This season, if success in the run game for OSU comes down to sheer numbers in the backfield then the Cowboys will be good.
Head coach Mike Gundy says right now there are five guys battling for carries.
"If [there're] 80 plays on offense, we aren't going to spread them equally," said Gundy.
That group includes newcomers Barry J. Sanders, who Gundy says will also return kicks, and true freshman Justice Hill from Booker T. Washington, who may have been the most impressive rusher in fall camp.
"I believe in him,” said defensive end Jordan Brailford. “He's had a very good camp this year. If he continues to stay healthy, stay in the weight room, I feel like the sky's the limit for him.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich says he doesn’t know how many touches Hill will get this year, but “some would be a safe answer.”
Sophomore Jeff Carr and seniors Rennie Childs and Chris Carson are also in the mix. Gundy says Carson has improved majorly.
"I think he's made the transition from that level (JUCO) to this level and that's helped him,” stated Gundy. “He has a better feel for the offense, and if our offensive line improves like I think they will, he'll have an opportunity to get in space more."
And that's the key.
One of the biggest questions during the offseason has been how much better will the offensive line be? Gundy says the Cowboys will need to average about 125 yards per game on the ground which is not an overwhelming number but a big step up from last season.