Virginia Tech Spring Preview: The Running Game

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Justin Fuente
Justin Fuente knows the running game is important. (Ivan Morozov)

Justin Fuente has stressed that running the football is very important for Virginia Tech. According to Fuente, the Hokies “throw to score, and run to win.” Last year Tech threw for a lot of yards and a lot of touchdowns, but they were also able to run the ball effectively and run critical time off the clock in wins over Pitt, Notre Dame and Duke late in the season. Without an effective running game, the Hokies could have lost any of those games.

Tech had an effective running game last year despite not having a dominant running back. Several backs played a role, Jerod Evans was the key cog, and the Hokies mixed in plenty of end arounds and options to receivers as well.

I’m not sure what to expect from the running backs this season. Here is Virginia Tech’s year-by-year running back production since 2008…

2008: 399 carries, 1630 yards, 14 touchdowns
2009: 431 carries, 2330 yards, 27 touchdowns
2010: 403 carries, 2101 yards, 25 touchdowns
2011: 412 carries, 2139 yards, 15 touchdowns
2012: 296 carries, 1259 yards, 9 touchdowns
2013: 296 carries, 1177 yards, 13 touchdowns
2014: 366 carries, 1622 yards, 10 touchdowns
2015: 369 carries, 1748 yards, 13 touchdowns
2016: 327 carries, 1426 yards, 13 touchdowns

2016 had much better production than 2012 and 2013, but not as good as 2014 or 2015. Of course, with Jerod Evans leading the way with 846 yards on the ground, the running back production didn’t need

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