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How to fix the running game

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There's a bunch of speculation over the cause of a lack of a running game. Here's an idea for a quick fix until everything is resolved.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

MSU has all sorts of problems with generating a rushing attack thus far into the season. And that has led to a pass first offense that many have been critical of. Even though I'm a huge supporter of throwing it 40+ times a game with our Heisman contending quarterback and utilizing the insane depth and talent of our receivers, I do believe we need to generate some form of a running game to keep defenses honest.

Now, I'm not a proponent of running Dak 10+ times a game. I don't even think running him 5 times a game is worth anything unless the offensive line can do better with run blocking. And we've seen our running backs struggle to find holes and running lanes. Brandon Holloway has had great success so far but he's the only back fast enough to get through the line and around defenders before they can collapse on him. Dak and Shumpert simply aren't as fast, and therefor aren't having that same amount of success. But Holloway isn't a bruiser and he can't carry the ball 20+ times in the SEC. So where do we go from here?

Let's go back to our receiving corps. It's arguably the most talented and deepest unit on this team. And it has guys that are as fast as Brandon Holloway. Instead of simply relying solely on screens and dumping the ball around on short passes the way A&M and Ole Miss used to, there is a way to include our receivers into the running game. It is feasible to include more sweeps and reverses into our offense. One of the best ways to overcome problems at the offensive line is to rely on speed and trick plays. While sweeps aren't really considered a trick play, they do utilize speed and can be turned into an option play that would utilize a quarterback run up the middle, similar to some of the plays that we saw last year.

So, by diversifying some of the play calling, and utilizing the speed of guys like Gabe Myles and Fred Ross, MSU can work to develop a better rushing attack. This will open up running lanes up the middle for guys like Shumpert and Dak to be more successful in their attempts and help alleviate some pressure on the offensive line. Though I don't think that sweeps are a long term solution, they can help MSU remain competitive against better quality competition in the upcoming games. Not everybody wants to see Dak throw the ball 40+ times a game (I do but that's a topic for another time), but we all want to see this offense have success. And running the ball is key to that.