Dexter Williams’ role is reduced
Dexter Williams made up for lost time as he busted onto the scene in Week 5. After missing the first four games due to an undocumented suspension, Williams quickly jumped into the role as the leading rusher for the Irish.
He outdid Stanford’s Bryce Love in his initial game of the season and dominated* Virginia Tech. An asterisk is needed because on paper, that’s what the running back did against the Hokies. 178 rushing yards on 10.5 yards per carry was the lift that the team needed.
Of course, if you watched the game, you would know it was all in a second-half effort. The run game was dead in the first half — so much so that the Irish didn’t even attempt to run for the most part.
Early in the third quarter, Williams broke off for a 97-yard touchdown that changed the game. He ended the game with a 31-yard scoring run.
Two big runs that made Williams day.
When you look back to his first game versus Stanford, Williams got off to the fast start. His first touch of the season resulted in a 45-yard rushing touchdown.
While the rest of the day mellowed out into a balanced workday for the running back with 161-yards, big runs are what have made his stats.
Pitt was a different story. On 13 attempts, he was limited to 31 yards.
Bottom line is that Williams is a strong, fast and explosive back. He is a great player, but the situation may lead to more modest numbers.
While the offensive line has improved from the start of the season and has been filling Alex Bars’ shoes well, they will provide challenges for Williams. In all reality, he doesn’t need to much room to break out a long run. His hard cuts and swift movements can get him through small holes, he just has to have those holes.
Jafar Armstrong should be close to a comeback after the bye week as well. While it’s not known exactly when he will be back, it’s clear that he will deserve some carries, too.
The running back will find ways to continue to have big games, as he is an elite back, but we shouldn’t be surprised if his numbers aren’t as consistently high as we saw in his first two games.