One of the most surprising statistical indicators in college football was Bill Connelly's finding that percentage of receiving yards returning has a higher correlation to offensive success than passing yards returning, rushing yards returning, or offensive line snaps returning. Basically, this means that experience across the wide receiver corps has a greater (statistical) impact on offensive success than experience from any other position group. This stat was mentioned in a few articles in The Athletic this week, one by Andy Bitter, and one by the UGA beat writer.
This got me curious about how the quality of Fuente's offenses at VT varied based on percentage of returning receiving yards. Here's the data:
|Season||Receiving Yards||Receiving Yards Returning (next season)||% Receiving Yards Returning (next season)||Offensive SP+ Ranking|
As you can see, there's a pretty obvious correlation between % of Receiving Yards Returning, and SP+ offensive ranking the following season. The only exception is the 2019 season, and I think we can all assume that was due to Ryan Willis's performance over the first 4 games of the season.
I'm sure there will be some transfers, decreasing the 89% of returning receiving yards to 80-85%, but either way, there is much on offense to be excited about next year.