Ohio State received a blow ahead of the College Football Playoff when running back TreVeyon Henderson announced he would be out as he recovers from a lingering foot injury and will undergo surgery.
This puts an increased emphasis on Ohio State’s already hampered running back rotation that is highlighted by Miyan Williams, who missed two games and was playing at less than 100 percent in several others this season. With nearly a month off, though, between Ohio State’s loss to Michigan and the upcoming semifinal against No. 1 Georgia, Williams believes he’ll be good to go for the Buckeyes.
“I’ve probably got to work through it a little bit, but that’s the plan, to be 100 (percent),” Williams said this past Wednesday. “I’ve been able to do most of the stuff (in practice).”
Williams took the field against the Wolverines but struggled, finishing with just 34 yards on eight carries, one of just three games this season that he finished with 10 or fewer rushing attempts. Had Henderson been healthy and able to tote the ball for Ohio State, Williams may not have even taken the field, but he was ultimately forced into action.
“I needed to play that game,” he said. “So I kind of just took it on the chin, just did what I could, as much as I could.”
While Williams was mostly ineffective against Michigan – largely due to his injuries – Ohio State did get a boost from linebacker-turned-running back Chip Trayanum, who went for 83 yards on 14 carries. Trayanum will be another option for the Buckeyes against Georgia along with freshman Dallan Hayden, who went for at least 100 rushing yards in back-to-back games against Indiana and Maryland but received just two carries against the Wolverines.
But even though Ohio State’s rushing attack was able to move without Williams, it’s still been challenging for Williams to miss as much time as he has for the Buckeyes and to play at less than 100 percent when he is in the game. The layoff before taking on the Bulldogs should provide an opportunity for Williams to get right, both in terms of his health and his mindset as the Buckeyes take advantage of a berth in the College Football Playoff.
“I definitely had to keep my mindset strong, trying to stay focused and trying to stay engaged,” Williams said. “Because when you get injured, you separate from football, because you’re not able to practice or be around the team. If you don’t try to get so much in your head, you’ll be good.”