A lot of the news out of camp this week regards our running game situation. As we all know, we've been completely ineffective on the ground this year. Georgia was a particularly bad game; we only gained 18 yards. The main problem is our line, which hasn't opened a whole lot of holes.
Still, I think a lot of us are curious about some of our younger running backs. Our coaches will sate that curiosity over the next two weeks. Brian Maddox and Eric Baker look to see more downs as we hopefully handle Wofford with ease, and they'll have to see more time against UAB, because Mike Davis will be out on suspension..
Davis, Maddox, and Baker each bring different things to the table. Davis, who we all know well, is a power back--a short, downfield runner who can catch the screen pass and is effective in pass blocking. Baker is a speedster--we'll see him hit the perimeter more than Davis, and he's a solid downfield receiver. Maddox is somewhere in between; probably a bit faster than Davis, and a bit stronger than Baker.
Who would be the most useful for us right now? Despite the criticism towards Mike, I still think he's our best option. I'm not sure he's our best runner, but Spurrier's offense is a passing offense, and Mike is a good blocker and offers a good safety hatch option as a receiver. His blocking skills are especially important. I've seen him pick up a few blitzes over the last couple of games that would have resulted in sacks if not for his opportune moves.
Still, I think Spurrier would be wise to rotate the other two in, and not just against our upcoming cupcakes. These games should serve as an opportunity for Spurrier to figure out ways to find a more balanced offense. Developing packages to use Maddox and Baker in would be a good start.