Ohio State uses weird return rotation for the first few weeks of the season

Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson (32) makes his way down the field during the Ohio State-Tulsa game on September 18. Ohio State won 41-20. Credit: Mackenzie Shanklin | Photo editor

In three weeks, the Ohio State No.10 has yet to find his bell cow in the running back.

Four different running backs from the Buckeyes have carried the rock so far this season, with three having had at least 20 or more carries. While head coach Ryan Day saw encouraging things from the unit, he highlighted the depth of the position as a strength and something they will need all season.

“I think, especially as we get into the meat of the season, having depth in this position is critical, especially with the balance we’re looking for,” Day said. “Having these guys who need to get to this position gives us strength to move forward.”

Running backs coach Tony Alford turned to rookie Miyan Williams in a red shirt to start the first two games of the season.

Williams soared in Weeks 1 and 2, rushing for 125 yards against the Golden Gophers and 77 yards against the No. 12 Oregon.

Despite being Ohio State’s first rusher before their Week 3 clash against Tulsa, Williams didn’t see the field against the Golden Hurricane.

“We were playing the hot hand over there. I thought Master (Teague III) had trained well. Miyan missed one of the workouts this week and was not feeling well, ”Day said. “These guys trained a bit better. It wasn’t like we were holding them, but TreVeyon (Henderson) was hot and Coach Alford went with him.

TreVeyon Henderson’s Day assessment came true on his first career start against the Golden Hurricane, as the freshman tore Tulsa’s defense en route to the freshman racing record in one match. The Hopewell, Va. Native racked up 277 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.

“I had a lot of big goals for myself and hit one of my goals today, but I got a lot more so I have to keep working,” Henderson said after the game from Tulsa.

Ahead of his breakout performance against Tulsa, Henderson showed many flashes of his talent.

Against the Golden Gophers, Henderson screened first-year quarterback CJ Stroud for 70 yards for a touchdown. The score gave the Buckeyes a two touchdown lead midway through the fourth quarter and essentially put the game out of reach for Minnesota.

Although Henderson has shown tremendous promise in his first three games as Buckeye, Day has pointed out a variety of areas the youngster needs to grow up in.

“He has a lot to evolve, he has a lot to do and you can see his level of ability. But there’s a lot going on just in terms of execution, protection, execution of his readings and his vision, ”Day said. “He didn’t play at all last year in high school, so the last time he played was his freshman year of high school. So going out and flashing like that, it was exciting. But at the same time, he continues to build and grow. He still has a long way to go. ”

Although both Williams and Henderson have borne the brunt of racing so far this season, junior Master Backer Teague III has entered the season as a starting starter.

Despite being the unit’s veteran, Teague saw his role diminish in his fourth year with the program.

The Murfreesboro, Tennessee native had 47 runs in three games last season, but this year his name has only been called 20 times.

Ahead of the season, Alford has indicated that the returning veteran will not look the same as in the past.

“You talk about these young guys coming in and the way they compete, that helps uplift the room,” Alford said on Aug. 18. “So all of a sudden you really can’t afford to miss something. It’s just the kind of game we’re into.

Looking ahead, Day said the running back situation is still fluid due to contributions from the top three running backs.

“Miyan started in the first game, and Tre definitely flashed in that game,” Day said. “So we’ll see. He’s still young. Miyan is still young. The Master always exercises fiercely. We’re kind of going to find out as the week goes on.

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