Running backs ready to rev up the attack
The offense drives the Cougars’ success. The scores come in bunches off flashy passing plays and quick, entertaining drives. The air attack is the main threat, as the passing offense and quarterback D’Eriq King have taken the nation by storm. But if the passing game is the model and paint job, the game on the ground is the engine that keeps the offense running.
A committee of three main players control the ground game: Patrick Carr, Mulbah Car and Terence Williams. Together, they have combined for more than 500 yards of offense. To the runners, the committee approach has only improved their production.
“It helps us stay conditioned and stay ready,” junior Patrick Carr said. “It helps us be more explosive.”
Carr is the catalyst for the offense’s explosiveness. He is the main weapon to the running backs’ three-headed attack. Carr has started every game and has more carries than any other running back on the team. He also has more running yards and averages more than six yards per attempt.
The running game front man has confidence in his play, and he compares his running style to some NFL legends.
“I would try to compare myself to LaDainian Tomlinson, but then I add my own style to it,” Carr said. “And Maurice Jones-Drew as far as his blocking. I try to take his cues on how he blocks.”
Watching these legends must have helped Carr’s game, as he is the leading runner on a team with three productive running backs.
The second runner on the team, senior Baylor transfer Terence Williams, injured his knee in a game versus Texas Tech, and he will miss somewhere from three to six weeks of action. Before his injury, he had the second-most rushing attempts and yards on the team.
The running back room will miss Williams in the next couple games, but the other runners are prepared to make up for the missing yards.
“We just got to hold it down,” Carr said. “Just be ready when your name is called.”
The next leading running back on the team, junior Mulbah Car, will have to be the next man up in this situation.
“You get an opportunity and just take it,” Car said. “You get a chance, and if you get that chance you just got to go off and do what they brought you here for.”
Car’s number of rushing attempts will likely get a huge boost until Williams returns. After the game versus Texas Tech, he had 13 less runs than the leading runner and averaged nearly 30 yards less per game.
The disparity might be because of his skill set, as he is a runner built to attack defenses head on.
“I’m a power back,” Car said. “I’m explosive. When I see a hole, I burst through it.”
Though he will be getting more touches because of Williams’ injury, the camaraderie between the running backs is still intact. They all want to see each other succeed and win games. This culture in the rusher room might be what helps the runners reach their potential.
“Most of the guys like Pat (Carr) and Tdub (Williams), they help me out and help me become a better runner,” Car said.
With the passing game still torching scoreboards and a potential Heisman on the other side of the ball, the running backs have a great chance to do some damage. Though the UH passing offense stole the show to begin the season, the runners on the ground will be fighting in the trenches, chugging away and refusing to be overlooked.