Well, if Sunday was any indication, he's going to get it.
"Shawne Alston looked as good as I've ever seen him,'' Holgorsen said. "He's hard to tackle.''
Of course, it's hard to blame Holgorsen for not paying much attention to Alston in the past. Remember, Holgorsen arrived at just about the time Alston was injuring his neck in an off-season car accident roughly 15 months ago. It was the middle of last season before he was really healthy enough to contribute.
"Last spring, we didn't get anything out of him. Camp we didn't get anything out of him. And the first five games of the year we didn't get anything out of him,'' Holgorsen said. "As the season went on he became more healthy. He looks good.''
As for durability, well, that's something Alston still has to prove.
"At times I get banged up because of my running style. I play physical,'' Alston said. "It's just a matter of going to treatment and doing whatever you can to prevent those injuries.''
It's not as if Alston likely will ever put Buie and Garrison out of jobs, of course. Last year was a perfect illustration of what can happen to a running back corps. At the beginning of the season five tailbacks were competing for playing time and all had their moments. But by the end of the season Buie had missed time injured, Vernard Roberts and Trey Johnson left the team, Garrison blew out that knee in Miami and Alston wasn't even healthy enough to dress until a few games into the season.
"None of them can be an every-down guy because we ask our backs to do so much. And we play so many backs from a one-back set to a two-back set to a three-back set to where they are all going to take a bunch of snaps,'' Holgorsen said. "It happened in the bowl game, too. Shawne was pretty much our every-down back in the bowl game spelled by Buie, which is really what we are doing out there right now.
"Those guys complement each other well, but if those were the only two we had going into a 12-game season, we would be in trouble.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.