Going into 2017 and outside of the secondary, the running back position was the group the staff felt the most confident about. Returning from the 2016 team was 1,000 yard rusher Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford. Kendall Bussey and Kwame Etwi also return plus the team added 2017 signee Jacob Kibodi.
Some could argue outside of Alabama and with the loss of Rawleigh Williams in Fayetteville, the Aggies had the next best batch of running backs in the conference. This is always nice when you’re more than likely going to start a freshman at quarterback.
Heading to LA, we knew the game plan was to run and run. The recipe was working for about 35 minutes, but when the time was needed for one of those four-minute or five-minute drives the team could not deliver. What’s interesting about that is when the team needed a drive since UCLA they delivered. That’s what’s tough about the first game, you never know what you have.
Since UCLA, the running attack has been a mystery. Both Williams and Ford have been nursing injuries and without Bussey we may not have survivde September. Against Arkansas, Ford and Williams combined for 174 yards, they combined for 126 against South Carolina but just 97 combined in the last two games.
If this team wants to finish strong, we’re going to need a running game that’s not solely based on the quarterback. We almost know we’re one hit away from not having a run threat at that position. So during the bye week, the staff and the offensive line need to find themselves and the backs need to live in the training room. Their health will determine whether this team wins more than they lose.
Second half notes
Keep an eye on this stat down the stretch, running backs need to average at least 150 yards per game. The last three games we’ve come up short.