RB Desmond Roland producing as role increases by necessity
Oklahoma State running back Desmond Roland had his role elevated by default in June, when Herschel Sims was dismissed from the team.
He moved up the depth chart by necessity again Saturday against Texas, after No. 2 back Jeremy Smith left the game with an injury. Joseph Randle became the workhorse as a result, rushing for a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns, but Roland got three carries for 20 yards, including two carries on the Cowboys’ final drive.
“He’s our third back right now,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “But he played well the other night. He’s learning to play faster, at a quicker pace, which that’s what it takes as you play these teams in our league that (have) better football players.”
Roland, a sophomore from Dallas, is averaging 7.2 yards per carry so far this season and has compiled 180 yards and four touchdowns. Coaches have always liked Roland’s combination of power and speed, as well as his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Gundy also believes playing behind Randle and Smith, arguably the best 1-2 running back duo in the Big 12, has benefited Roland’s development in his second season.
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