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Rushing woes catching up to Texas Tech

The Red Raiders on pace to be the Big 12's worst rushing offense for the second straight season

Posted: November 18, 2012 - 5:17pm  |  Updated: November 19, 2012 - 1:20am
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Texas Tech's Eric Stephens runs past Oklahoma State's Anthony Rogers during the Red Raiders' 59-21 loss to the Cowboys on  Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.  Zach Long
Zach Long
Texas Tech's Eric Stephens runs past Oklahoma State's Anthony Rogers during the Red Raiders' 59-21 loss to the Cowboys on Saturday in Stillwater, Okla.
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The inability to run the football is fast catching up with Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders managed just 99 yards rushing in their humbling 59-21 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, marking the fifth straight game Tech has mustered less than 115 yards on the ground.

“We weren’t able to run in the first half,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said after his team’s second lopsided loss to the Cowboys in as many seasons. “We couldn’t take any time off the clock. We’ve been one-dimensional.”

Oklahoma State wreaked havoc on Tech’s one dimension by pressuring quarterback Seth Doege almost exclusively with its front four. With no success running the ball, particularly early, the Cowboys were able to blanket Tech receivers and limit Doege to 230 yards and two interceptions on 24-of-36 passing.

Not only did Tech struggle to move the ball forward on the ground, its rushing plays often went backward. The Red Raiders (7-4, 4-4 in Big 12) accumulated minus-62 yards of running plays, though 19 yards of that was attributed to three sacks and 24 yards the wrong way came on a high-snap fumble that was recovered by Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2).

Tech entered the season believing it would make major improvements to its running game, an outfit that averaged 33 yards fewer than any team in the Big 12 last season.

Sadale Foster, a speedy back out of Riverside (Calif.) City College, joined the fold, and senior Eric Stephens returned and was ready to start the season after completing the rehab stemming from a serious knee injury last year.

Add in another year of strength training for sophomore power back Kenny Williams — who rushed for 78 yards on 14 carries Saturday, most of it in the second half — and the Red Raiders believed they had enough change-of-pace options to keep teams off balance and gain consistency.

Each of the three backs has had bright spots, but the rhythm Tech hoped for hasn’t materialized. The Red Raiders’ rush offense is by far the worst in the Big 12 (133 yards per game), and Tech hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing performance during league play.

Tech’s offense, of course, is a pass-first unit. At 362 yards per game, the Red Raiders throw the ball better than anyone in the country. But the lack of a running game can render even that prolific of an air attack ineffective in certain situations.

Tuberville said earlier this month that the lack of a true fullback and tight end have hampered the Red Raiders in the running game. Fullback Omar Ontiveros was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury against Kansas State on Oct. 27, and 6-foot-5, 257-pound tight end Jace Amaro has not played since suffering a blow to his midsection against West Virginia on Oct. 13.

No Tech players or assistant coaches were made available after the game Saturday to discuss the lack of rushing success or any other topic relating to the team’s 38-point loss.

But as the group discusses a plan for its regular-season finale against Baylor this weekend in Arlington, finding some way to add a second dimension to its offense would be a good place to start.

To comment on this story:

nick.kosmider@lubbockonline.com • 766-8735

george.watson@lubbockonline.com • 766-2166

College football

Who: Texas Tech vs. Baylor

When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington

Records: Baylor 5-5, 2-5 in the Big 12 Conference; Texas Tech 7-4, 4-4

Rankings (BCS/AP/coaches): Baylor unranked/receiving notes/unranked; Texas Tech unranked/unranked/receiving votes

Last game: Baylor 52, Kansas State 24; Oklahoma State 59, Texas Tech 21

Last meeting: Baylor 66, Tech 42 last year in Arlington

TV: FOX (Suddenlink Cable channel 10)

Line: Baylor by 2

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3
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woes.

woes on end.

no defense (line or secondary). no blocking or tackling skills. no pass protection.

most woeful is lack of in-game adjustments from the coaching staff. ALL of them.

players are playing no worse than the coaches are coaching. neither have any particular strengths or even enthusiasm.

pathetic to watch it unfold. must be hell to actually live it on the field.

2
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Don't y'all know? We lost a

Don't y'all know? We lost a tightend and a fullback so we had to completely abandon all hope of a running game....it's ok though, we can just substitute a bunch of draws and bubble screens to replace the lack of a downhill running game.

2
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spread

hey coach you do know that in the spread you pass to set up the run not other way around

4
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You're getting what you deserve

Face it, the town of Lubbock and Tech has NO class or pride. They have a coach who everyone laughs at. Nobody in there right mind would ever want their son to come an play for Tech. They will NEVER get another Crabtree or a Johnny "Football" Manziel, You have listen to Tubberville lie to you for so long that now you are paying the price for it. If he had recruited so many 5 star athletes then where are they?

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Solution

Tubs may just do away with the spread. This Admin and local sports media get off on cramming a bunch of BS down our throats. They sell, sell and spin, spin. The solution may be to run first, slap GAs and lie second.

A team in the Big 12 cannot possibly succeed without a hulking athletic tight end who swipes credit cards and a giant bruising fullback.

When the local overhaul finally happens, let's hope it extends to local sports mouthpieces who think readers are the irrational ones.

2
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running woes catch up?

did you see the wildcat against tcu go three and out in 15 sec, allowing the horny toads to tie it up? tech was lucky in that game. how 'bout the lack of running ability against Texas?

This article proves the A/J is totally out of touch with reality. Don Williams and the gang have been rallying support for the new scheme because they were spoon fed by KH on how Tech was going back to the ground attack. Problem is people actually watch the game and can see it doesn't work.

1
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@ What Excuse......

Sorry your DNA precludes the presence of a memory.

College football prowess is cyclical with few exceptions. If you root for UTex or AMC or TCU or any other Texas school then you have observed this fact.

I am sorry your DNA precludes the memory thereof.

Hope you enjoyed your mindless diatribe.

1
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I'll say one thing about this

I'll say one thing about this weekend because I have way too much to [filtered word] about. Thank god we brought Texas Beer.

1
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Amnesia or CRS

This might have been a good article if you had never watched a TTU game during the previous regeime. Never did we have a bonafide tight end. Never did we rank in the top half of rushing in the conference. Never were we this crappy. The stupid thing is that they trot out this drivel and expect us not to remember.

1
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Most of you arent going to like this but....

I know most of you love the spread but I think Tech is going to slowly let it fade into oblivion. Recruiting big tight ends and physical backs I think push's Tech to develop a pro-set style of offense. Not to say that we can't run a shotgun formation from time to time, but this whole Wildcat formation on 3rd and 1 is really starting to kill me. It really says something about your coaches and your team when they can't line it up and bust through for one yard. Yeah, it got it done a couple of times but we should dominate the offensive line when you look at our huge linemen.

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Running Back

Tech needs a Bell dosier that can run a 4.0 in the 40. Go Tech!

1
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Running Back

For a quick fix; Tech can convert one of their big defensive players that runs a quick 40 into a fullback and let him pound out 4 or 5 yards at a time. This would keep Baylors offense off the field, and open up Seth's passing game. Go Tech!

1
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So

Is Waylands season over?

1
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@FactsRFacts

You proved my point. You have no intelligence but you think you do. You can't even see the clown that Tuberville is. That's fine if you don't. Continue on rooting for a so called man that lies an makes excuses for everything and takes NO blame for nothing. Who can't coach. Don't worry. I rooted for OU, UT, OSU, Kansas State and I will be rooting for Baylor as well. hahaha

0
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Some of you have a jaded memory

Some of you have a jaded memory. This actually a tougher league from top to bottom right now then when Coach "X" was here. And Coach X has plenty of mediocre seasons and games. You guys might want to deny that, but both are true. How many times were 8-9 teams bowl eligible? (Which might happen this year.) K-state, Baylor, Missouri, Iowa St., Kansas, & A&M were all irrelevant for most of the 2000's. You could even throw in OSU and Nebraska in there for several years in that span. We have made some strides this year, but it hasn't been by leaps and bounds. Next year will be the true test, its all of Tuberville's guys playing then. Look at Washington St., they aren't having such a great year as many of you were proclaiming at the beginning of the year. It's not that he's (Coach "X") a bad coach, but you have to have the guys you need to run your system and style of football. And there will be growing pains, as Coach "X" is experiencing. Tech has also experienced those growing pains last year and this year as well. Not having Amaro, Bell and Marquez has hurt offensive productivity. Amaro was great in the middle and Bell and Marquez had some size mixed with true speed. We also have a young O-line, yeah some experience but a lot of youngsters. The defense hasn't learned to have more complicated coverages and schemes yet. If we don't surpass what we did this year next year, then it might be time to look at a change, regardless of how good the league might be next year. I think they will, but that remains to be seen. Go Tech beat Baylor!!!

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Thats exactly

What I would say if I was a hancer. Who was head coach at Tech the last time(s) the Big 12 had a national champion? Hmmmm? Stupid comparison the "leachers" could also use to their advantage, Al. If youre losing, youre losing. You and the other hancers think people will buy excuses. They wont. Losses are still losses regardless of your spin on injuries (poor pitiful us) and your spin on conference strength (weak argument, but isnt it the coaches job to bring us up to strength?).

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@coyote

You didn't counter my argument you just asked a question, that doesn't make sense to me. I can guarantee that if WSU was winning that would be one of the arguments or thing brought up on this website. Just like people who still support Coach "X" were bragging about WVU and Holgerson, until the wheels fell off. He runs the same offense, so why is he losing. Everyone said he was a great coach and we should have hired him. You guys don't like analizing the facts, or as you call them "excuses". So what excuses do we have for those two programs? Losses are still losses according to you. Let me know if you figure it out. Go Tech!!

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The counter

Was who was the head coach the last time the big 12 had a national champion. You didnt counter that either. And youre still trying to make this TEXAS TECH discussion all about Leach and Holgersen who nobody cares about anymore. All of your points arise out of moot suppositions. Who cares, Al? Youre scared to address the tuberville era. It embarrasses your idol, the chancellor, thus, you try to make this about Leach. Hes gone, Al, time to move on.

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