Redshirt sophomore running back Jay Ajayi erupted for 222 yards and three touchdowns against Nevada over the weekend in another solid performance for the Broncos in their homecoming win.
“We prepare each week to have a physical run game. Today was no different,” Ajayi said. “We just came out and wanted to have a downhill running style, and just make plays for our offense.”
The 6-foot, 215-pound sophomore is having a productive season. He has 766 yards on the ground to go with his 12 touchdowns on the year. Saturday’s game against Nevada was Ajayi’s third game this season of having two or more rushing touchdowns in a game.
His performance against Nevada brings Ajayi over the five yards per-carry mark. Ajayi is producing well for a player who is in his first year as top running-back for the Broncos.
It is expected to see Ajayi in an increased role in the coming weeks following the potential season-ending injury to redshirt senior quarterback Joe
“He’s a crucial piece to our team, definitely. Joe going down, it was tough to stomach. But we knew at the same time we had to carry the flag,” Ajayi said.
Southwick has been a key piece to Ajayi feeling comfortable on the Broncos team.
“I told him I dedicated this game to him, ecause he’s been so helpful with me, just with my college career here,” Ajayi said. “I told him I was going to play my heart out for him and run as good as I could.”
Ajayi has had issues getting off to quick starts this season, and last week was no different as he had most of his production in the second half against Nevada.
“I’m not going to lie, when Grant (Hedrick) did his 49-yard scramble or whatever on that drive it kind of pumped me up,” Ajayi said. “I was like okay Grant’s getting loose I got to get loose. I was definitely able to feed off of his energy and his play.”
Hedrick will try to fuel Ajayi’s fire for what could be the rest of the season, and their anticipated matchup in Provo, Utah to take on the BYU Cougars. The game begins at 6 p.m. MT on Friday Oct. 25.