2013: Texas Tech’s first 1000 yard rusher since... Ricky Williams?
With the emergence of Kliff Kingsbury as the head coach and signal caller in 2013, could we finally see a 1,000 yard rusher for the first time since 1998? The Red Raiders are just one of two programs in the FBS (Florida State) that haven’t seen a 1,000 yard rusher since the turn of the millenium when Ricky Williams rushed for 1,562 yards during the 1998 season.
To get a good look at some running backs under Kliff’s system, we need to check out University of Houson and Texas A&Ms success at running the ball under KK.
In 2010, as co-offensive coordinator, KK and offensive coordinator Jason Phillips had a two back tandem of Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes that rushed for a combined 1,450 yards but neither cracked the 1,000 yard mark.
In 2011, the Cougars two back tandem of Michael Hayes and Charles Sims rushed for a combined 1548 yards, but neither broke 1,000 yards.
Finally in 2012, Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel rushed for 1410 yards. Running backs Ben Malena, Christine Michael and Trey Williams rushed for 808, 417 and 376 yards respectively for a combined 3,011 yards, breaking the Southeastern Conference single season rushing record.
From his statistics at Houston and Texas A&M, it’s easy to see that KK likes to rush the ball, but likes to do so by spreading the rushes out between a stable of backs and even quarterbacks.
For the Red Raiders in 2013 to obtain similar numbers, first year quarterback Michael Brewer along with running backs Kenny Williams, Deandre Washington and Sadale Foster to put in good numbers.
Michael Brewer was recruited as a dual-threat quarterback out of Lake Travis High School where he rushed for 593 yards as a Junior and 743 yards as a Senior. Brewer will have a shot at rushing for 500+ yards, but I think it’s a stretch to rush for 1000+ as a first year quarterback.
Out of the three running backs that are likely to get substantial playing time, Kenny Williams seems to have the best chance out of the three to break 1,000 yards in 2013.
Williams racked up 824 yards on 143 carries for 5.8 yards/carry in 2012. If Williams is able to get 150+ carries in 2013, he should have a good shot at being the first running back to break the 1,000 yard mark since 1998.
In 2011 as a true Freshman, DeAndre Washington had 366 yards on just 77 carries and scored three touchdowns before he tore his ACL against Missouri and required surgery, which caused him to redshirt the 2012 season. Washington should be back at full strength heading into Fall practice in a few months and could see a large portion of carries in 2013.
Lastly, Sadale Foster should get occasional carries this year as a small, but speedy halfback. As a Junior, Foster carried the ball 91 times for 451 yards and three touchdowns including a 53 yard touchdown run against West Virginia.
Seeing that these three backs may split too many carries with each other, and Brewer really being a pass first, run second quarterback, it’s hard to see someone on the Red Raiders 2013 team breaking the 1,000 yard mark. If it’s going to happen, Kenny Williams seems to have the best chance of doing so as he should see the most carries and seems to hold the every down back position for Texas Tech this year.
Thoughts or comments on who you think may break 1,000 yards in 2013? Post away!