Texas Tech’s use of two-back formations, a frequent deployment in three non-conference games, was nearly absent Saturday in a 24-13 victory at Iowa State. The Red Raiders spent a large majority of the time in one-back sets and sometimes in empty backfield.
Offensive coordinator Neal Brown said it was by design, to combat the Cyclones’ rangy, 250-pound lineabackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein and big safety Jacques Washington.
“When we put two backs in the game, everything kind of got condensed,” Brown said Monday. “I thought (Washington) was a really good run defender, so what we wanted to do was kind of keep them spread out. The empty stuff was in that same regard.
“I thought if we could get them in space, we had a lot better chance of making plays than if we kept them in tight.”
The Red Raiders still were able to run the ball effectively, Kenny Williams carrying 15 times for 80 yards. Usually, that was without fullback Omar Ontiveros or any other lead blocker in the backfield.