Averaging 2.8 yards per carry is anemic.
Losing 428 yards on bad carries is another terrible statistic.
The Zips' running game really wasn't that bad. Really.
Those stats factor in the 58 carries/sacks of Luke Getsy, whose subpar athleticism was tested way too frequently.
Also consider this: Dennis Kennedy was banged up almost all season. Alex Allen tore his ACL. The coaches dusted off Andre Walker, who performed admirably but had too many carries for a third-string back.
The good news is all three return for 2007. And then factor in newcomers Ryan Brinson and Bryan Williams, whom any MAC team would be thrilled to have. Edit: Brinson is a cornerback. Thanks, GoZips19.
Indeed, the running back corps is deep. The bigger question is, Who will block for them? Four new starters will put their hands down along the Zips line. Coach J.D. Brookhart emphasized run blocking during the spring. He understands the importance of that facet of the game.
The depth chart should be interesting. Up to seven running backs conceivably could take handoffs from possibly three quarterbacks. (I hope you're getting the sense of the uncertainty of Akron's backfield. Although it's not really bad uncertainty.)
Kennedy is the starter, for sure. No question about it. Allen was only about 80 percent healthy during the spring. Meanwhile, Walker showed impressive speed and agility. The second string running back position is definitely one to watch, especially if Brinson or Williams shock the coaching staff during practices.
Talking to Brookhart, I got the sense that Allen is the second-stringer if he shows his pre-injury ability. It really shouldn't matter. Akron will have plenty of talent at running back, and if you haven't noticed, the MAC is becoming more of a running conference.