Oklahoma State football: For Desmond Roland, less might be more

The presence of Tyreek Hill and Rennie Childs suggests more of a job share at running back, with all three in play for carries, and Hill set up as perhaps the most prominent piece of the offense, pegged for 15 to 20 touches a game.
by John Helsley Published: August 17, 2014

Desmond Roland emerged as a stretch-run horse for Oklahoma State a year ago.

Now, will the Cowboys press him for more, or pull back on the reins?

The presence of Tyreek Hill and Rennie Childs suggests more of a job share at running back, with all three in play for carries, and Hill set up as perhaps the most prominent piece of the offense, pegged for 15 to 20 touches a game.

Roland, after his first appearance in a feature role, naturally wants more as he approaches his senior season.

“Personally, I just want to have a better season than I had last season,” said Roland, who ran for 654 of his team-high 811 yards in the final seven games of 2013. “I don’t want to downgrade from last year’s stats. I want to double every stat that I had.

“I feel like if I accomplish all those stats in six or seven games, I can do way better in 10 or 12 games this year.”

So does that put Roland on pace to become a 1,000-yard back?

Not necessarily.

“I hope that he doesn’t have that many carries,” said Cowboys coach Mike Gundy. “With the experience that Rennie brings back and the carries that Tyreek will get, Des can have a better year but not as many yards.”

Gundy said the conversation has taken place with Roland about the possibility of a reduced workload. That doesn’t mean Roland can’t be Option A, or that he can’t be a major factor in the team’s success.

It does mean that the emphasis will be on the team’s success.

“You’re always concerned about how guys will respond after they’ve had that one good year, no matter what their age is,” Gundy said. “And then, the other thing is, you have to be careful to make sure they don’t think they have to perform at a certain level statistically.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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