Texas Tech football: Big 12 offensive weapons that will be a problem in 2020

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: Kickoff of the Big 12 Championship game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners at AT&T Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 02: Kickoff of the Big 12 Championship game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma Sooners at AT&T Stadium on December 2, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Running back Kennedy Brooks #26 of the Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Running back Kennedy Brooks #26 of the Oklahoma Sooners. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images) /

Kennedy Brooks will be the glue that holds the OU offense together

Unlike their rivals in Stillwater, the Oklahoma Sooners will have to replace tons of firepower on offense this year.  That’s why junior RB Kennedy Brooks might be their most important player.

Gone is last year’s starting QB and leading rusher, Jalen Hurts, last year’s leading receiver, CeeDee Lamb, and uber-talented RB, Trey Sermon, who was essentially cut out of the offense due to the number of carries Hurts was awarded.

That doesn’t mean that the OU cupboard is bare but it does mean that the offense is likely to rely heavily on Brooks to be the steadying influence as young Sooners get their feet wet.  That’s most certainly true of whichever young starting QB Lincoln Riley decides to go with as for the first time in his tenure in Norman, he won’t have a veteran starter to lean on.

Thus, Brooks’ workload is likely to go up. Last year, he carried the ball 155 times for 1,011 yards and 6 TDs.  That was an average of just 11.9 carries per game.

Neither of the two OU QB contenders is thought to be anywhere near as dominant with their legs as Hurts was.  So Brooks will get plenty of action this season and that’s scary for Texas Tech fans.  That’s because, in recent years, OU running backs have had their way with the Red Raiders.

In 2018, Sermon romped his way to 206 yards and a TD.  A year earlier, Rodney Anderson put up 181 yards vs Tech.  In the classic 2016 shootout in Lubbock, Joe Mixon gashed the Red Raiders for 263 yards and two scores of his own.

So this year, if the Red Raiders hope to have any shot at taking down the Big 12’s biggest bully, they are going to have to stand up to the OU ground game.  And to do that, it will likely mean finding a way to corral Kennedy Brooks.