Texas Tech football: What we learned in week one win over Montana State

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Texas Tech cheerleaders perform at Jones AT
LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Texas Tech cheerleaders perform at Jones AT /
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. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images)
. (Photo by John Weast/Getty Images) /

Running back roles started to become defined

There’s no workhorse running back in the mold of DeAndre Washington or Taurean Henderson on this year’s roster.   Instead, Tech’s trio of backs will all help carry the load and against Montana State, we started to see how each will complement the others.

Of course, grad transfer Armand Shyne grabbed most of the attention with 125 yards.  His 69-yard second-quarter TD run was the play of the game and has had Red Raider fans buzzing since.

Shyne is the leading rusher on the roster as his performance on Saturday pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for his career.   What’s more, it was his second-best rushing performance as a collegiate and his 11.4 yards-per-carry were easily a career-high.

Meanwhile, Henry ran for 55 yards on 12 carries and caught five passes for 22 more.  His explosive speed and elusiveness in space make him a nice change-of-pace to Shyne, who is more of a down-hill, between the tackles runner.   Henry has the look of the typical Texas Tech RB of the modern era.

While Shyne and Henry appear to be establishing themselves as players that Yost will rely on to move the ball into the red zone, redshirt freshman SaRodorick Thompson is proving to be a weapon near the goal line.

The 210-pounder carried the ball only seven times Saturday but he found the endzone twice.  Both times he’s faced an FBS team, he’s registered a pair of touchdowns (he had two last year against Lamar) with his only other score coming last year at Oklahoma State.

It appears that Thompson has become the hammer Yost will turn to in short-yardage and goal-line situations (though all three backs will need to be able to execute in those situations because Yost prefers not to substitute very often thus preventing the defense from bringing fresh bodies onto the field).

In all, these three running backs accounted for 285 total yards Saturday with each bringing something unique to the field.  Though there isn’t an All-American among that group, it looks like they could combine to provide what this new offense needs in just about any situation.