Greyhounds utilitize two-halfback system

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I’ve come to find out that two is not always better than one.

Two running backs, specifically. The concept of having two starting running backs on one team is great in theory, but rarely plays out well. The running back is one of the flashy positions, where a great run almost always makes ESPN’s Top 10 Plays.

As a result, having two talented players filling one position is a tense situation. Locker rooms become divided over support of one back or another. The combination of two starting backs rarely results in doubled production as expected; rather, the single production is often cut in half.

Many great running backs have faded into obscurity as a result of being “doubled up.” Nonetheless, a split-back system is one that no opposing defense wants to face.

Just ask any team that squared off against the Carolina Panthers in the NFL last year. Not only did they have to contend with one of the fastest receivers in NFL history in Steve Smith, they had to account for DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart. The pair carved up the NFC last year for 2,351 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Ask any Colts fan with short-term memory. In 2006, the Jacksonville Jaguars absolutely annihilated the Colt’s flimsy run defense, gaining 375 yards and FOUR touchdowns. The memory will still run a chill down the spine of any Colt’s fan.

This system has been one of the keys to the Greyhounds’ 5-1 record thus far in the season. Running backs Devin Brinson and Jesse Hollander have been nothing short of phenomenal.

After six games, the two have gained 873 yards on the ground, 145.5 yards per game. They have split nine touchdowns and over a third of the Greyhounds’ points.

Brinson has been the feature back for the Greyhounds, utilizing incredible speed and the ability to gain yards after contact to rush for 648 yards on the season and six touchdowns. He also displays an uncanny level of strength in the open field, breaking a lot of tackles that should have been.

Hollander is a much stronger back than Brinson, however. Hollander is usually used as a goal line and short-yardage situations. Nonetheless, Hollander is not limited to specializing in short-yardage plays; you can’t rack up 5.36 yards a carry at the goal line. He has also shown surprising speed in the open field.

The two have combined to create a formidable wrecking ball of a rush game. Both players are kept fresh throughout the game as a result of the split. This is the reason why Carmel has been much tougher in the second half this season than the first.

On top of that, the rushing game has taken pressure off quarterback Adam Shaffer. Because opposing defenses have to respect Brinson and Hollander, the pass game is much more relaxed. As a result, Shaffer is the leading quarterback in the MIC, passing for more yards (671 yards) and boasting a higher passer rating (88.22, 10 points higher than the nearest opponent) than any other quarterback in the conference.

The Greyhound defense has been the key to Carmel’s success this year. Defense wins championships, of course.

But when Carmel faces a team like Warren Central, a team that has averaged 47.3 points every game, the Greyhounds will need to score to keep up.

However, Warren Central is allowing 25.2 points a game. To single running back-teams.

Brinson and Hollander will get it done when they are called upon.

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