Who cares about RB depth if we never use it

DanvilleGopher

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I get the concerns about workload and building depth....But.....

Potts - 34 carries - 178 Yards - 2 TD

Wiley and Williams combined - 5 carries - -2 yards

Now maybe isn't the time to worry about depth. They rode the guy who was getting it done. Other guys want more chances....make something happen when they hand you the ball.
I think the concern here (and I'm in that 'boat' LOL), is that we already know what Wiley and Williams bring to the table. An opponent like Miami Oh, is the place and time to see what Irving and Thomas might be able to do. I was really hoping the 2nd half would be the time to see these other guys, but then they let the lead nearly slip away.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Captain Obvious time - Not all RB's are created equal.

Some backs can come into a game and be effective on limited carries. But other RB's need some work to get into the groove. It's like they need 4-5 carries just to get warmed up and then seem to get better as the game goes on. Mo was definitely in that category earlier in his career - he seemed to get better the more carries he had.

So, it's entirely possible that Wiley and Williams need a heavier work-load to get into the game and be productive.

I would also like to see the carries spread out a little bit more - but as others have noted, you can't tip off the defense based on personnel that "this is a run" or "this is a pass." so ideally, you would like to have RB's who can run, catch and block. I suspect some of the Gopher's RB may be lacking in one of those qualities.
 

btowngopher

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Captain Obvious time - Not all RB's are created equal.

Some backs can come into a game and be effective on limited carries. But other RB's need some work to get into the groove. It's like they need 4-5 carries just to get warmed up and then seem to get better as the game goes on. Mo was definitely in that category earlier in his career - he seemed to get better the more carries he had.

So, it's entirely possible that Wiley and Williams need a heavier work-load to get into the game and be productive.

I would also like to see the carries spread out a little bit more - but as others have noted, you can't tip off the defense based on personnel that "this is a run" or "this is a pass." so ideally, you would like to have RB's who can run, catch and block. I suspect some of the Gopher's RB may be lacking in one of those qualities.
Even if a guy doesn’t need to warm up, any RB can get crap blocking or have the defense sell out or read the play perfect on a play or two and if you get three carries and the play call is ineffective on 2 of them, well you aren’t gaining much, doesn’t really matter how good the rb is on some plays. The sample size is just way too small to judge anyone on.
 

fmlizard

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This thread title is hilarious given that the Gophers have already given their backup RB 30 carries in a game.

The Gophers are using their RB depth and will the rest of the year!
 

HoustonTXGopher

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I do like one back getting a noticeable majority of the carries. I think it gives then a real nice insight to the game and gives them a rhythm. I would be surprised if any running back in the country would rather get a limited amount of snaps than getting the bulk of their teams carries.
 



Dakota2

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Honest question to those that are not sold on Potts as a feature back: What is it about him that makes you think he can't be the guy?

There is no doubt he is a step down from Mo, anyone would be as Ibrahim was one of the best backs in all of college football. But I like what I saw out of Trey on Saturday, and he has looked solid in the limited action he has seen in other games as well.

34 carries for 178 yards and 2 TD is a great day no matter who you are up against. And the thing that makes that number even more impressive to me is that in the second half Miami was selling out to stop the run, and Potts still did a solid job. He gained all the yards on the key TD drive after the kick return and helped ice the game at the end. This writeup does a good job covering that.

Another thing to consider is six or seven of those carries hit a brick wall with no hole at all. He lost yardage on three carries and had half yard gains several other times. So he gained 180 yards on about 27 carries where he had at least a crease.
 

Wally

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We've been hearing for years about how special Cam Wiley is going to be.
I'm starting to wonder if Fleck has ever seen him play.
I don't know of he can catch but his running style seems like it would work better catching a screen pass or go with I formation. He doesn't appear to have the burst but if he can catch the ball moving or maybe get the ball with a head of steam?
 

Breakin' The Plane

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I don't know of he can catch but his running style seems like it would work better catching a screen pass or go with I formation. He doesn't appear to have the burst but if he can catch the ball moving or maybe get the ball with a head of steam?
Screen pass? Never heard of that.
 



BilldGopher

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Red Hawks actually managed our oversized, experienced O-Line pretty well on a number of snaps.

I haven't rewatched this one yet...and don't recall...did they get any sacks?
 


Gophergrandpa

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I don't know of he can catch but his running style seems like it would work better catching a screen pass or go with I formation. He doesn't appear to have the burst but if he can catch the ball moving or maybe get the ball with a head of steam?
Might be better out of the I. More time to find the hole; more straight ahead instead of lateral movement. Wiley isn’t an east-west runner, but we seem to put him in that situation.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Red Hawks actually managed our oversized, experienced O-Line pretty well on a number of snaps.

I haven't rewatched this one yet...and don't recall...did they get any sacks?
Miami had one more sack than our defense did. (Hint: our defense had zero sacks).
 
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cjbfbp

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I see zero issue with the concept of going with the hot hand at RB when he's running well. It's not like he carried it 50 times.

Under certain circumstances, sure, but the strategy of running someone 30+ times a game on a consistent basis may not be sound.

Last year Mo averaged 28.7 rushing attempts per game. That was the highest per game average in the nation among all backs with 100 attempts or more. The next highest in the Big Ten was Stevie Scott of Indiana with 19.5 per game. The fifth highest RB in the Big Ten by that measure had about half as many attempts per game as Mo.

If running one guy 29 or more times per game is such a good idea, then why didn't anyone else in the country do it?
 

MNVCGUY

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Under certain circumstances, sure, but the strategy of running someone 30+ times a game on a consistent basis may not be sound.

Last year Mo averaged 28.7 rushing attempts per game. That was the highest per game average in the nation among all backs with 100 attempts or more. The next highest in the Big Ten was Stevie Scott of Indiana with 19.5 per game. The fifth highest RB in the Big Ten by that measure had about half as many attempts per game as Mo.

If running one guy 29 or more times per game is such a good idea, then why didn't anyone else in the country do it?
In the end it all comes down to the running back. Mo proved to be extremely durable and held up well with the high workload. The injury that took him down was a non-contact injury that literally could have happened on any snap.

Will be interesting to see how they manage the workload going forward. Just because he got 34 carries against Miami doesn't mean that is how it is going to be every game. I would contend he got so many carries against Miami out of necessity since the other guys did nothing with the limited opportunities they got.

Won't surprise me if we see them go with the hot hand moving forward. Maybe against another team that ends up being Wiley or Williams or even one fo the young guys. But for one game at least Potts did a heck of an impression of Mo and was a key factor in making sure we didn't lose that game.
 

cjbfbp

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In the end it all comes down to the running back. Mo proved to be extremely durable and held up well with the high workload. The injury that took him down was a non-contact injury that literally could have happened on any snap.

Again, my question: "If running one guy 29 or more times per game is such a good idea, then why didn't anyone else in the country do it?"

Are you suggesting that Mo has levels of endurance, durability, and resiliency that are unmatched by any other back in the nation?
 


MNVCGUY

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Again, my question: "If running one guy 29 or more times per game is such a good idea, then why didn't anyone else in the country do it?"

Are you suggesting that Mo has levels of endurance, durability, and resiliency that are unmatched by any other back in the nation?
I think a lot of assumptions are being made. Mo got a heavy workload and the results followed last year. He is a bit of a throwback to the old school running backs. They felt Mo could handle the workload and it would be tough to argue that he couldn't.

In 2019 Rodney Smith was the feature back and he averaged 17.5 carries a game. In 2018 Mo averaged right around 20 carries a game as the feature back. So it is not like Fleck just beats his running backs into the ground.

The fact that Potts got 34 carries in his first start doesn't mean that is how it is going to be every week. The other guys did nothing with the carries they got and when the game got close it would be stupid to experiment with other backs when you have a guy in Potts that was having a great game.
 

MNVCGUY

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For those that are super concerned about workload....maybe give it a few games to see how we adjust to life after Mo.
 


NorthernLakesGopher

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Red Hawks actually managed our oversized, experienced O-Line pretty well on a number of snaps.

I haven't rewatched this one yet...and don't recall...did they get any sacks?
The Redhawks were really effective at crashing the ends - I can't recall if it was a DE or corner, but it seemed as if they would crash hard from the back side and chase down the RB from the backside. Likely a byproduct of the RPO exchange taking a little extra time and giving them additional split second to get down the line.
 

MNVCGUY

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I find it hard to believe that after 5 years of recruiting, PJ does not have more than ONE rb that we can use in a game.
So far we have played 4 running backs in 2 games so yeah there is that. Wiley and Williams didn't do well against Miami but doesn't mean they won't be options moving forward.
 

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Everybody has a plan until they are punched in the face.
 

Ogee Oglethorpe

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The fact that Potts got 34 carries in his first start doesn't mean that is how it is going to be every week. The other guys did nothing with the carries they got and when the game got close it would be stupid to experiment with other backs when you have a guy in Potts that was having a great game.
This is kinda where I'm at. Every game has an ebb and flow and each one plays out differently. This just happened to be the way this one played out. And yes, it didn't help that the carries the other RBs got did not go well at all.

If Potts his the 28-30 mark in each of the next couple games, this becomes a much more valid concern
 

NorthernLakesGopher

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Fleck yesterday: "Trey did a really good job in the game. I thought he had a really good game, but again, we need some more guys to step in and play well to take some of those carries off of him and rotate some guys, which we will as we go forward." (From Ryan Burns notes on the presser.) The coaches are aware - will be interesting to see the adjustments on Saturday and against Bowling green. Maybe they will find their two headed monster ala Barber and Maroney (one can dream, right?).
 

Gophergrandpa

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Mo's injury was non-contact, but the wear and tear of 30+ carries might have made him more vulnerable to such an injury. Potts got so many carries against Miami because something happened in the passing game affecting the OC's or PJ's CONFIDENCE in the passing game. Tanner attempted only 17 passes the entire Miami game, and had only 8 completions, both of which are an aberration. That can't be and won't be the model going forward. With what looks to be some thin depth at RB (maybe that "improves" in coming games), Tanner will be attempting at least 25-30 passes per game going forward or we are in big trouble. So, the running game imbalance gets fixed if Tanner and the OC get their passing mojo back. Otherwise, a long frustrating year of RUTM football lies ahead.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Fleck yesterday: "Trey did a really good job in the game. I thought he had a really good game, but again, we need some more guys to step in and play well to take some of those carries off of him and rotate some guys, which we will as we go forward." (From Ryan Burns notes on the presser.) The coaches are aware - will be interesting to see the adjustments on Saturday and against Bowling green. Maybe they will find their two headed monster ala Barber and Maroney (one can dream, right?).
Please, oh please. And find it this coming Saturday.
 

MNVCGUY

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Fleck yesterday: "Trey did a really good job in the game. I thought he had a really good game, but again, we need some more guys to step in and play well to take some of those carries off of him and rotate some guys, which we will as we go forward." (From Ryan Burns notes on the presser.) The coaches are aware - will be interesting to see the adjustments on Saturday and against Bowling green. Maybe they will find their two headed monster ala Barber and Maroney (one can dream, right?).
Well holy crap there we have it....the coaches do actually get it and it might just have been a one week situation as opposed to the plan going forward. :)
 


Six to Eight

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This thread title is hilarious given that the Gophers have already given their backup RB 30 carries in a game.

The Gophers are using their RB depth and will the rest of the year!
What are you talking about? Did you miss that Mo had to be helped off the field and is out for the year? Potts started the game as #1. He's not a "backup" anymore.

Some of us have been vocal with our concerns, some are in the In PJ We Trust camp, or 'we got a win, all that really counts'. I doubt many of us are changing their mind at this point, at least until more games are played. But let's be honest. Right or wrong, they barely used the actual "backup" running backs at all last week against a MAC team.

Just for fun, check out Wisconsin's box score against another MAC team.
 




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