A little over a month ago, Jeff and I debated whether Kuechly could break the single-season tackle record in a game of good cop / bad cop. Here's what I had to say on the matter back then.
"I will play the good cop on this one. Kuechly continues to pile up ridiculous tackle totals. He had 16 tackles against the Hokies, giving him a total of 37 through 3 games. That's an average of 12 1/3 per game. At some point, you've got to think that his tackle total will start to diminish but you learned yourself, Jeff, never to doubt Kuechly. If he continues to average 12 tackles a game, including the bowl game, that puts him at 160 -- just 5 shy of Tom McManus' school record of 165, set in 1991.
Then throw in an ACC Championship Game appearance and now Kuechly is up to 172 and change at his current clip."
To be perfectly honest, I thought it was a little silly to play good cop on this issue at the time. At the time, Kuechly only had 37 tackles (20 solo) and needed to average 12.8 a game (assuming a bowl game, forget that nonsense about the ACC Championship Game now) just to tie Tom McManus' school record.
Fast-forward five games later only to find Kuechly isn't averaging 12.8 a game, he's averaging 14.8 tackles per game in his last 5 games. That places him back on pace to break McManus' record ... in the regular season (not even including a possible bowl game).
Here's a look at BC's all-time single season tackle totals and where Kuechly would project given a 12-game and 13-game schedule.
|1. Tom McManus||1991||Jr.||165||11||15.00|
|2. Stephen Boyd||1993||Jr.||161||12||13.42|
|3. Tom McManus||1992||Sr.||159||12||13.25|
|4. Luke Kuechly||2009||Fr.||158||13||12.15|
|5. Bill Romanowski||1987||Sr.||151||11||13.73|
Even if BC just has four more games this season, Kuechly is still on pace to break McManus' record by a tackle. With a bowl game, Kuechly could shatter the BC tackle record by a good 15 tackles.
Now one might be quick to point out that Kuechly will get to play one or two more games than Tom McManus did back in 1991. But if you look at the tackles per game column, not so fast, my friend! Kuechly's current pace (13.88) is good for second best all-time behind only McManus' 15 per game. Other than McManus, no other BC player has averaged more than 13.88 in a season.