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The effect of a power running back

Desmond Nisby is a beast

Kansas State  v Texas Tech Photo by John Weast/Getty Images

Let’s flash back to 2016:

It’s 3rd and 2 - we’re in 4 wide - and the defense has 4 guys in the box. For those of you that don’t know what that means, the defense just dared us to run the football. Not since the days of DeAndre Washington, and before that maybe Kenny Williams has Texas Tech had a legit running threat out of the backfield (I know, it feels like longer ago than it really is). This situation was often overshadowed by Pat Mahomes being able to make magic happen in most any situation possible, but - 4-man boxes need to be exploited for what they are - running formations.

Well, the good news is that I’m not the only one who knew what the problem was here. Therefore, Eric Morris, and Kliff Kingsbury went out and found the biggest, baddest dude they could who could play immediately. Who’s that stud you might ask? Desmond Nisby.

That film should tell you about all you need to know about Nisby. He’s big, he’s fast, and he runs North/South. The question I had, and I’m sure most of you likely have now is - will this translate to the Big 12. Realistically, I wasn’t sure. Until I saw Nisby truck 260 pound Defensive End Lonzell Gilmore (your expected starter at Defensive End).

There’s several things to digest in that clip.

  1. He didn’t try to juke him, at all.
  2. He regained top-end speed very quickly.
  3. Wow.

When you have a running back that looks like Nisby, you run the ball on 3rd and 2, you can pound it near the goal line, and defenses have to respect your run game because 215 pound linebackers won’t be winning many matchups with grown men.

This is a facet to our game that should cause teams to run 5-man or 6-man boxes more often which leads to multiple 1:1 matchups for your world class wide receiver group. Wouldn’t you like to see Derrick Willies have 1:1 on the outside with no safety coverage? Or, Keke Coutee with a giant Middle Linebacker trying to keep up?

Time will tell what the implications of this move are, but the short term results look like we found a stud.