The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

September 10, 2013

With Boykin healthy, Blankenship’s workload goes down for Bobcats

OU will host Marshall Saturday

Everyone knew about Ohio quarterback Tyler Tettleton last season, and as far as the Bobcats’ running game was concerned, defenses had to be ready for a strong dose of wrecking-ball tailback Beau Blankenship.

Blankenship proved difficult to stop. He finished the year with 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns on 312 carries. That’s exactly 24 rushes per game — a high number of touches, but probably still not enough for a player as physical as the Norman, Okla., native.

Thus far in 2013, Blankenship has seen his carries reduced to 13 per game, but it’s not because of a dropoff in his ability. Rather, fellow senior Ryan Boykin is ready to go after missing about half of 2012 because of injury.

Going into Saturday’s Battle for the Bell against Marshall (2-0) in Athens, Ohio (8 p.m., ESPNews), Blankenship and Boykin each have 26 carries for the Bobcats. And Boykin has the upper hand statistically, averaging 66 yards per game for 1-1 Ohio. He also has the team’s only rushing touchdown.

“They’ve pretty much split the reps,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “They were very even a week ago against North Texas (a 27-21 win). Both of them are tremendous backs and bring a great 1-2 punch to their running game. They ran the ball extremely well against North Texas.”

Boykin played in just seven games last season, running for 445 yards and four touchdowns.

“It’s just the fact that Ryan is healthy,” Ohio coach Frank Solich said. “Last year, he got banged up early and it limited his playing time, and Beau had to carry the load.

“He’s a tough, physical-minded player and he wanted to get all the carries he could get.”

Solich said having both at full strength is definitely a positive.

“The more depth you have on the offensive line, as well as your backs and receivers, becomes critical to how well you play as you go through the year,” he said.

Blankenship (5-foot-9, 206 pounds) is averaging 52.5 yards per game. Boykin - no slouch at 6-1, 225 - also has one of Ohio’s two touchdown receptions.

“We feel both are strong, physical running backs who also have the ability to make big plays,” Solich said. “We will continue to use both of them.”

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

    Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista — and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013
    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It's fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign K Suisham through 2018 season
    The Pittsburgh Steelers have given kicker Shaun Suisham a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.

    August 1, 2014

  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holliday.jpg Backup quarterback battle one to watch at Marshall

    Marshall has a pretty decent quarterback in Rakeem Cato, a Heisman Trophy candidate who is expected to lead the Thundering Herd to its most successful season in more than a decade.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • New Orleans practices bring back memories for Haas

    Bob Haas stood back away from the field Thursday, watching the action at the New Orleans Saints Greenbrier training camp intently but avoiding getting too close.

    August 1, 2014

  • Holgorsen: ‘The guys were pretty fired up’

    West Virginia University head football coach Dana Holgorsen said everybody in the country has a good first practice, but after his Mountaineers hit the field for the first time Thursday, he was glad he wasn’t focused on negatives.

    August 1, 2014

  • Wilson out indefinitely after Tuesday's injury

    Current New York Giants and former Virginia Tech running back David Wilson will not practice for the rest of the week and is out for Sunday's Hall of Fame game after suffering what the team called a "burner" in practice on Tuesday

    July 31, 2014

  • Steelers speedy rookie LB Shazier making quick impression

    The 15th overall pick in the draft is drawing raves from his teammates for his quickness and his coaches for his smarts.

    July 31, 2014

  • Less zone-read for RG3 under Redskins coach Gruden

    Robert Griffin III faked the handoff to Alfred Morris and took off down the left sideline, showing the burst of speed that helped him become the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. 

    July 31, 2014

Saints Training Camp