Oklahoma State football: Jeremy Smith is Cowboys' change of pace
Bruising running back scores a touchdown every 9.2 carries.
STILLWATER — Spread offenses often get labeled as finesse attacks.
Flank the receivers, throw quick passes, play outside the hash marks and don't let your quarterback get hit. Not exactly common football lingo in SEC and Big Ten country.
Videoview all videos
Aug 31Aug. 31, 2012: Sports Editor Mike Sherman hosted a Google...
Aug 30Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson make their picks for the...
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
But there remain plenty of physical players and bruising encounters within the spread, despite some preconceived notions.
For Oklahoma State, a team that runs one of the nation's smoothest air raids, its change of pace is running back Jeremy Smith.
Opposing defenses must worry about the entire field. The passing game, with its unique and deadly routes, can bite you short or deep, while the versatile and slippery Joseph Randle will slide by you without notice.
But right when you start to feel prepared for the elusive Randle and unpredictable passing game, Smith changes the equation.
He's an unleashed wrecking ball, set loose when the ball is snapped. The kind of back that runs downhill and seeks out contact, exposing defensive backs that shy away from hits.
“I love blocking for (Smith),” tackle Jonathon Rush said. “He runs hard, he runs tough and he doesn't say anything. He's built like a rock, built like a house. I feel like he can take it for a touchdown any time we give it to him.”
And oftentimes, over the past two seasons, Smith did bulldoze into the end zone.
Despite limited touches (147 carries in two seasons), he produced 16 touchdowns. That's a Smith touchdown every 9.2 carries, best in the Big 12 over that two-year span (among backs with 100 or more carries).
In one 10-game stretch, dating from the 2010 at Texas to the 2011 win at Texas, Smith ran for at least one touchdown in every game.
But he's no longer just a six-point specialist. Last season, when he saw a slightly expanded role, Smith was 10th in the nation at 7.1 yards per carry, rushing for 646 yards in 91 attempts.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 72931Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 14541Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 8647Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7401How to help tornado victims
- 6540Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 6504Oklahoma tornadoes: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford leading aid effort
- 6358Rock, pop, country acts give talents and time to help Oklahoma tornado victims