The North Carolina combination of Ryan Houston and Shaun Draughn will be a key target for the Georgia Tech defense in Week 3. via www3.pictures.gi.zimbio.com
jTwo weeks ago, we evaluated the upcoming opposing quarterbacks in both the first half and the second half of the 2010 football season. Today, we discuss the first half of the opposing running backs.
South Carolina State Bulldogs
The top two runners for SCSU last year were seniors and were responsible for 66% of the rushing attempts. The third most productive player for the Bulldogs is considered a quarterback on their roster.
Fear Factor: Non-existent
Last year, with Mangino at the helm, Kansas led a shared and balanced running attack with Toben Opurum, Jake Sharp, and Todd Reesing. Both Reesing and Sharp have moved on from Jayhawk football and just as in their quarterback position, questions surround the running back position.
Fear Factor: Minimal
The Tar Heels will also most likely put together the same two-back attack as last season. The combination of Shaun Draughn (rhyming FTW!) and Ryan Houston accounted for a high majority of the rushing attempts last year with Houston being the short yardage back who found the endzone 9 times.
Against Georgia Tech in 2009, Houston/Draughn combined for 50 yards and 0 touchdowns.
Fear Factor: Medium. This will be the first test for our new defensive scheme, the Groh-fense.
North Carolina State Wolf Pack
Tech fans should not concern themselves with the Wolpfack running back. Rather, Russell Wilson should be the concern because of his duality of abilitities. The packs two leading rushers last year (other than Russell) both graduated and the starting RB position is a question mark.
Fear Factor: Low. The defense will focus on neutralizing Wilson's duality and will force O'Brien to find a feasible alternative.
In 2009, Josh Adams carried the ball 113 times for 541 yards. Against Georgia Tech he ran for only 12 yards. However, with the Demon Deacon quarterback situation completely called into question at this point, fans will look to the senior tailback to carry the load as Jim Grobe will probably focus on the running game more extensively.
Fear Factor: Medium.
All of the Cavaliers top rushers, Rashaun Jackson, Jameel Sewell, and Mikell Simpson (78% of total rushing attempts) spent their last years in Hooville in 2009. In fact, 9 different players ran the ball for Virginia last year. The top four rushers who ran the ball the most were all seniors. The 5th most attempted runs came from a freshman in Torrey Mack. Sorry Cavs. No worries from us.
Fear Factor: Minimal
Just as with the quarterbacks, it's not going to be too intense for the first half of the season. Any thoughts out there?