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Longhorn running backs enter 2019 with the responsibility of taking some pressure off their quarterback in the running game.
Sam Ehlinger was fourth in the Big 12 in rushing attempts last season behind three running backs; David Montgomery of Iowa State, Alex Barnes of Kansas State, and Tre Watson of Texas.
The position was steady but rarely spectacular in 2018, with only one 100-yard rushing game between Watson and freshman Keaontay Ingram (Ingram vs. Baylor).
There were good performances from running backs like Watson’s effort against Georgia, Ingram’s outing at Oklahoma State, and the duo’s combined efforts versus Iowa State. But when it was time for games to be decided, the ball was normally placed in the hands of Ehlinger.
While last year’s efforts were steady, this year’s running back stable has the capability to be an improved unit and take over the running game. Not only is Ingram heading into his sophomore season more physically developed, but ultra-talented freshman Jordan Whittington has found a home with the running backs, the explosive Kirk Johnson is healthy for the first time in several seasons, and veteran junior Daniel Young provides a physical change of pace that is versatile enough to play every down.
With uncertainties at other positions, Texas could deploy multiple members of this unit on the field at the same time. It’s a look they used sparingly in 2017, but with increased talent and versatility at the position it seems like an avenue the coaches might pursue.
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