Parsing the Running Back Situation

After two games is looks like we have settled into the grind here, more so since UNC gets closer to settling most of the personnel issues. The biggest remaining question mark is at tailback and there seems to be some indication that is moving closer to some kind of set lineup.

“It will continue to be a little bit of using all of those guys,” Davis said Monday, “but we’re going to try to see if one of those guys can step up and take the lead.”

So far White, a freshman, has rushed to the front of the pack, averaging 46 yards a game and starting both games against James Madison and East Carolina. He said he felt more comfortable in the backfield Saturday after “getting all the jitterbugs out” during the season-opener.

Anthony Elzy, also a freshman, is averaging 25.5 yards a game and has scored two touchdowns in short-yardage situations. Sophomore Richie Rich is averaging 16 yards per game.

“I think all of us running backs are just going to get better and better with experience,” White said.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Davis was extremely pleased with White’s play against ECU. Through two games White is averaging 46 yards per game. He has also averaged 4.4 yards per carry(doubling the averages from Elzy and Rich) to go along with a 18.8 yards per reception when he makes himself available as a receiver. I was impressed with the way White stepped up during the final drive against ECU where he was responsible for moving the UNC offense 46 yards on one reception and two runs. Anthony Elzy had two TDs against JMU and may be better suited in short yardage situations whereas Richie Rich might be fading into more of a spot duty role.

The main problem Davis and the staff are likely having with this is the fact the running game has been a minor facet of the offense. With T.J. Yates throwing multiple quick strike scores downfield, the need to run the ball has been minimal. As a result there is less evidence to use in the evaluation process than the staff probably would want. The main issue I foresee heading down the road here is the fact opposing teams now have enough current game film to properly prepare for the passing attack. The running game needs to assert itself if the Heels want to keep the offense balanced and the opposing defense off-balance.

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One Response to Parsing the Running Back Situation

  1. […] it’s time to do some Carolina scouting. THF has a good post here about the UNC running backs — their “biggest remaining question mark.” Right […]

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