Ohio State coach Ryan Day called it the Buckeyes’ “changeup.”
Running back Miyan Williams phrased it slightly differently: “I would say he’s more breakout and I would be, like, the bruiser.”
“He” is fellow running back TreVeyon Henderson, who accounted for 121 yards on 21 carries in a 52-21 win over Wisconsin, while Williams recorded 101 yards on 11 carries with two touchdowns.
It was the first time since OSU’s 52-12 win over Michigan State in 2020, when Trey Sermon ran for 112 yards and Justin Fields added 104, that the Buckeyes have featured two 100-plus yard rushers in the same game.
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“We know how long the season this is going to be,” Day said, “and when you have two guys who go back-and-forth, back-and-forth, who are unselfish and who understand what it means to be a team, that’s the key. If it starts to be like, ‘What are my carries? What are my touchdowns? What are my runs?’ then it doesn’t work. But TreVeyon and Miyan have been excellent.”
That excellence requires a team effort, according to Day.
“I think we have the right mix right now,” he said. “I think you’re seeing a physicality across the board. It’s not just up front, it’s everybody.”
But up front, the offensive line is definitely doing its job, creating holes for Henderson and Williams to run through.
“They was huge,” said Williams.
This was Williams’ third career game in which he crashed through the 100-yard mark. He also did so last season in the season opener against Minnesota and then again versus Purdue. This season, he’s averaging 7.16 yards a carry.
“I thought he had one of the best preseasons on offense,” Day said. “Miyan’s been making plays since he’s been there. He’s strong, he’s powerful, he’s built low to the ground.”
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For Henderson, this was his fourth time surpassing 100 yards, having done so in 2021 against Penn State, Maryland and Tulsa – a game in which he racked up 277.
“They have different styles, but the great thing is they’re pulling for each other, and they know there’s carries to go around,” said Day. “TreyVeon’s energy before the game was off the chart. You could just feel it. I felt it. I felt it in warmups. I felt it the in the locker room. I felt it coming out of the locker room. And then he ran that way. He ran hard. He ran physical.”
That energy was obvious to offensive lineman Donovan Jackson during pregame as well.
“He has stepped up into a leadership role,” Jackson said of Henderson. “He told the offensive line, ‘You can dictate this game if you get after it.’ Having one of your running backs tell you, ‘I’ve got you all if you’ve got me,’ really pushed us to go above and beyond on the field.”
Ohio State’s offense was balanced with C.J. Stroud passing for 281 yards, while OSU totaled 258 yards rushing.
It was a particularly impressive performance considering Wisconsin had given up just 228 yards combined in three games entering Saturday, and no individual rusher had gashed the Badgers for more than 46 yards. During Jim Leonhard’s six-year tenure as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator, the Badgers have allowed an average of only 103.4 yards per game.
But Day, who knows he can now throw a changeup at opponents, believes OSU has what it takes to perform against even tough defenses. “I think we have something good going on in that room,” he said.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams both break 100 vs. Wisconsin