East Lansing — Through the first two games of the season, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio wasn't exactly thrilled with his running game.
The numbers weren't awful, but in his mind, the Spartans weren't getting the consistent production they needed.
If Saturday's 73-14 victory over Eastern Michigan is any indication, those running woes might be a thing of the past.
The Spartans piled up 336 yards on the ground with Delton Williams running for 103 yards and adding a pair of touchdowns. Jeremy Langford carried nine times for 60 yards and a score , hile Nick Hill had 58 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
"With what happened in the second half of the Oregon game, not being able to run the ball as well as we needed to, those guys wanted to bear down and re-emphasize the need to run the football," offensive coordinator Dave Warner said. "That's what we came into this game wanting to do. We still want to mix it up a little bit; we want to run a little bit of power football. It was good to be able to do that, it was good for our offensive line for us to be able to run the ball and enjoy a game like this.
"The offensive linemen always want to hang their hat on being able to run the football."
It was in full display in this game, even with the Spartans getting as many players in the game as they could.
The offensive line was no different as 12 players saw action. But the holes were there from the first quarter all the way to the fourth.
"I saw some big holes," quarterback Connor Cook said. "I think our offensive line did a great job creating some holes for Jeremy. Also, great vision by our running backs. I think on the touchdown Jeremy scored, the hole that he was supposed to take wasn't even there and he cut all the way back, was in the open field in the corner, and made a good move on him. Nick ran the ball hard, Delton ran the ball exceptionally well, and Gerald (Holmes) did when he was in, but that's another step we have to take in the running game."
Williams had the biggest day in his most extensive work of the season. He was running well even before his 80-yard run in the fourth quarter, evidenced by his 7-yard touchdown run earlier in the quarter when he dragged several tacklers into the end zone.
He provided a spark the running attack needed after getting only five total carries in the first two games.
"Yeah I showed that when I do get in the game, when I get that opportunity, I'm going to do what I can to make this team win," Williams said. "It feels good to be back out there, but it's about the team, it's not about me. It's bigger than me."
And now the Michigan State running game moves forward feeling far better than it has at any point this season.
"We wanted to get to where we are a dominant football team running the ball," Hill said. "I think we needed to get back to that, and I think that's what we did in this game. The offensive linemen did a great job from the starters to the backups to the third-stringers. I think moving forward it's a positive but we've got to keep doing the same thing week-in and week-out."