Big Bullies

Big Bullies

Le'Raven Clark, James Polk, Jared Kaster, Beau Carpenter and Rashad Fortenberry; those names may sound unfamiliar but that was the group up front the past two weeks for a Texas Tech offense which racked up a combined 96 points, 1,184 yards and 67 first downs in a pair of Big 12 victories over Kansas and Iowa State.

Le'Raven Clark, James Polk, Jared Kaster, Beau Carpenter and Rashad Fortenberry; those names may sound unfamiliar because they usually are not mentioned on TV or over the PA system following a touchdown or big play on Saturdays.

But that was the group up front the past two weeks for a Texas Tech offense which racked up a combined 96 points, 1,184 yards and 67 first downs in a pair of Big 12 victories over Kansas and Iowa State.

"I think they're getting in shape is the number one thing," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "You can see more effort throughout all four quarters. Playing at the tempo we want to play at, playing at the speed we want to play at, and then the hustle has really picked up, so that's encouraging. That solves a lot of problems when they're playing that hard."

Last week the offensive line gave quarterback Davis Webb enough time in the pocket to earn Big 12 Player of the Year honors in his first collegiate start after the freshman passed for 425 yards and three touchdowns.

Perhaps most impressively, this group has opened up a dormant run game the past two weeks. Against Kansas, its ability to line up and bully the Jayhawks defensive front changed the complexion of the game after Kansas jumped out to an early lead.

Then last Saturday the offensive line paved the way for 251 rushing yards, with running backs Sadale Foster, Kenny Williams and Deandre Washington each gaining over 80 yards, a feat the Red Raiders hadn't accomplished in nearly 30 years. More importantly, their play allowed Texas Tech to salt the game away in the final minutes with five consecutive runs.

"Speaking on behalf of SaDale and Dre, I think we have to give a lot of credit to our O-line," Williams said after the game Saturday. "They came today and blew the D-line off the ball and made our job really easy today."

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