clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Its Time To Admit That Hosey Williams Is The Bearcats Best Running Back

For all the of hype and expectations that have followed around Tion Green for the last few years he hasn't been the Bearcats best back. Most talented? Definitely. Most imposing? Probably. While everyone has waited for the light to go off for Tion, it's time to acknowledge that the selfsame light went off for Hosey Williams awhile ago, while Tion's remains rather dim.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Early last year it looked like Tion Green might be able to take the reins and be the guy. Once he got back into game shape after breaking his nose in camp he looked good in small doses. His explosion against Temple got everyone excited, and then he proceeded to barely get any carries in the games that followed. His consistency being the issue that it has always been for him. By November Tion Green and Hosey Williams were inverting on the depth chart, and in the mind of Eddie Gran. Look at the production of the two backs starting last November.

Game Tion Green Hosey Williams
SMU 6 carries, 47 yards, 1 TD 14 carries, 90 yards
Rutgers 5 carries, 26 yards 6 carries, 39 yards
Houston 6 carries, 20 yards 13 carries, 84 yards
Louisville 9 carries, 38 yards 8 carries, 34 yards
North Carolina 1 carry, 3 yards 10 carries, 46 yards
Toledo 7 carries, 14 yards, 1TD 14 carries, 103 yards

I see no evidence whatsoever for Tion Green as a feature back, what I do see is a back that is probably underutilized in Hosey Williams. If all you want from the position is consistency Tion is never going to provide it

Williams looked excellent against Toledo whenever it is that the Bearcats bothered to stop reducing the Rockets secondary to a pile of ash. He looked much better, he ran with more authority, he broke tackles, he showed surprising burst and he finished runs. He looked comfortable behind an offensive line that still does not look good at what it is being asked to do.

Tion Green was the polar opposite of that. He danced in the hole instead of hitting it with authority. He looked slow and indecisive. The one time a play really opened up, and Tion really had a chance to make a big play he instead ran into the defense and away from grass. That was a shocking play to me, and the one that really raised questions about his viability as a feature back for the Bearcats. For all his physical gifts, I am not sure that Tion sees the game well enough to be the feature back that this offense could use.

Given how well the Bearcats passing game played against the Rockets this is, at most a secondary concern for most Bearcat fans. But there will be times this year when the passing game isn't clicking, where teams are able to get enough pressure on Gunner Kiel to disrupt the timing of the system. Its in those minutes that the Bearcats will have to turn to the running game to find some level of success. From where I am sitting the odds of finding success on the ground increase with every touch that Hosey Williams gets.

For the last two seasons fans and coaches have expressed a concern, or a desire for the Bearcats to find that one guy, any guy, who can take control of the running game, day in day out. What  the fans, and probably the offensive coaches, have really wanted is for Tion Green to be that guy. While we have waited for that to happen, Hosey Williams has come along and become that guy. The sooner we all realize that as a new fact of life the better.