Day, Wilson Acknowledge Run Game Difficulties Against Iowa

By October 25, 2022 (3:10 pm)Football

During the first six games of the season, Ohio State showcased the dynamic capabilities of its committee of running backs in TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams. Prior to their off week, the Buckeyes rushed for an average of 228.0 yards per game — ranking second in the Big Ten behind Minnesota.

However, Iowa had the answer for the Buckeyes’ strong running game — holding Ohio State to just 66 yards on 30 carries for an average of 2.2 yards per attempt, a season-low mark. With attention to his team’s struggles in the running game on Saturday, Day noted that the Buckeyes will need to put that performance behind them and refocus their attention in that area prior to taking on Penn State.

“When you go into a game and you rush for 300 yards, and the game ends, you’re not like ‘oh, we’re good, now we’re going to rush for 300 yards in every game,’ Day said. “It’s the same thing when something doesn’t go well. You’re not going to go into a game next week and say, ‘well, you’re only going to rush for 20 yards.’

“I just think you have to identify what you did well and what you didn’t do well and make those corrections and move forward,” he added. “The result is a feedback on your preparation, and how you did that week. We obviously didn’t do well enough to our standard.”

Williams and Henderson each churned out their lowest rushing outputs of the season, as Henderson registered just 38 yards, on an average of 3.5 yards per carry, while Williams produced 19 yards and a touchdown on 10 attempts. The Buckeyes did also get creative with their ball carriers, handing the ball off to wide receiver Emeka Egbuka twice for 10 yards. Ohio State also utilized linebacker Chip Trayanum, who played running back at Arizona State prior to his transfer to the Buckeyes, as he carried the ball once for a gain of nine. Freshman Dallan Hayden also ran it twice for five yards.

As the duo has largely been used in a committee this season, Day reaffirmed that the Buckeyes will follow that model rather than giving Williams or Henderson the bulk of the carries.

“I think where we’re at is good,” Day said. “We have them both healthy now, so that’s good. We’re getting ourselves back into the rhythm of them both playing because it’s been a couple of weeks since we had them both.”

To Wilson, some of the Buckeyes’ issues stemmed from difficulties maintaining blocks and opening holes for the backs to run through, as well as Iowa’s prowess against the run. The Hawkeyes entered Saturday’s contest allowing just 3.03 yards per carry — the fifth-best mark in the Big Ten.

“(The first thing) is just staying on blocks,” Wilson said. “(Iowa) did a really nice job, they’re always good fundamentally. I just thought (they had good) hand placement and were getting off of blocks.

“In general, they played better than us and we have to play better across the board,” Wilson said. “Credit those guys, they kind of won some one-on-one battles and made some good plays.”

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