Freshman Running Back Dallan Hayden Makes First Career Start in College Football Playoff Semifinal

By Griffin Strom on December 31, 2022 at 8:33 pm
Dallan Hayden

Miyan Williams didn't appear on Ohio State's list of unavailable players before the Peach Bowl, but he didn't get the start at running back.

That distinction went to true freshman rusher Dallan Hayden, who makes the first start of his career in the biggest game of the season for the Buckeyes.

Amid injuries to Williams and TreVeyon Henderson late in the regular season, Hayden stepped up to have multiple standout performances. Hayden had 100-yard games in two of the Buckeyes' last three contests before the postseason, but only received two carries for seven yards in the regular-season finale against Michigan.

Most assume Williams, who battled injuries throughout the latter half of the season, would handle the majority of the rushing duties against Georgia if healthy. But Williams dealt with a stomach bug during bowl week and even missed Wednesday's open practice viewing window.

Ryan Day said Williams would be "good to go" for the bowl game, but may still not be healthy enough to handle RB1 duties, given that Hayden got the nod with the first-team offense Saturday.

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