Conference Philosophy: Why Not Use Multiple Running Backs?

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ZachBuckeye5's picture

I don’t think there really is one strategy that works better than the other. While I agree the RB’s recruited at Georgia are Top Tier, Michigan, PSU, Wisconsin, and us also happen to produce pretty good RB’s no matter the ranking. Wisconsin still takes Taylor off the field for the #2 and #3 more than you’d think too.

Buckeye fan in the heart of Badger territory.

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DaytonBuck1980's picture

Can you remind me when was the last time xichigan produced even a “pretty good” RB? Mike Hart? Chris Perry? Hell, their best recent NFL rb was their qb. I get your point but one of those teams is not like the others. 

Still not giving a damn for the whole state of Michigan. 

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Silver Sniper's picture

Mike Hart was ass my dude. I’d say Denard Robinson was the last strong RB they had.

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milhouse4588's picture

We've always had a solid backup that spells the starter. But our offense is also different than UGA or Bama. It's focused more on spread and stretch the defense than ground and pound, then go over the top. We run at a higher tempo than they do most of the time (with more plays per season overall) so we don't have time to sub guys out.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

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Beantown_Buckeye's picture

Not sure I agree. Teams use the personnel that helps them win. Wisconsin has rotated two backs in many years, but right now they have a top guy who excels when he gets the ball 20+ times a game and has separated himself from the others on roster. OSU has typically leaned on one guy but the last two years they've tried to split the load because they had two starting caliber backs.

UGA and Bama many times have multiple 5* or high 4* backs on roster so there isn't much of a drop-off if any. Not every school has that luxury. I think if you did a deeper dive you'd find many Big Ten schools do rotate two backs, but if one guy separates himself of course he's going to get the bulk of the carries. Even Bama has had years where one RB dominates the carries besides garbage time.

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

Beat me to it...great minds. 

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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JohnnyKozmo's picture

I think you can use the chicken and the egg argument here too...are they using multiple backs because they have so much talent and no drop off?  And is the talent there because they use multiple backs?  

I don't think they do it just to do it...they're doing it because they have the horses to do it.  Like you mentioned, Weber and JK split was pretty even last year, and both almost went over 1000yds.  That's the kind of #s UGAs top 2 guys are usually putting up, so we're not that far off.  This year, you will probably see Dobbins at the 1500+ mark I'd think, but the next guy will probably be in the 500-600 range...still around the same total yards, just spread differently.  

You're too stupid to have a good time. -Dalton

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GVerrilli92's picture

Exactly.

It's not a matter of offensive philosophy, you play the best players. If you make a list of your top 5 offensive weapons and that list includes 2 RBs, are you not gonna play the 2nd one just because he's the 2nd best back? Hell no.

Once you show that you can have success with 2 backs I guess it does become easier to recruit multiple blue chips, but you then have to commit to handing the ball off to the RB 40+ times a game.

Kitties aren't supposed to smell like cigarettes, they're supposed to smell like kitties.

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bull1214's picture

It’s a philosophy that you have to buy into and stick to it over several years to let it become an identity. I want to see us recruiting 2 top backs each year knowing no matter who we get, the next year we will go after 2 more etc. it’s like Haskins passing numbers leading to more pass first qb’s looking our way. If you don’t use them then you stop getting them. Georgia and bama will be 2 of the best running teams while having 2 of the best passing offenses at the same time. It’s possible to have both but you have to make it an identity.

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awlinBrutus's picture

To the OP’s point, which was 2 back sets are an advantage in the run game and would of been a big help to last years woeful production. I guess it snuck up on the staff when we needed a couple yards last year and couldn’t get it because of all the yards we were racking up throwing the ball. Without the threat of the QB running the ball the spread is like a an old hound dog without teeth, no bite. I think this years offense could resemble what we had in 2014. Very balanced running and passing.

MICHIGAN STILL SUCKS

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IBLEEDSCARLETANDGRAY's picture

We only had 1 RB in 2014 after Rod Smith got booted. That worked out well.

"You're the patron saint of the totally effed" - Hot Tub Time Machine

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bull1214's picture

Some years you have a Haskins. Some years you have a fields type of qb. The run game should be the one thing we can consistently know what we will have. We have the ability to bring in the horses now we just have to get it rolling! That starts with using a pair and a spare as an identity 

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Squirrel Master's picture

I might be wrong but SEC teams tend to stop using that 3rd back during their tougher games unless there is an injury issue. They times they do insert that 3rd back is when they play those crappy OOC teams they like to play.

Now bama isnt like others, they legitimately have 3 starting caliber RBs and use them because there truly is no difference.

I'm good with rotating our 4-6 stud WR right now and getting Wilson, Gill and others involved in passes. OSU tends to do that more than most and it seems to be effective when the talent is there.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

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BuckeyeBulldog's picture

This brings back really bad flashbacks of getting carved up by John Clay and James White in 2010

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mittenst8buck's picture

Georgia can't be Alabama and apparently even Texas...so I don't want to emulate anything they do. They do recruit very well but they are benefiting off of Alabama being a super power. Alabama...well they are getting multiple top tier RB's at the moment and I guarantee that the minute that system doesnt work it will go out the window.

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stuckupnorth's picture

OSU just needs to run the ball. Last year was terrible. It has nothing to do with Haskins not being able to run ball. It’s funny for 100 years OSU ran the ball without a dual threat. Then all of a sudden they can’t pick up 3rd and 1 against a mac level school over and over and over agin. There is not a school OSU will play that has more talent. Georgia Alabama Clemson all included. Coach Stud. Has been anything but a stud. OSU needs to figure out how to run the ball. Dobbins is round Two Rb. It’s not Dobbins fault. Last year was the worst line play I’ve ever seen at OSU. 

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45has2's picture

^^^^^THIS^^^^^

Censores irrumasti.

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BrewstersMillions's picture

Not even a little worried about the offense this year. Fields is gonna eat, JK is gonna eat, McCall is gonna eat, Victor is gonna eat, Hill is gonna eat. Everyone is gonna eat.

Strap in, nation. OSU is comin.....

Proudly dispensing unbridled arrogance since 1983.

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62wasn’tenough's picture

This X1000%

I think the Buckeye offense will open up under Day and the defense will return to the days of the Silver Bullets! Day’s “chill” aka “ruthlessness” will be on full display, like it was in the early Urban years. Go Bucks!

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