July 25, 2007

2007 Outlook: Running back depth

Unlike the quarterback position, there is little doubt who will get the ball at running back for the 2007 Gophers. Senior Amir Pinnix will be back looking to improve on an impressive 2006 campaign. There is also little doubt that sophomore Jay Thomas will see plenty of carries as the main back-up to Pinnix. The only real questions surrounding the running back position are how the carries will be split and who will be the third option in the Gopher backfield.

The Position:

Running back for the 2007 Golden Gophers

The Problem:

There really is not one. The top two backs from the end of the 2006 season are back and both are healthy and ready to flourish in '07. The only real problem could arise is the injury bug bites and either Pinnix or Thomas are lost for multiple games. There are not proven options behind them so depth beyond the top two is the only real question.

There is no doubt that Pinnix will be the starter and get the majority of the carries in 2007. He is coming off of a break out season where he carried the ball for just under 1,300 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He did not make his first start of the season until the fourth game, but he made his presence felt after that. While he is not the fastest back, over his career Pinnix has demonstrated an ability to find the right hole and pick up big yardage. The opening of the offense with the spread should create even more lanes for him to run through. He was not called on a lot in the passing game, but he is sure handed and can pick up yards after the catch. With the starting role from day one it would not be a surprise to see Pinnix top the 1,500 yard mark in 2007.

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