It needs to be Tajh Brooks’ time again for Texas Tech
This is a matchup that Tech should dominate on both sides of the line of scrimmage. That means that Tahj Brooks should be able to run the ball tonight behind the Red Raider O-line.
This team won’t live up to its full potential if Shough continues to be its leading rusher. Though he is effective when he runs, he is not going to take over a game with his legs. He’s not Vince Young or Lamar Jackson. His rushing shouldn’t be the focal point of a team’s ground game.
Rather, Shough’s carries should be timely and impactful. They should come as a bit of a surprise rather than being what Tech turns to when everyone in the stadium knows what’s coming as was the case last week on the ill-fated 4th-and-two play deep in Tech territory that saw Shough stuffed at the line on a keeper.
Against Tarleton, there should be no reason for Shough to be exposed to extra contact. Now, he is going to run the ball. This week, Kittley said that Shough likes to call his own number at the line and audible into run plays for himself. Kittley even thinks that contact helps settle his senior QB down.
However, we all know about Shough’s injury history. Remember, last year he broke his collarbone on a rush attempt against FCS opponent Murray State. So why risk that same fate tonight unless it is absolutely necessary?
Kittley also notes this week that opposing teams are playing quite a bit of eight-man fronts to try to take Brooks out of the game plan. Tonight, if Tarleton does that, Tech should still bang away with their sledgehammer of a running back.
Brooks could be one of the better backs in the Big 12 but he has to get more than the nine per game he’s averaged this season. So let’s see if Tech can commit more fully to the traditional running attack and make it Tahj time again.