COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The depth of the Ohio State receiving corps has been well-documented, and it’s justified.
But there is also depth in the running back room, which was a good thing for OSU as it entered Saturday’s game with Rutgers as starter TreVeyon Henderson was unable to go, leaving the grunt work to power back Miyan Williams — no slouch himself.
Williams averaged 6.1 yards on 15 carries in the first half, scoring three touchdowns in the process and showing burst and power on a variety of runs.
Most of his damage was done to the outside and included quite a bit of running to contact.
“Miyan is violent,” running backs coach Tony Alford said. “He’s a violent runner. Maybe doesn’t have the home-run ability like Tre, but they complement each other really well.”
“Two different styles. Tre is that home run hitter that at any point can take it all the way. Miyan is strong and physical… Both of those guys compliment each other really well.”
Henderson has 318 yards for the year while Williams entered the game with 308, and a robust 7.61 yards per carry.
Williams comes about his “violent” style naturally.
“Me just running through people started when I was younger. I used to have anger problems, so I used to just get the ball and just try to go hit somebody,” Williams said. “But as I got older I learned how to control my anger. And then people still think that I run angry, but it’s not. I’m just running, it’s just what I’ve been doing. … I gotta make the defense feel me. But it’s not like I’m angry. Because if I’m angry, then my head will just be everywhere. But I just try to have fun with it. So that’s what I like to do, is have fun.”
OSU coach Ryan Day said Henderson and Williams “pull for each other” and hope that the other can perform well with their carries. There is no animosity if one player has the hot hand and gets more carries or opportunities than the other.
Williams came to Ohio State a year before Henderson and wasn’t considered a priority recruit out of Cincinnati Winton Woods, and after limited action in 2020 he broke in last season, netting 507 yards while averaging over seven yards per carry and scoring three touchdowns.
The pair are friends and love the competitive aspect of playing, but neither is really trying to outdo the other.
“I don’t think none of us (running backs) are really focused on like beating each other out,” Williams said. “We’re just trying to build each other up and whoever gets the chance to go in there, we just cheer them on. And then when it’s our turn, we just keep the training rolling, try to help the team win. … I know everybody else, we’re all just trying to win the natty. That’s my goal right now. Win the first game, win every game of the season, beat the team up north, win the Big Ten, win the natty.”