Where are Riggs' carries?

Thanks to the departure of fellow tailback Ced Houston and the return of a massive offensive line, Gerald Riggs was supposed to be a workhorse for the Tennessee Vols in 2005.

It hasn't happened, though. Through the first two games, the senior tailback is averaging 20 carries and 98 rushing yards per game. Those are good numbers certainly but hardly the kind most fans expected of a guy considered a leading Heisman Trophy contender.

Riggs got 23 carries in Game 1 vs. Alabama-Birmingham and responded with 110 yards. He rushed for 73 first-half yards in Game 2 at Florida but the Vols fell behind in the second half and shifted into all-out passing mode thereafter. Thus, Riggs gained just 13 second-half yards, finishing with 86 yards on 17 carries.

Asked if he was disappointed to get so few touches against the Gators, Riggs replied: "A little bit but it was just the kind of game we got into. When you're not making the plays early in the game to get points, then getting to the point of having to play catch-up, you kind of expect that."

Riggs may get more opportunities in Game 3 Monday night at LSU. Since the Tigers were burned for 461 passing yards in their opener against Arizona State, they may be a little more conscious of stopping the pass than stopping the run. Riggs doesn't think so, however. He expects the Tigers to crowd the line of scrimmage in an effort to shut down the ground game.

"Whoever we play, they know us as a running team," he said. "We're going to run first and try to set up the pass. That's the recipe for most defenses across this league – stop the run first."

If so, Tennessee will have to loosen up the Tigers by hitting a few passes. That would open up some running lanes and give Riggs more opportunities to carry the load.

"That'd be nice," he said.


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