Solich Impressed by Blankenship's Durability

By
Alex Marcheschi
Pat Chiesa

Dateline
Updated Mon, Oct 1, 2012 3:29 pm
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Ohio running back Beau Blankenship was a focal point during Ohio head football coach Frank Solich’s weekly press conference on Monday.

Blankenship is quickly becoming a focal point on the national scale as well.
 
The redshirt junior had 43 carries for 269 yards and two touchdowns against the University of Massachusetts Minutemen in the Bobcats’ 37-34 come-from-behind victory on Saturday.
 
Blankenship’s 43 carries tied an Ohio record held by former Bobcat running back Bill Gary. Although he had so many carries in the game, he was still able to maintain his effectiveness for all four quarters, as evidenced by his pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
 
“We became one dimensional with Beau and the running game. They figured that out, but we were still able to run it,” said Solich.
 
Blankenship is averaging 151.4 rushing yards per game this season, which ranks him third in the nation in the category. He has the second most total rushing yards in the nation with 757, and the second most rush attempts with 156.
 
Solich is impressed with Blankenship’s numbers and his national rank. 
 
“That’s (Blankenship’s statistics) huge. That’s a tribute to a lot of people: the lineman, Beau himself, quarterbacks carrying out fakes and receivers blocking down field,” said Solich.
 
Blankenship relishes the opportunities.
 
“He doesn’t really want relief, he just wants to keep getting those kind of reps,” said Solich.
 
Relief may be coming, however; Ryan Boykin is slowly but surely coming back to full health. 
 
“Ryan Boykin should be 100 percent healthy. It’s the first time he’s been that way since he had the hamstring injury very early on. I think Ryan is a very, very good running back. We’ll, I think, utilize him this week,” said Solich.
 
Blankenship has 156 rush attempts through five games, and is averaging 31.2 carries a game. 
 
Those are staggering numbers, but Solich says they come out of necessity.
 
“[Beau] is the only healthy, experienced running back we’ve had. Daz (Patterson) and Kyle (Hammonds) are good running backs, but they’re inexperienced. With Beau being able to handle that number of carries, we just kept going with it,” said Solich.
 
Even though Blankenship’s numbers may seem concerning, Solich believes that he is the man for the job.
 
“It’s rare for [running backs] to be able to hold up and do it. I have not known a running back that doesn’t want 100 carries in a game, but they can’t hold up, health wise. [Beau] seems to be a guy that’s able to do that,” said Solich, who then ended the press conference by knocking on the wooden desk in front of him.
Photo Credit: 
Ramon Nieves
Frank Solich looks on as Ohio defeated Norfolk State 44-10 on Sept. 22, 2012. 
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