With the loss of Darren Evans, many people are beginning to doubt Virginia Tech. Evans was the star of the offense last season, a thousand-yard rusher, and the Orange Bowl MVP. However, he was unproven coming into the season, having never taken a snap at the college level.
This year, the Hokies will look to three backs to carry the load. Josh Oglesby is the only back with any game experience, and rushed for 88 yards on 38 carries last season.
Like Evans, Oglesby is a run-between-the-tackles type of back. He's the guy that you want to have the ball in a short yardage situation, and the Hokies will likely utilize him in goal-line situations.
Ryan Williams has a flashier running style, and is a better receiver out of the backfield. Oglesby will be the starter for the first game against Alabama, but Williams is the type of back that will likely get 15-20 carries a game.
Then you have David Wilson. Wilson is earning the reputation of an extremely athletic and fast running back, who will look to give the Hokies a boost on offense and special teams. Wilson will see action out of the backfield, but my guess is he will get around five to 10 touches a game.
Oglesby is a powerful, strong, hit-you-in-the-mouth type of runner, Williams is an elusive runner who will leave many defenses asking the question, "Did that just happen?", and Wilson has the speed and deceptiveness to outrun any defense he faces.
The Hokies have a triple-threat at the running back position, and every running back brings something different to the table.
Oh yeah, and Tyrod Taylor ran for over 700 yards last season from the quarterback position, so the Hokies have four legitimate threats on the ground.
This running back tandem reminds me a lot of the 2007-2008 New York Giants running back situation. Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, and Ahmad Bradshaw all brought a different skill set to the backfield, and in Bradshaw's case to special teams, and that led the giants to have the number one rushing attack in the NFL last season.
The Hokies have a chance to do something very special with their running game this season, and a powerful running game means the passing game should open up.
Virginia Tech has a couple more scrimmages to work out the kinks before they take the field in Atlanta against Alabama. If the Hokies can run the ball successfully on the Crimson Tide, they will be able to run the ball on anyone.
Right now, it's just a wait-and-see situation.
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