Michigan State’s offense has always been built on the run and despite the lack of a workhorse back, it has found success lately.
Junior Jeremy Langford, the key cog to the running back by committee approach, had his second straight 100-yard rushing game Saturday in MSU’s 14-0 win against Purdue.
“The last three weeks he’s, certainly, played very well for us,” offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. “He’s running strong. He’s running tough. He’s hitting the extra yards for us and obviously he hadn’t a lot of the big plays where you sort of breaks out in the clear, but he has done that.”
Langford racked up a career-high 131 yards on 24 carries against Purdue, following up a 23-carry, 109-yard performance against Indiana a week before.
“He’s been hot, so there really wasn’t a whole lot of decision to be made (Saturday),” Warner said. “We were going to go with him and ride with him.”
Langford has emerged as the hot back week in and week out of late and the improvement since Week 1 against Western Michigan has been evident.
“I’m just running harder, breaking tackles and making somebody miss was a key part that I think I needed to work on,” he said. “That’s what I’m working on in practice and it’s showing.
“I came far. I came far from beginning to Week 1. I was running hard, but now I know the game better. I feel like I’m growing as the weeks goes on.”
Sophomore offensive lineman Jack Allen said it has been good to see Langford put up two big games in a row, but there is more he can do.
”I think he can have a couple 200-yard games in a row, so hopefully we continue to improve and it starts to happen even more,” Allen said.
He also said his focus has narrowed in on breaking more tackles.
“In the beginning of the season I wasn’t really thinking about it, but as the season goes on that’s what we have to do: break tackles,” he said. “That’s where I got the mentality — I have to break tackles.”
If he does, Langford could be on his way to a 1,000-yard season as he had 551 so far.
“He can do it,” Allen said. “I think he can. Jeremy is a great running back, a tough guy and we’ve got the O-line to do it.”