COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Last season, Ohio State had the most balanced offense in the country. The Buckeyes were the only team to average more than 250 yards passing and rushing. But this year, Ohio State has to figure out not only who will be the starting quarterback, but also who will be in the backfield with him.
Master Teague and Trey Sermon split carries throughout the Buckeyes’ five regular-season games until Teague left the Big Ten Championship with an injury, leaving an opportunity for Sermon, who took full advantage.
The transfer from Oklahoma rushed for a single-game school record 332 yards and three touchdowns in the 22-10 win over Northwestern and solidified his spot as the marque back before getting injured on the first play of the national championship.
Teague played well in his stead, rushing for 65 yards and two touchdowns but he realized he needed to improve, specifically in one area, if he hoped to continue getting carries at OSU.
“There’s sometimes where I’ve missed some cuts on the backside this past year, so just got to make sure my eyes are in the right place and reading the d-line right,” Teague said. “I’ve just gotten really better at that on certain runs . . . yeah, I just feel like my vision is better.”
Running backs coach Tony Alford did not say if they’ll utilize several backs or feature just one, but one thing is for certain — Teague isn’t the only talented player in that group. Redshirt freshman Miyan Williams has impressed Alford throughout the preseason and so has sophomore Marcus Crowley with both players taking reps with the first-team offense.
“Miyan is doing and has done the things that are necessary to get his body and his mind right to play,” Alford said. “His [Marcus] attitude has been fantastic, he’s gained weight, he’s gained the weight we asked him to gain, so Marcus has done everything that we’ve asked him to do on and off field.”
True freshmen running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor have also made a push to play as well and could be called on this season, especially on passing downs.
“They’ve helped elevate the room, some new energy, some new juice,” Alford said. “I think all five guys could go out there and play for us.”
A huge part of how the running backs do will be up to how good Ohio State’s offensive line is and they’re shaping up to be one of the best units in all of college football.