Daniel “Boom” Herron Becomes the Man

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Over the past two weeks, Daniel “Boom” Herron has emerged as the go-to-guy for the Ohio State Buckeye offense. It all started after halftime in the Wisconsin game. Herron, after only four carries in the first half for 36 yards, anchored the Buckeyes’ first touchdown drive of the game with 6 carries for 32 yards, including an impressive 13 yard touchdown burst. After a Badger punt, the Bucks drove down the field again. Again, Herron served as the catalyst, punching the ball into the endzone with three straight tough runs from the Wisconsin 7 yard line.

Hans Hetrick

Boom ended up with the only two Ohio State touchdowns against the Badgers and established himself as a sure source of offensive production. The Buckeye offense was anemic without Herron. In their three scoring drives at Camp Randall, Herron took the ball 18 times and gained 89 yards. In the five possessions in which they came up empty, Herron had only one carry for two yards.

Boom remained the focus of the Buckeye offense last week against Purdue. Herron scored touchdowns on Ohio State’s first two drives. The first drive consisted of five plays for 45 yards and a 15 yard Purdue penalty. Herron carried the ball on all five plays. On the next Buckeye drive, Pryor threw an incomplete pass, a -3 yard completion, got sacked, and the Bucks punted. On their third drive, Herron carried the ball on four of their six plays and scored on a three yard dive into the endzone.

Herron’s emergence as the go-to-guy came about because of two developments on the Ohio State football team. Before Terrelle Pryor strained his quadricep during the Illinois game, the Buckeyes relied on Pryor for the lion’s share of their rushing yardage. Without Pryor’s rushing production, Coach Jim Tressel had to get production out of his running backs.

The second development was the inability of Brandon Saine to run between the tackles. Since the start of the season, the modus operandi of the Ohio State offense was to split time at the running back position between Saine and Herron. After the Illinois game, Tressel transferred Saine to more of a pass catching role. Herron’s play has blossomed since.

Herron had always been a reliable running back, fearless, hitting holes with a disregard for bodily harm. But during the Wisconsin game, Boom displayed a cunning patience absent in the past. That patience and an incredible burst of speed has allowed Herron to exploit the most promising hole in the line as the play develops. The following video is a great example (it’s the second highlight, sandwiched by two incredible Dane Sanzenbacher catches).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSJTOdShxmo&feature=player_embedded

With Pryor’s electric running abilities sidelined, the Buckeyes needed someone to step up, and Daniel “Boom” Herron stepped up. Don’t blame Boom for the loss at Camp Randall, he put in a stellar effort.

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