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Chuba Hubbard’s Workload Trajectory After Four Games is Astronomical

OSU keeps riding 30.

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Only one running back in college football has broken the triple-digit mark in carries so far this season. He wears No. 30 and plays for Oklahoma State.

Chuba Hubbard has 103 rushes in four games for the Pokes and is currently on pace for — presuming OSU makes a bowl game — 335 carries this season. That would be the third-most in Oklahoma State history.

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The scary part about this is that he only carried it eight times against McNeese. If you take that out of his average, he’s actually on pace for more like 390 carries, which would be the most in school history. Again, this is not an #OnPaceGuy one-game red flag. It’s a real trajectory through 1/3 of (presumably, the easier part of) the season.

Coming off a 37-carry night in Austin last Saturday, Mike Gundy again addressed his mega-talented tailback’s workload.

“(Thirty-seven) is five more than I thought was too many (after he had 32 at Tulsa),” said Gundy. “Trust me, it’s been a conversation. We want to keep him healthy. We want him to be fresh, but he is clearly the best runner so we do what we think we need to do to score us the most points. It’s not like it’s something that hasn’t been discussed.”

I feel for Gundy here. What are you going to do? More LD? Run Sanders 25 times? He was asked about Dez Jackson and Jahmyl Jeter, but Plan B feels more like Plan G when the backups have been injured and struggling.

“Those guys haven’t been in a position to practice,” added Gundy. “It’s hard to get guys ready to play when they can’t practice. They’re back now practicing so we should get a better feel for how some of those guys are doing.”

When you have thoroughbreds, you have to ride them. Especially when they want to be featured like Chuba wants to be featured.

“I’m good,” Hubbard said on Tuesday. “Obviously, Texas was a great defense. They flew around and they did a great job. They’re very physical but that’s football. I was definitely sore. I think everyone was but I feel good right now. I’m ready for Kansas State.”

I hate to go back to it (no I don’t), but this is a two-part problem. The first is luck — guys not being healthy. The second is recruiting — not having enough dudes behind Justice (*whispers* try to not think about what this looks like next year).

Chuba is a superduperstar, and pretty much everybody who matters in the process knows he’s being overworked. But the problem is that when the chips are down on a Saturday night in Austin and you have nowhere else to turn, you’re not worried about the next week or the one after that.

So maybe this bill never comes due for Gundy and Co. But if it does, it will need to be paid at the end of the season when you can least afford to pay it. Hopefully 30 stays healthy and strong for all 13, but 37 a night against the best athletes in the sport doesn’t paint a pretty picture. If you’re OSU, though, there might not be a contingency plan.

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