MORGANTOWN — With out trying, may you title Texas Tech’s beginning working again?
Tahj Brooks, the Purple Raiders’ senior tailback, is the fifth-leading rusher within the Large 12 and averages 7.2 yards per carry and but appears to fully fly underneath the radar. WVU head coach Neal Brown, who’s game-planning to attempt to cease Brooks this Saturday, has no thought why that’s.
“He’s most likely one of the best participant in our league that no person talks about,” Brown stated Monday. “I feel he’s proper up there on the prime of our league for working backs.”
Though Texas Tech (1-2) has gotten off to a sluggish begin this season, Brooks has not. He ran for 71 yards on simply seven carries in opposition to Oregon two weeks in the past and had 158 yards on 19 totes final week, giving him 268 to date this yr.
“I feel he’s one among our greatest gamers proper now and we’re working the soccer effectively,” TTU coach Joey McGuire stated. “I undoubtedly assume you’ve received to proceed that. He’s sizzling, he’s wholesome, he feels nice and he’s received a whole lot of confidence.”
If Brown and the Mountaineers (2-1) are to proceed their promising begin to the yr, they’ll should discover a strategy to decelerate Brooks, who Brown believes can do all of it.
“No one talks about their working again, however he’s going to be an NFL participant and he’s going to be within the league for a very long time,” Brown stated. “He can move shield, he can run inside or outdoors, he’s actually good.”
Brown has good purpose to assume so extremely of Brooks as he noticed it first-hand final season. Brooks ran 17 instances for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Texas Tech’s 48-10 win.
The Purple Raiders are nonetheless firmly a pass-first workforce in McGuire’s second season — they lead the Large 12 with 118 move makes an attempt — however getting Brooks his touches has grow to be a spotlight of their offensive assault.
“We’ve received to maintain getting Tahj going,” McGuire stated. “Each time he has these carries which can be his eleventh, twelfth to nineteenth, twentieth carries within the sport, then unexpectedly you’re going to see a whole lot of manufacturing within the run sport.
“He’s one among our greatest gamers proper now. You’re going to see the run sport and hopefully, you’re going to see it much more.”
Brooks’s quantity of carries mixed with Texas Tech’s up-tempo offense can simply begin to put on down opposing defenses.
“They play actually quick and we higher be prepared for it,” Brown stated. “That’s one thing we didn’t deal with very effectively final yr and it’s one thing we spent a whole lot of time engaged on.”
The Mountaineers are sporting probably the greatest run defenses within the convention to date this yr, permitting simply 93 yards per sport and a pair of.8 yards per carry. That’s regardless of dealing with two more-than-capable working backs in Penn State’s Nicholas Singleton and Pitt’s Rodney Hammond.
“We’ve performed the who’s who of working backs during the last handful of years,” Brown stated, referring to former Large 12 standouts Breece Corridor (Iowa State) and Bijan Robinson (Texas). “We’ve performed elite working backs and so our guys are going to be prepared.”
Kickoff from Mountaineer Area is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The sport can be broadcast on ESPN+.