Texas Tech RB outlook for 2019: Will the Red Raiders backfield see more

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, Texas Tech Sports Blogger

Breaking down Texas Tech’s running back situation for the 2019 season.

Key returners: Ta’Zhawn Henry (sophomore), Da’Leon Ward (junior)

Key losses: As it stands, the Red Raiders return all of their leading rushers.

Newcomers: SaRodorick Thompson (redshirt freshman)

Biggest unanswered question: The biggest question, with a new system intact, is how will Tech utilize its run game? The Red Raiders have been more well known for their passing game in recent years. Quarterback Jett Duffey led the team with 369 yards on 79 attempts on the ground. Both Ward and Henry finished with exactly 341 yards a season ago (on 79 and 86 carries).

Why 2019 production could be better: Experience and reps pay off in the long run. Tech’s backfield has players that are young, but have seen playing time at the collegiate level. Henry and Ward will likely split time in the backfield a season after rushing for a combined 682 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Why 2019 production could be worse: Texas Tech’s 2019 signing day class does not feature any running backs. So, the job will have to get done by their returning core. Fans are going to have to wait and see how new head coach Matt Wells utilizes the run game.

Overall outlook: The run game was present, but not impressive, a season ago. That could change under Wells. Tech is anticipated to have a more balanced offensive scheme, which will include the running back position to step up in its role. 

In Wells’ six years as Utah State’s head coach, the team always averaged more rushing attempts per game than passing attempts. 


Year

Passing attempts/game

Passing yards/game

Rushing attempts/game

Rushing yards/game
2013 34.3 233.4 42.3 178.1
2014 27.8 198.7 36.6 180.1
2015 31.0 205.2 37.0 165.1
2016 31.9 206.2 34.1 170.8
2017 33.5 226.0 37.3 171.4
2018 35.8 294.2 36.8 204.4

Data via sports-reference.com.

I foresee more rushing in the Red Raiders future, but not a drastic change in productivity on the ground.

QB | RB | ?