"It's good to have him healthy," Blankenship said. "It keeps me healthier. There's not as much wear and tear on my body. I don't mind the carries, but it's definitely good to have him around and spread the load."
And the two offer different running styles, Marshall defensive end Jeremiah Taylor said, that make each dangerous in his own way.
"They're two dynamic players," Taylor said. "Beau, I think he's more the downhill runner and physical runner. He can make you miss out in space. I think the other guy is a more-shifty guy who wants to make you miss in space. All we've got to do is do what we do, swarm the ball, get hits on those guys, make them uncomfortable and see how the game plays out."
As for maintaining his reputation as a tough runner despite his height, he's not the only running back in the world who is succeeding with that frame. The number of shorter, solid runners in the NFL is growing, with players like the Jacksonville Jaguars' Maurice Jones-Drew (5-7, 210 pounds), Ray Rice (5-8, 212 pounds) and Frank Gore (5-9, 217 pounds) leading the way.
"They're low to the ground and all that momentum going forward, it is hard to stop them," Taylor said. "It's like they're becoming the new backs, like Maurice Jones-Drew. Having that shortness and compactness and being able to run up the middle, it's hard sometimes."
Blankenship knows exactly how tough it can be for defenders, which is why he looks to backs like Jones-Drew for inspiration.
"That's actually my favorite back to watch, him and Ray Rice, shorter, thicker guys," Blankenship said. "It doesn't really matter what your size is. If you're short and thick, you can get stuff done. I see it as a benefit. I may be short, but I'm not small."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.