No Average Freshman Running Back

Updated 5 years ago Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone
Grooms
Grooms
Herd Zone Photo

HUNTINGTON – Those recent Subway footlong sandwich commercials – “ 5 … 5 … 5 …” – have nothing on Marshall’s football team.

Granted, the Thundering Herd is only at the halfway point of the 2012 season, but the team’s running game is on target to do something no MU team has done since the Herd returned to major college football in 1997.

As the Herd (2-4, 1-1) goes to Southern Mississippi (0-6, 0-2) for Saturday’s 7 p.m. (EDT) Conference USA game, Coach Doc Holliday’s team has its top three running backs each averaging more than five yards per carry.

The Herd’s trio of backs – redshirt freshmen Kevin Grooms (5 feet 10, 165 pounds), Steward Butler (5-9, 165) and Remi Watson (5-10, 202) – are at 5.3, 5.9 and 5.3 yards per carry, respectively.

Butler has the most attempts (61) and total yards (321) Grooms (53 carries, 312 yards) leads in yards per game (62.4).

Watson, the starter – if that matters with this bunch – has 37 rushes, 197 yards and has run for four touchdowns, as does Grooms (he also has a TD reception). Butler has two rushing TDs. The Herd has 12 touchdowns on the ground in a half-season, after getting only 16 in Holliday’s first two MU years combined (7 and 9).

In 151 carries, the three have lost only 26 yards. Watson hasn’t been dropped for a loss this season. And when he gets about 50 carries, considering the “tri-back attack,” those 5.0-plus averages will take on more significance.

“I honestly think we can do more, get those averages higher,” Grooms said after a Herd practice earlier this week. “We all keep competing; we’re getting better every day, learning more about the system every day.

The Herd’s trio of backs – redshirt freshmen Kevin Grooms (5 feet 10, 165 pounds), Steward Butler (5-9, 165) and Remi Watson (5-10, 202) – are at 5.3, 5.9 and 5.3 yards per carry, respectively.

Butler has the most attempts (61) and total yards (321) Grooms (53 carries, 312 yards) leads in yards per game (62.4).

Watson, the starter – if that matters with this bunch – has 37 rushes, 197 yards and has run for four touchdowns, as does Grooms (he also has a TD reception). Butler has two rushing TDs. The Herd has 12 touchdowns on the ground in a half-season, after getting only 16 in Holliday’s first two MU years combined (7 and 9).

In 151 carries, the three have lost only 26 yards. Watson hasn’t been dropped for a loss this season. And when he gets about 50 carries, considering the “tri-back attack,” those 5.0-plus averages will take on more significance.

“I honestly think we can do more, get those averages higher,” Grooms said after a Herd practice earlier this week. “We all keep competing; we’re getting better every day, learning more about the system every day.

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