In a season that has proven to be inconsistent in more ways than one, the inconsistencies in the running back group might be at the top of the list for BGSU football.
The Falcons have struggled all season to find running backs that can produce every week and it’s getting even harder with the injury of Davon Jones in the loss against Central Michigan this past Saturday.
Jones has been a key cog in the backfield for BGSU this season, as he leads the team in rushing with 334 yards on the ground this season. With Andrew Clair, the number one option coming into the season, being out for most of the season with injuries, head coach Scot Loeffler has relied on Jones and Bryson Denley to step up at the position.
“I think Davon Jones and I think Denley did a very good job. We don’t want to just play two running backs, we want to play five, but we don’t have that right now so those guys being able to carry the ball for roughly 42 times and against that defense, we’ve got to give them major credit in terms of effort,” Loeffler said.
That comment coming after the 55-0 loss to Notre Dame suffered early in the season, Loeffler knows that if you are trying to have physical brand of football, you can’t just rely on two running backs to get the job done.
“We are extremely thin there and you can’t be thin when we are trying to run the football at that position, you need to have five,” he said.
When injuries occur, that makes it even tougher on the coaching staff to make decisions as to who to play at running back. Sometimes that decision even means having to play a walk-on freshman at running back in Trevon Raymore, but for Loeffler and the Falcons, that still isn’t an excuse.
“We’re never going to use injuries as an excuse, even in our current situation that we are in right now, we’re never using that as an excuse. Our walk-on running back is going to go in there and he’s gonna do a damn good job. But we are never using that as an excuse,” he said.
How are the Falcons going to combat the lack of depth at the running back position? According to Loeffler, it isn’t going to happen overnight, and it might not even happen next year.
“We knew probably the biggest reason why we brought Davon Jones here is because we had two running backs on scholarship, so we have got to get our numbers right. We need five scholarship running backs and that probably will not occur until year three, just because of the other needs at the other positions,” he said.
So with Jones still questionable to play in the upcoming game at Western Michigan, the Falcons need to continue to be creative, just like they had to be in the wake of Jones’s injury last week.
“Whenever you’ve got three running backs on scholarship right now that’s not fun, and two of them were out. We had to be creative, that was the adapting and the adjusting,” Loeffler said.
With BGSU gearing up to play the Western Michigan team that lost to Toledo earlier this season, it should continue to be all hands on deck for the Falcon running back group.