How will Michigan Football share running back carries in 2023?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Michigan football has two elite running backs but what’s the best way to use both in the 2023 season? 

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the 2023 Michigan football season, but the return of Blake Corum is one of the biggest reasons for optimism.

Corum rushed for nearly 1,500 yards last season. He also averaged 5.9 yards per reception and was a touchdown machine. However, he wore down at the end of last season, in part because Michigan football gave him a heavy workload.

Corum got hurt against Illinois and it was something you could see coming. He was carrying the ball too much and taking too many hits.

That’s something Michigan football needs to avoid this season. One thing that will help is that Donovan Edwards is also 100 percent, which wasn’t the case last season.

Edwards was dominant down the stretch. He rushed for over 200 yards against Ohio State. He was also the MVP of the Big Ten title game. Edwards ripped off a bunch of explosive runs last season and that’s the expectation for 2023 too.

Edwards is also a dynamic receiver. I expect J.J. McCarthy to target him a lot in the passing game. It would also help if the offense became a little more pass-heavy.

The running backs need to be managed with November/December in mind

McCarthy is a great quarterback. Harbaugh called him a once-in-a-generation quarterback, so the Wolverines should open up the offense. Take some pressure off the running game and save those backs for November, December, and January.

Last season, both backs were just short of a combined 400 carries. Corum got 247 attempts, while Edwards got 140. I’d like to see that number be closer to even this season.

Both players will be better if they are touching the ball about 15-20 times per game and that should be the focus going into this season. Corum said he was ready to carry the ball 40 times a game or 10 — whatever it takes.

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What it will take to win a national championship is a healthy Corum/Edwards at the end of the season and the running backs should have their workloads managed accordingly.