What do you see as the likely division of labor at running back in game one?
The depth chart lists Kody Walker and Rawleigh Williams III as co-starters. Is that an honorary position for Walker, who has not been entirely healthy lately (if by lately, you mean the past five years).
Behind them on the depth chart are Devwah Whaley (impressive freshman) and Damon Mitchell (upperclassman who has bounced around positions). Then we have T.J. Hammonds (freshman who has been injured).
RWIII is coming off a major injury of his own, though he has been proclaimed fully recovered. Last season, in game one Alex Collins got 12 carries before sitting down.
What’s more important in game one, establishing the running back rotation, or getting quarterback Austin Allen comfortable throwing against an enemy defense? Does it make the most sense to use this game to knock the rust off RWIII, see what you have in Mitchell, and get Whaley comfortable?
I think Williams will get the most carries when it matters, with Whaley maybe ending up with more yards and carries as he gets more work against a tired defense in the second half. Walker, if he plays, will have a cameo role, as they surely will want to keep him as healthy as possible for the rest of the year. Mitchell may get several carries as well.
Tech will have to bring a lot of people up to the line to stop the run, so patience in the running game will be a virtue. The longer the game goes, the worse Tech is likely to be against the run. AA may look like a world beater as a passer, as Tech had a lot of trouble last year defending the pass, and will likely be laying off receivers while bringing up numbers to defend the run. The play action stuff should be open often, and a lot of YAC would not be a surprise.
What’s more important in game one, establishing the running back rotation, or getting quarterback Austin Allen comfortable throwing against an enemy defense? $ We will have to do both because the next game is TCU and we will need both.
Does it make the most sense to use this game to knock the rust off RWIII, see what you have in Mitchell, and get Whaley comfortable? $ Walker is injured again so I don’t want to play him too early and lose him for TCU. I think we have to RWIII in a game rhythm and play Duwop during the critical stretches of the game. Whaley should be a 4th quarter player.
I agree I think we need to do both against La Tech. RWIII needs to knock the rust off, Whaley needs to get experience, AA needs to get comfortable, with game speed. I’d like for TCU to be later in the year, but then they’d be more prepared as well.
I think Williams will get the most significant carries. Whether Walker or Whaley play more will depend on how healthy Walker is and what kind of down-and-distance the team needs. If it’s a third-and-1, my guess is Walker is in the game.
If Arkansas beats Louisiana Tech the way I think it will, Duwop may end the game with the most carries.
Excellent question and one reason coaches get paid the big bucks. You don’t want an injury, but you want these guys to game experience. I think it is important to get the ground game going, but AA needs to get in his throws. May have to to back them off some. I think RW gets work as well as Duwop. We will also get to see if our new super Freshman is the real deal.
Of course, a lot depends on the Oline and how the game situation. As always, a W is number one. This is not practice.
I agree with nlr buzzard. I believe the RB situation will look similar to CBB’s first game in 2013. Jwill got 10 carries to AC’s 6 carries in the 1st half. The 2nd half JWill got 8 carries to AC’s 15. JWill ended up with 150+ yards and AC ended up with 130+. I believe you can just substitute RW111 for JWill and DW for AC and get a good feel for how the carries will be distributed. It would be great if yardage was also similar.
It would surprise me if KW gets many (if any) carries due to the injury. Maybe some 3rd and short or 3rd and goal opportunities. In the 2013 game, Kiero Small got 4-5 carries. That may be how KW will be used in this game.
I think RW will likely have a big first half. We may not see Whaley until the second quarter. If we get some separation I expect Duwop to get major carries in the second half. As far as strategy, it will be dictated by what La Tech does. I think the reputation of our receiving corp is good enough that they will not load the box on us very often. I really don’t know what to expect from KW. Probably best to hold him back until you really need him. I also hope our two FB’s are rewarded with a couple of carries each for all the grunt work they do.
I’ll guess 60% of the non-kicking plays will be rushes. I think there must be some thought of red-shirting TJ; and the coaches need to quickly learn if Williams can take some pounding, safely and effectively. But, to move the ball effectively against TCU we must get plenty of game film on our passing game and how the OLine and Backfield handles blocking chores against La Tech. I doubt the Hogs open up the playbook; I expect a conservative first half.
Rawleigh Williams has been the every down back this fall. I think he will be as long as he’s healthy. Whaley might emerge as the season progresses. I’m also hearing there may be a few things for Duwop and eventually TJ Hammonds. Walker has always been a guy who didn’t hold up to a constant pounding. He takes too many direct hits and doesn’t stay healthy.
While Walker’s durability is always an issue, he is either 1 or 1A on the depth chart. He’ll get his share of carries. I don’t expect anyone to carry more than 12-15 times though unless we just get a hot back and ride him (like 7 carries on one drive).
I pray that Walker stays healthy, RWIII continues his progress and DuWop steps up more. We need these guys to play and perform, so that Whaley and others are not NEEDED. I think the young guys should get snaps but I don’t want them to be starting as FR.