2013 Football Preview: Running Backs

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Production must improve

J.C. Coleman

There was plenty of blame to go around for Tech’s running game – or lack thereof – in 2012.  The offensive line didn’t block well, the wide receivers didn’t block well, the tight ends were limited, there was no threat of a consistent passing game, and the running backs were all young, unproven players.

Here’s how the running game went for the tailbacks last year:

J.C. Coleman : 109 carries, 492 yards, 4.5 ypc, 2 TD’s
Tony Gregory : 64 carries, 299 yards, 4.7 ypc, 1 TD
Michael Holmes: 70 carries, 280 yards, 4.0 ypc, 4 TD’s
Martin Scales: 52 carries, 187 yards, 3.6 ypc, 2 TD’s
Total: 295 carries, 1258 yards, 4.26 ypc, 9 TD’s

Those four guys combined didn’t come close to matching the single-season totals of guys like Ryan Williams, David Wilson and Kevin Jones.  Those numbers would have been even lower were it not for a couple of huge runs against Duke by J.C. Coleman .  For the running game to improve, there needs to be better blocking and a better passing game, but the running backs themselves need to be better as well.

The good news is that the backs will be better, or at least they should be better.  J.C. Coleman is a year more experienced, and he’s bigger, faster and stronger.  Trey Edmunds hasn’t played before, but he’s more physically gifted than any other back on the roster.  Also, you can expect Shane Beamer not to spread the carries out as much this year.  Even Beamer admitted back in the spring that he should have handled the rotation better a year ago.

Who should start?