again in 2018.
Lynch’s 2017 season:
It’s safe to say that 2017 was not the season Clinton Lynch was looking for to follow up his sophomore campaign that saw him average 17.1 yards per play from scrimmage. The rising senior a-back saw his 905 total yards from 2016 dip all the way down 252 total yards and a modest 8.1 yards per play. He also didn’t score a single touchdown all season after scoring a combined 16 through his first two seasons.
The dip in numbers for Lynch and the a-back group was most likely due to TaQuon Marshall’s abilities and inabilities as the Jackets starting quarterback. While Marshall was an electric runner, his decision making often impaired his a-backs and b-backs, putting them in bad and dangerous situations to make a play. Marshall’s struggles through the air also lead to a dip in numbers, as Lynch had just 43 receiving yards last season after totaling over 700 in his first two seasons.
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What to expect in 2018:
Now that Marshall has a year under his belt and should have improved both his decision making and passing part of his game, the a-backs should see a rise in their numbers in 2018. Clinton Lynch along with Qua Searcy should be the biggest beneficiaries in result.
When Lynch was a big part of the Jackets offense in 2015 and 2016, he was in reality a human first down. Anytime Lynch touched the ball, he had a chance to get at least a first down if not for a touchdown. If Marshall’s abilities as a passer improved over the course of the offseason, Lynch’s biggest impact in 2018 will come through the air.
So far through his first three seasons, most of Lynch’s biggest contributions came through receptions, where he has 30 receptions for 800-yards and nine touchdowns. If Marshall struggles throwing the ball again, it may be another disappointing and frustrating season.
Overall, if the Jackets are able to utilize Lynch more in 2018, he becomes one of the greatest weapons offensively. His ability to be a multi-purpose and solid all around a-back, allows him to maximize how often he’s on the field, and matching him up alongside Qua Searcy is a nightmare for some defenses in what sometimes is a classic case of “pick your poison”.
Lynch and the rest of the Yellow Jackets start fall camp in the upcoming days as they begin preparations for Alcorn State on September 1st.