Relying on the run game

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New Orleans — Tulane is (6-0) this season when rushing for at least 290 yards. One of the reasons they’ve had such success running the ball is the depth they have in that running backs room.

“It makes my job easier,” said Tulane quarterback Justin McMillan. “I don’t even know who’s back there half the time. I’m not gonna lie, I just kind of call it and run it and they handle the rest. You can see a team that plays a 3-3-5, prevent kind of defense, with the running backs we’ve got I don’t think a safety’s past 10 yards at a point. Backs like that can just help out an offense. YG and Stephon, people who probably haven’t seen here and there but when you call their number they’re ready to play. That’s a running back room right there.”

Tulane has 6 backs with at least 100 rush yards on the season and 8 who have scored at least one touchdown.

“With a running back room that deep, people would think that there’s selfishness and there’s not,” said Tulane running back Stephon Huderson. “Everybody loves to see the other one succeed so when I’m doing good they lift me up and when they’re doing it I’ve got to lift them higher. It’s all one big family in that room.”

In Saturday’s win over Tulsa, it was Huderson’s time to shine, with the longest run of his career on a 55-yard gain, which helped him get to a career-high 100 yard rushing performance.

“He’s so low to the ground and he’s got good vision and jump cuts and he’s a smart football player,” said Tulane Head Football Coach Willie Fritz. “A lot of these guys bide their time and he got his opportunity today to carry the ball a little bit more than normal and did a very nice job with it. Good blocker also.”

Not in the running backs room, but still getting his yards on the ground is McMillan, who is the team’s leading rusher, with 488 yards on 97 carries this season, plus 12 touchdowns.

“I think this is the most I’ve ever ran in my career,” McMillan said. “It’s not crazy runs or forced runs. It’s within the flow of the offense. I’ve never been really in an offense like this. I’ve been in multiple different offenses but in this offense I’m asked to run. I don’t have a problem with it. I just try to give this team all I’ve got. When I run I feel like I’m holding that team with the ball in my hand so I give my all– all I can. I have to do the best I can but I’ll take the 12.”

“He was a good runner in high school and there was also a spring game I watched of his and he had couple really good runs there,” Fritz said. “I thought he ran smart today too. He got everything he could– got down a couple times, got out of bounds. We talked to him about touchdown, first down, get down and he did a good job of that.”


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